Cardinals-Packers Playoff Opener Is Sold Out, but Is That a Good Thing?

Greg EspositoContributor IIJanuary 7, 2010

The Cardinals playoff opener against the Green Bay Packers has officially sold out. Whether that’s a good thing is yet to be seen.

Everyone has talked about the health of Anquan Boldin, Calais Campbell, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as keys to the game. They’ve pontificated about the psychological edge the Packers may have based on the fact that they have beaten the Cards twice this season at University of Phoenix Stadium. They’ve compared the Packers great finish to the Cardinals lackluster one.

They’ve talked about every possible factor in this game except the most important one.

Will University of Phoenix Stadium look like me after too many hours in the sun—all red—or will it resemble the condiment tray near the hot dog stand with relish, mustard, and ketchup? As a matter of fact, can we ban relish, mustard, and cheese from the game completely?

It may seem inconsequential, but the Cardinals have fed off the energy of their home crowd since Ken Whisenhunt became coach in 2007. They are 16-8 at home with him at the helm.

Without the completely pro-Cardinal crowd in both home playoff games last year, those close games easily could have gone in favor of the Falcons or Eagles.

Everyone knows the Packers fans are willing to travel to road games (I mean really, would you want to be in Green Bay if you didn’t have to be?). If the two games between these teams have taught us anything, outside of the fact that Green Bay likes to win meaningless games, it’s that there are a lot of Packer-backers willing to show up in Glendale.

It’s such a serious subject that the Phoenix Business Journal talked to Southwest Airlines, who said their direct flight from Milwaukee to Phoenix on Friday is booked (they also said they’ve seen an uptick on their Chicago to Phoenix flights, so there may just be a beer and brats fest at the convention center).

Even Cardinals’ stud defensive end Darnell Dockett realizes the importance of the home crowd. He expressed as much on his Twitter page.

“Damn! Green bay fans ROLLS DEEP! OMG I hope they don’t take over our stadium! I knew we had disloyal fans that would sell there tickets-SMH!” (Pardon the grammatical mistakes, they are far worse than the ones you are used to in my pieces).

Forget Mike McCarthy and Ken Whisenhunt’s game plans, forget the nagging injuries, and you can definitely forget any supposed psychological advantage Green Bay has with their two previous wins on the Cards’ home turf. But there is one thing that could swing the balance in Sundays playoff game.

Is the stadium red, or is it full of cheddar heads?