Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hate Wednesday: The Arizona Cardinals

We all LOVE the Packers: “Hate Wednesday” is a continuing series wherein I expound upon my deep-seated hatred of other NFL football teams. I’m a Packer fan and Packer fans have long memories. Sometime it’s very simple and sometimes it’s complex. You may have other reasons to hate these teams. These are mine…

My reason to hate the Cards is a very simple one: Wild Card game, January 10th 2010. The Packers had just finished beating Arizona the week before to get into that game. Yes, the Cardinals were playing very vanilla as they had already secured their own playoff spot but many in Packerland felt the emergence of a dominating Green Bay defense would more than contain anything Kurt Warner could throw at them. Boy, were we all wrong! Two turnovers on the first three Packer plays of the day were quickly translated into 14 Arizona points and the race was on! Warner completed what seemed like thousands of passes to anybody in a Cardinal jersey, building up a 31-10 lead. But this game was also the national coming-out party for one Mr. Aaron Rodgers who responded to all the Arizona offensive fireworks with some explosions of his own, scoring TD’s on five straight possessions in the second half to tie the game. But in overtime, things would go wrong quickly. On the first Packer play, Rodgers would overthrow a wide open Greg Jennings who had a step on the defense, a play that would have ended the game. Two plays later, facing a third-and-6 situation, Rodgers was sacked, fumbled the ball into the arms of Karlos Dansby, who raced it in for the winning score. What made this sudden, crushing defeat even more unbearable was that replays showed that Rodgers had been the victim of a facemask just prior to the sack. The NFL would later state that the contact was “incidental” and “had no effect on the outcome of the play”. This was a complete joke since all the replays showed Rodgers’ helmet pulled down over his eyes due to the infraction. Since even a fingernail laid anywhere near a QB’s head tends to draw a flag, this lame denial is the equivalent of the NFL admitting they goofed. The penalty would have given the Packers a first down, instead of a long plane ride home. We’ll never know what might have happened had the play been called correctly, but its reason enough to HATE the Cardinals!

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