So this is one of those years when I don't have any particular reason to cheer for (or against) either team. I don't like that because the game is much more fun to watch when I deeply care whether one of the teams wins or deeply despise the other team and really want to see them lose. Since I don't really love or despise either of these teams (I used to hate the Steelers since I am a Pats fan but they are just such a classy run organization that its hard to hate them), I'll have to just pick a team and root for them. Here is my official declaration that I am cheering for the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. I've actually given this a lot of thought. Here are my four reasons for cheering for the Cardinals:
1. The Underdog: Like most people, I have always loved cheering for the underdog. That is why March is by far my favorite month of the year. Maybe its because I'm 5'6" and weigh under a buck-fifty and I fell in love with the game of basketball at a young age. I'm a natural underdog. Not only are the Cardinals predicted to lose, they have a long history of not being very good. They have the second longest championship-less drought in all of sports (second only to the Cubs). On top of that, the Steelers have a long history of winning lots of Super Bowls, even as recently as a couple years ago.
2. The Pat Tillman story: If you haven't heard the Pat Tillman story, you can read about it here. This article was written before all the cover-up about how he really died became publicly known. The way in which his death was handled was an absolute disgrace, but that doesn't change the fact that he was a very heroic man.
3. Kurt Warner: I saw a Sportscenter story a few weeks ago about the Kurt Warner Foundation. I have heard before that Warner is a Christian but I was very impressed by how authentically he seemed to care about the kids that he was working with and getting to know. He just seems like the kind of guy that you want to route for. Throw in the fact that he was working at a grocery store before he made the NFL and you've got yourself a full fledged feel good story.
4. Larry Fitzgerald: Pro sports are filled with the best athletes in the world. The worst pro athlete is far superior to the average joe's athletic ability. Every once in a while there is one guy who just stands out above the rest. This is why its impossible not to root for guys like Michael Jordan or Lebron James. Among the best athletes in the world, they stand head and shoulders above the rest. My eyes stay glued to see what amazing play may come next. That is the kind of athlete that Larry Fitzgerald is. Lets hope he puts on a show for us on Sunday.
So there it is.... lets go Cardinals!