Ken Whisenhunt and Michael Bidwill are often topics of heated discussion between Cardinals fans.
As fans of the Arizona Cardinals, we all have said things we probably should not have. In the heat of the moment, there likely have been times when even the nicest little old woman has blasphemed following a certain play, drive or game.
It happens. This is the life of a Cardinals fan.
How many times have you sworn you will never watch another game, only to return the next Sunday like the faithful fan you are? To say you have not been there is to concede you are not a real Cardinals fan.
It’s akin to promising yourself you’ll never drink again while nursing a hangover. You know that’s not true.
Here are some things Cardinals fans say.
Have no fear, Cards fans: Carson Palmer is here. He may be older than most starting quarterbacks, but he still can get the job done.
Throwing for 4,000-plus yards is not hard to do these days, but consider this: As a team, Arizona has averaged 3,534 passing yards per season since 2010.
Eleven quarterbacks have single-handedly averaged more yards over that time.
More passing yards will help the offense, but it’s all about yards per attempt. “Real Passing Yards per Attempt,” actually.
RPYPA, as it’s called over at Cold, Hard Football Facts, measures a team’s total yards per pass attempt with sack yards taken out and recalculated to give a more accurate representation of the passing game.
Per the site, teams finishing in the top 10 in RPYPA last season finished with a combined record of 101-58-1 (an average of essentially 10-6), while the bottom 10 teams were a combined 57-103 (basically, the opposite average, at 6-10).
Carson Palmer and the Oakland Raiders finished No. 16 in 2012, while the Cardinals’ misery-laden offense came in dead last.
While this could have been said with a degree of truth before Michael Bidwill was given oversight of the team, saying so now is simply foolish.
Owner Bill Bidwill kept the money under lock and key, but son Michael—the team’s president—has done a great job keeping the team’s leaders and best players around with lucrative contract extensions.
The four highest-paid players on the team—Larry Fitzgerald, Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell and Daryl Washington—all have that honor because Michael forked over the dough to keep them. Their contracts are together worth $270.1 million dollars over 25 years.
If that is cheap, then I don’t want to see your bank accounts for fear of jealousy.
The sillhouette of the man responsible for a Super Bowl run.
Well, no, he didn’t. He may have been the head coach during the Super Bowl run, but without Kurt Warner, the Cardinals get nowhere near the playoffs in 2008 and 2009.
It was Ken Whisenhunt’s offensive playbook, but Warner had the keys to that vehicle, and it responded only when he was driving.
Warner took that offense to heights not seen in Arizona at any point in its NFL history.
He started two full seasons and parts of three more while in Arizona, and he is the franchise’s all-time leader in passing yards per game, yards per attempt, adjusted yards per attempt (taking into account sack yards). And he's the only quarterback in team history to complete at least 60 percent of his passes in over 500 attempts (stats via ProFootballReference).
To answer the question, “Who led that team to the Super Bowl,” you must first answer, “Without [insert name], does the team still win?”
Without Warner, does the team still win? With Whisenhunt, not a chance.
Without Whisenhunt, does the team still win? With Warner, yes.
The highlight still haunts Cardinals fans. The Pittsburgh Steelers driving down the field to take the lead in Super Bowl XLIII with under a minute to play was the cause of many sleepless nights in the Valley, but I have news for those who still utter those words:
Santonio Holmes caught that ball.
This series of pictures from AZCentral.com proves he caught it—specifically, the final frame.
The argument still comes up from time to time. In fact, I just had the debate once again with a few fans who insist Holmes’ right foot never dragged the Cardinal-red grass. Many fans continue to deny it even after seeing the picture showing both feet down at the moment he gained possession.
It’s okay to admit you were wrong about something. Continuing to deny it after being shown otherwise is simple stubbornness.
This has not come up for months, but it was a widespread problem last year on various message boards and social media outlets.
It’s understandable to want to see Larry Fitzgerald win a Super Bowl. But wouldn’t you rather see it happen with the Cardinals?
The franchise’s all-time leading receiver has displayed the utmost professionalism and maturity despite being stuck with the worst quarterback situation in the NFL most of his career.
He simply shows up to work and does what he has to do to be the best player he can be, every day of the week. That level of commitment is rare in professional sports and is seen only in those with the strongest dedication to the team.
He is a better professional than Anquan Boldin, that’s for sure.