(Editor’s note: This is the latest installment of our weekly trash-talk about the Chiefs’ next opponent. It’s meant to be entertaining, not malicious.)
Arizona is known to attract snowbird retirees, and its pro football team seems to follow suit.
The list of aging NFL stars who’ve sought their personal fountain of youth with the Cardinals includes Edgerrin James, Emmitt Smith and Kurt Warner. And who could blame them. Fall in Phoenix sounds like a pretty good idea when the rest of the country is donning multiple layers of long-johns.
The rub with an aging skill-position guy is that he’s more apt to pull up lame, as happened with well-traveled quarterback Carson Palmer last month. Much of the sports world couldn’t help but feel awful for the 12-year veteran when he tore the ACL in his left knee on Nov. 9: He’d been off to one of the most efficient starts of his career, and the Cardinals’ only loss to that point came when he sat out a game against Denver in late September.
Forced to start Drew Stanton since Palmer’s latest injury, the results have been predictable. Once considered a strong bet to become the first team to play in a Super Bowl on home turf, they’ve lost two of three, with Stanton firing five picks.
Lesson? Perhaps this is what you get when you hire a journeyman QB to back up your journeyman QB.
With that as our jumping-off point, here are five reasons to frown upon the Cardinals.
1. Half-baked quarterbacks
Excepting the nine-win 2008 season the Cardinals parlayed into a Super Bowl berth with Warner at the controls (and Palmer’s fleeting success), Arizona’s recent QBs have included Kevin Kolb, Paul Skelton, Derek Anderson, Matt Leinart and Josh McCown. Not exactly a star-studded bunch.
2. The St. Louis factor
Before the Rams made moving west the talk of the NFL, it was the Cardinals who left St. Louis in their rearview mirror. They first called Arizona home in 1988.
3. Division doormats
While division-mates have come and gone, the Cardinals have won exactly two (2008 and 2009) NFC West titles since 1988. Talk about wandering in the desert ...
4. Steelers castoffs
We’re guessing the Cardinals are done acquiring former Steelers running backs as free agents. Rashard Mendenhall retired after one flame-out season in 2013, and Jonathan Dwyer has been placed on the reserve/non-football illness list (making him ineligible for the rest of this season) after allegedly assaulting his wife.
5. Hollywood ending
We love Hollywood as much as anyone, but your fan base’s proudest moment of the 1990s shouldn’t be Cuba Gooding’s portrayal of the ficticious receiver Rod Tidwell in “Jerry McGuire.”