A friend of mine called me this morning, whispering with the air of someone who's been on a three-day bender.
"Is it over?" he asked, his voice quivering like Barbaro's bad leg.
"What? The final CBGB concert? Chemistry class? The French Revolution?"
Pain. The most common word used in the Arizona Cardinals fan's dictionary. As impossible as it may seem, diehard fans of the Cardinals actually do exist, even if they are rarer than finding a love like Lou Rawls' . Whether they're fans because of the 1988 relocation, from the team's St. Louis or Chicago days, or because they have a deep fetish for being emotionally screwed up, the diehard Cardinal Fan is subjected to having many lost weekdays crying and drinking in a dark corner of their room.
Luckily I'm not a Cardinals Fan. I don't like to taste my own blood.
After almost every loss the Cardinal Fan thinks positively. At least they can't find another way to lose. The Cardinal Fan is almost always wrong. Occasionally the team is so inept, they were never in the contest to begin with (see Week 4 vs. Atlanta). But the magic happens when the Cardinals find a new reason to throw in their proverbial towels.
Such is the case as the game versus the Chicago Bears. Everyone's seen the ugly numbers that defy logic. Down by 20 points. Six turnovers. No offensive touchdowns. 55 yards on 36 carries. 2nd consecutive missed field goal in the clutch.
Luckily I'm not a Cardinals Fan. I don't own a single Arizona player on my fantasy team.
The Cardinal Fan knows Matt Leinart has to be heart-broken. He's lost as many games as an Arizona Cardinals starter as he did while playing at USC. Just a minor difference of 37 games were played between the two teams. If Leinart wasn't such a Brynn Cameron/Paris Hilton man-stud, I'd half expect him to pull an Aaron Brooks in the future and throw the football 50 yards backwards just for the sake of losing. Or perhaps get traded to a winning team.
How about that Dennis Green tirade? It made for some cute Youtube water cooler moments for the Cardinal Fan yesterday, but does it really solve anything? The offensive line has more holes in it than Blackburn, Lancashire. Larry Fitzgerald may be nursing his hamstring until turkey day. Edgerrin James has proven that Marcel Shipp and J.J. Arrington could probably be 1,500 yard rushers if they played anywhere but Arizona. And you just know Dennis Green will be back in his XXXL Paddington Bear pajamas by Friday.
Luckily I'm not a Cardinals Fan. I'm too skinny to fit into an officially-licensed team sweatshirt.
The Bidwells completely extorted the Cardinal Fan with the promise and allure of the new stadium, a "better" team, and the flashy signing of Edgerrin James. However they still had plenty of cap room to sign an O-line piece, and in one Arizona Republic article, they got Cardinals VP of Football Operations Rod Graves to admit the Cardinals were more than one or two pieces away from a playoff-caliber team. Now 65,000 fans are stuck watching the team in Glendale, and even more suffer now that the local television blackout has been lifted.
Luckily I'm not a Cardinals Fan. I sold my pair of Bears tickets for $470.
The real question is who wins the Raiders-Cardinals game on Sunday? Logic says the Cardinals can't possibly be as horrid as the Oakland Raiders, coached by the black Brick Tamland. However the Cardinal fan, ever skeptic, must ask himself one question every week.
Are they who we thought they were? Are we who they think we are? Has that milk in the team fridge expired yet?
P.S., I checked my voicemail. Apparently I called myself this morning. I can't remember.