The Arizona Cardinals may have a sorry history in terms of winning, but any fan would tell you that the team has been great for entertainment value.
Their years of finding ways to lose and getting unlucky, on and off the field, had even the most hardcore, frustrated fans chuckling to themselves.
Coming up with seven strange moments in the team's history was easy; narrowing it to seven posed more difficulty.
Throughout his career, Darnell Dockett has been a terror to opposing quarterbacks. Just ask Ben Roethlisberger, who was sacked three times by Dockett in Super Bowl XLIII.
In July, while on vacation in the Everglades, Dockett was faced with a terror to all people: He posted a picture of a giant alligator on his Twitter to go along with the tweet: "This mofo almost bit me!"
Instead of deterring the defensive tackle from going near a body of water, the event had a seemingly opposite effect. The media was soon abuzz with pictures of Dockett holding his new pet gator.
PETA was not pleased with this, sending angry letters to Dockett that opposed ownership of such a wild animal and warned that it may have been illegal.
Sure, the lockout was still raging, so it wasn't a team distraction in a time when any football headline was welcome, but that just means that, for about a month, the biggest news figure for the Cardinals was an alligator.
In 2001, Bill Gramatica stepped up to attempt a 42-yard field goal in the first quarter of a game with the New York Giants. The ball started straight and and stayed that way, splitting the uprights and giving the Cards a 3-0 lead.
In his joy, Gramatica turned and performed one of the most infamous celebrations of all time. Pumping his fist hard, Gramatica leaped into the air only to land on his right (plant) leg, tearing his ACL and going on injured reserve.
Gramatica, 23 years old at the time of the injury, went on to attempt just 28 more field goals in his career, making 21 of them. Only one was as long as that fateful kick.
The episode became such a mocked moment that it almost became cliche, but just watch the footage one more time and try not to laugh.
The season after the Gramatica debacle, the Cardinals were once more stung by the outlandish injury bug. This time, it hit them in the backfield with young running back Thomas Jones.
The University of Virginia standout was in the middle of his third season with the Cardinals, sharing snaps with Michael Pittman, when his season was cut short.
After being diagnosed with a broken hand, the Cardinals put him on injured reserve. However, the fact that the injury was not suffered in practice or a game left some questions to be answered.
How did he break his hand? Jones claimed it came about answering a phone.
It's not that I don't believe him. In fact, I do. But how does one pick up a phone incorrectly? And for that matter, pick it up so incorrectly that they fracture their hand?
If there has been a stranger injury suffered by an athlete, I have yet to come across it.
What is a fair-catch free kick?
Many football fans have no idea what this rule is. After all, the very specific circumstances that must arise for it to be feasible have enabled it to be used just 10 times since 1970.
So what is it?
Basically, when a team fair catches a punt, they have the option to run a play or perform a "free kick": an uncontested field goal from the spot they caught it at where the opposing team isn't allowed within 10 yards of the kick. So, there needs to be a sufficient combination of a small amount of time left in the half, good field position and benefit in the scoreline to make a free kick beneficial to the kicking team. And even then, the punting team needs to not recognize the situation and kick to them instead of kicking the ball out of bounds.
In Week 3 of 2006, all of these factors arose. The Cardinals trailed the Rams 16-14 when the Rams punted. Troy Walters fair caught the ball at the Cardinals 33-yard line, but the Cardinals' Robert Griffith was offsides. Thinking the game was over because the time had expired during the play, inexperienced Rams' coach Scott Linehan declined the penalty.
However, yet another caveat to the fair-catch free kick rule is that, even if the time has expired, the free kick can be taken. So as the referees let Linehan in on the rule, kicker Neil Rackers prepared himself for an unprecedented 77-yard field goal attempt to win the game.
In the end, though, the kick was never taken when the referees incredibly allowed Linehan to renege on his declining of the penalty, accept the penalty and send his offense to kneel and end the game.
I still view this ending as something of a travesty (On the other hand, Rackers got to attempt the kick two years later. His attempt, from 10 yards closer than the one mentioned would have been, detracts heavily from the argument of a travesty).
It's a quote that has come to define Denny Green. It was replayed so often that it's become completely cliche, so I'm not going to say it. But you know quote what I'm talking about.
Three weeks after the fair-catch free kick incident, the Cardinals took on the undefeated Bears on Monday Night Football. After a complete team effort that saw the offense functioning effectively and the defense shutting down Rex Grossman, the Cardinals led the Bears 23-3 with two seconds remaining in the third quarter.
However, the Cardinals' grasp on the game was quickly loosening. With just 2:58 remaining in the game, the Bears capped their third touchdown in 12 minutes to take their first lead of the game at 24-23. What was strange about this is that the Bears didn't get one of those touchdowns on offense.
That's right: two fumble recoveries returned for touchdowns and a Devin Hester 83-yard punt return for a touchdown turned the game around.
And yet, the Cardinals still had another chance to win when Neil Rackers stepped up for a 40-yard field goal with less than a minute left. In the first of many moments where the kicker was anything but clutch, the kick sailed wide.
The Bears won the game scoring 24 points while gaining 168 yards of total offense.
That is certainly not what I thought it would be.
While much of the nation's young men were fighting in World War II overseas, various football teams were left behind without enough players.
As a result, the Cardinals were forced to take extreme measures for the 1944 season, joining forces with the Pittsburgh Steelers to form "Card-Pitt."
While this union could be viewed as odd enough, the result was unpredictably disastrous: The Card-Pitt "Carpets" went on to play what is probably the worst season of professional football.
They finished the season 0-10, losing by an average of 22 points per game. The quaterbacks combined for 31-percent pass completion rate and eight touchdowns to go along with 41 interceptions (still an NFL record today).
Starting quarterback John McCarthy finished the season with an overall quarterback rating of 3.0. The kickers combined for a startling 0 for 2 on field goals and 11 for 15 on extra points. But perhaps the worst statistic of all is the 32.7 yards per punt the Carpets achieved, far and away the lowest total in NFL history.
Sure, many players were out defending the nation, but two franchises combined to achieve levels of futility of which the 2008 Detroit Lions can only dream.
I'm pretty sure no other franchise would list a trip to the Super Bowl along with the franchise's strangest moments, but I certainly will for the Cards.
Before the 2008-09 season, the franchise had one playoff victory since the merger. They hadn't been in the playoffs for 10 years, and it's not like they were threatening in those 10 seasons.
The history of losing was vast. The playoff run made sense game to game, but in the big picture, it came out of nowhere.
It's sometimes surreal to think that the Cardinals, that team that would once make me happy with a 6-10 season, was at one point 2:37 away from winning a Super Bowl.
Luckily, the rest of that game is suppressed somewhere deep inside my brain.