Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hell On Ice: Cardinals Are Going To The Super Bowl

CARDINALS 32
EAGLES 25

If it seems unseasonably cold around where you live it is because Hell has frozen over, and the planets have realigned. The Arizona Cardinals are going to the Super Bowl! That's right; this is not a typo; the Arizona Cardinals are going to Super Bowl XLIII. BOXSCORE.

The Cards are indeed the Cinderlla story of 2008-2009 after a come-from-behind 32-25 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles at University of Phenoix Stadium in Glendale Arizona. The Cards showed great heart after blowing a 24-6 halftime lead only to see Donovan McNabb light it up in the second half to take a 25-24 lead late in the fourth quarter. Most teams would crawl under the benches when a better team like the Eagles makes a great comeback, but not this version of the Cardinals.

Kurt Warner, who was brilliant all day, completing 21 of 28 passes for 279 yards and four touchdowns, engineered a 14 play 72 yard drive for the winning touchdown. On second and 10 from the Arizona 27, Warner hit Larry Fitzgerald for a 15 yard gain to move the ball to the 42 yard line . Five plays later, Warner hit Fitzgerald again for 18 yards to spot the ball at the Eagles 23 yard line.

The fans could feel it; the Cardinals could taste it. Just a few more plays of positive yardage and good fortune and the Cardinals would make their first ever Super Bowl appearance. After Tim Hightower moved the ball to the Eagle nine with a five yard scamper up the middle, Warner hit Hightower alone in the end zone for the tochdown. Warner then hit Bobby Patrick for the two point conversion to make it a seven point game.

McNabb, who had received praise from the media for shutting up his critics, woke them up with his pathetic play in the first half and in the final minutes of the game. McNabb was inconsistent all day long as he was smacked around by a defense that was not known for rushing the passer. McNabb was sacked twice and knocked down several times. On the final Eagle drive, McNabb threw four straight incompletions to ice the game for the Cards, killing the Eagles season and their hopes of making it to the Big Dance for the second time this decade.

The Cardinals are the NFL's oldest franchise in existence today, and had not been involved in a championship game of any kind since 1947. They moved from Chicago to St. Louis and finally to Arizona in 1988. Any fan who has rooted for this ball club for a good part of the team's 61 years of futility is crying tears of joy tonight. The Cards are going where no Cardinal team has been before.

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