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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008
The Frogurt is (Still) Cursed

Long ago I wrote that the Arizona Cardinals was a cursed franchise, forever damned to wander the wasteland of disappointment. I warned about getting sucked in to a "rebirth" that we periodically hear about; a new coach, a new stadium, a high draft pick that finally pans out (or at least signs early.)

As a Philadelphia sports fan, I know about long patches of disappointment. I have also learned to hate sports writers with a passion (in the heart of every Dan Bickley there is John Feinstein fighting to get out), so I used to dismiss all the crying about the sad sack nature of the Cards.

That was until 2002. The coach was Dave McGinnis whose rah-rah nature would inspire us all to a fabulous new world where every season would be above .500 and draft picks would be signed before training camp started and not after it ended. I took one look at that and didn't like it, no sir not one bit. When the team started 4-2 that year and everyone was predicting the New Age I predicted disaster, I predicted the team wouldn't win another game.

I was wrong, they won one more game and finished 5-11, right then and there I knew they were cursed.

Now has this year's team sucked you in? The rebirth of Kurt Warner? The winning of a division title? I had to admit I was starting to believe. I like the coaches, I like the draft picks, everything smells right... execpt that it was the Cardinals. Sure enough, on Monday Night Football, a national stage, they struggled to beat the lowly 49ers and right then and there I knew there was trouble.

Quick aside, when have the Cards ever played well on Monday Night at home? In 1995, they got pounded by the Cowboys on Christmas night with Buddy Ryan running off the field before the game was even over. Two years ago they folded like a cheap suit against the Bears in an epic collapse giving us Dennis Green's forever You-Tube moment. In 1999, they ended Steve Young's career. Let's face it, they haven't played well at home since Jerry Maguire.

Then came that pounding by a down-and-out Eagles team on Thanksgiving. Last week they get torched by Tavaris Jackson, that just about it says it all. Today they got crushed by the Patriots in the snow. I think we all know where this is going in two weeks when they end up playing someone like Atlanta in the first round, they best we can hope is that they don't mangle the turf too bad for the Fiesta Bowl that comes a few days later.

This is how a cursed team works. A fan will build up his immune system to certain disappointments, it's only by creating new ways to throttle the emotions of the fans that a cursed team can manintain its evil ways. We've been through pre-season hype that doesn't materialize, new coach that heralds a new era only to spend the remainder of his contract at home (Bugel, Ryan, McGinnis, Green...), a new stadium that allows a revenue stream.... been there done that and we've built up resistance. So what else can the Cards do? Fast start and fall on their face? Nope done that too, see 2002....

Nope the new wrinkle is to get into the playoffs and clinch so early that they have a month to ruin the experience for us. Didn't see that one coming did you? That's what a cursed team does, finds new ways to ruin life for you. After the way the team has played the past 4 weeks, are you looking forward to that home playoff game or are you going to hide behind the couch or do something productive with that day like go out and shoot squirrels or something?

At least we have the Rattlers to look forward to... oh wait, I guess we don't any more.