It’s not the Super Bowl MVP, but…

Larry Fitzgerald was named the Pro Bowl MVP for his outstanding performance in Honolulu today. Fitz reeled in 5 catches for 81 yds and 2 TDs to help the NFC beat the AFC 30-21.

Also interesting in today’s game was the appearance of John Carney, Jeff Feagles, and Kerry Collins – the only 3 players in the history of the league to have appeared in 2 Pro Bowls – 10 years apart.

And that, kids, marks the end of the 2008 NFL season.  Please excuse me while I find something to do until the draft in April.

Some pictures of Holmes’ controversial Super Bowl-winning TD catch

While I, along with the rest of Cardinals fans and Steelers haters have been debating the validity of Santonio Holmes’ game-winning TD in the Super Bowl last week.  Let me offer this into evidence, your honor.

His right foot appears not to have touched in bounds.

His right foot appears not to have touched in bounds.

Pretty conclusive, right?  However, I also found the following picture:












Looking at the angle of Holmes’ body, it is obvious that the 2nd picture occurred prior to the first one.  Therefore, in my opinion (and I really despise Pittsburgh) Holmes did get both feet down and those who disagree are merely looking at one picture and assessing enough weight to rival the Zapruder film to this catch.

So begrudgingly, I say, “Good catch.  And (gulp) congratulations to Pittsburgh.”

Offensive coordinator Todd Haley to Kansas City as Chiefs’ new head coach

With speculation last month that the Chiefs would be seeking to hire ex-Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan to replace the recently fired Herm Edwards, Todd Haley has, instead, accepted the position.

Of particular concern to the new coach are TE Tony Gonzales and RB Larry Johnson, both of whom expressed concern that they want out of the Chiefs’ organization; however, with the #3 pick overall and plenty of salary cap room, things are bound to pick up for the Chiefs.

The Cardinals are winners to all of their fans, Pittsburgh continues to play dirty, and the referees blow a critical game again…

Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23

Again, horrible officiating determines the outcome of an important game.  Arizona played beyond well-enough to win the game on both sides of the ball, yet the game goes to Pittsburgh because why would anyone want the Cardinals to beat the mighty Squealers, err Steelers?!

Kurt Warner had another spectacular outing, 31/43, 377 yds, 3 TDs, 1 INT.  Fitz hauled in 7 receptions for 127 yds and 2 TDs.  Boldin and Breaston played well too (8 for 84 and 6 for 71, respectively.)  Tight end Ben Patrick caught the other TD.  The running game was virtually non-existent, but not surprising to me.  Warner was throwing well vs. the “mighty” Pitt D, so why didn’t they continue to throw it?  If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

Defensively, Darnell Dockett sacked Ben Roethlisberger (does anyone else think he looks like Shrek?) twice; however, there were at least half a dozen almost-sacks that I wish they would have managed to pull out.  Karlos Dansby recorded the lone deflected INT.  Adrian Wilson and Chike Okeafor led the D in tackles.

The final play of the game was, in my opinion, a travesty.  Warner’s arm was clearly coming forward; however, the inept refs didn’t even bother to take a closer look at the play.  Even if it was upheld, take another look at it.  Come on, the two plays that Whisenhunt challenged were overturned (adding fuel to my fire that the referees SUCKED), so on a pivotal play, they should have had the sense to make sure before awarding the ball — and the game — to Pittsburgh.

I am so proud of the Cardinals, despite the penalties, many of which were completely unfounded.  Running over the holder?  What the hell call was that?  Or how about tackling Roethlisberger and getting flagged for roughing the passer.  Apparently the officiating crew wasn’t completely apprised of the rules and didn’t realize that football is a CONTACT sport.

The Cardinals should be very pleased with themselves.  They were not given much credit all year, yet kept winning and proving the nay-sayers wrong.  Next year they will have another strong showing, especially if Rod Graves knows what’s good for his team and keeps Boldin. (Swallow your pride, apologize to the guy because you need him more than he needs you!!)

Halftime Update

Pittsburgh 17, Arizona 7 (H)

GRRRRR that INT by Warner.  I would have loved to have seen a 14-10 Arizona lead at the half, but alas, that was not to be.  Hopfully the Cardinals’ D can step it up a bit more and the offense can be more productive.  Despite the fact that I was annoyed with the INT, what a great 100-yd TD return by James Harrison (the longest play in Super Bowl history to boot)  – showing exactly why he was name the Defensive Player of the Year.  Unfortunately, Al Michaels and John Madden will undoubtedly talk about that play ad nauseum throughout the rest of the game.  Yay. 

Speaking of defensive players, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s name has been called a lot; I’d like to see him get a big turnover in the second half.  He’s had a great rookie season thus far.

The largest deficit ever overcome in a Super Bowl was 10 points.  Hopefully the Cards won’t fall back any further and overcome their first half problems (including unnecessary penalties – a nearly constant thorn in Ken Whisenhunt’s side) and not lose the game on stupid mistakes.

Bruce Springsteen looks so old and sounds really horrible; however, it cold have been much, much worse -like the cast of “High School Musical” or Miley Cyrus.

Congratulations to Kurt Warner!!

The 2009 recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award honoring a player’s excellence on the field as well as charity and volunteer work.  Warner’s work with Habitat for Humanity (among his other myriad charitable endeavors) earned him recognition this year.

It’s Heeeeeeere!

The BIG Game!  Go Cardinals!! 

Right now it is 1:03 pm MST and I am going to predict the game score because I don’t believe it’s going to be as close as everyone else seems to think, not to mention I think it will be a higher scoring affair than the ‘experts’ tout.  The Cardinals were the highest-scoring team all season (despite debacles in Philly and New England) and as long as they don’t let James Harrison get to Kurt Warner, I expect BIG things from Warner.  Also, yes, Troy Polamalu is one of the best safeties in the game; however, he CANNOT cover Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, AND Steve Breaston.  And while the secondary is watching those guys (and Jerheme Urban, Early Doucet, Leonard Pope, et. al.), it opens the gate for Edgerrin James, Tim Hightower, and J.J. Arrington.  Arizona just has too many weapons!!!

So, here it is:

Cardinals 31, Steelers 21

A must read…the character of Kurt Warner

This was sent to me by a friend of mine…


In a supermarket, Kurtis the stock boy, was busily working when a new voice came over the loud speaker asking for a carry out at register 4. Kurtis was almost finished, and wanted to get some fresh air, and decided to answer the call. As he approached the check-out stand a distant smile caught his eye, the new check-out girl was beautiful.  She was an older woman (maybe 26, and he was only 22) and he fell in love.

Later that day, after his shift was over, he waited by the punch clock to find out her name. She came into the break room, smiled  softly at him, took her card and punched out, then left.  He looked at her card, BRENDA. He walked out only to see her start walking up the road.  Next day, he waited outside as she left the supermarket, and offered her a ride home. He looked harmless enough, and she accepted.  When he dropped her off, he asked if maybe he could see her again, outside of work.  She simply said it wasn’t possible.

He pressed and she explained she had two children and she couldn’t afford a baby-sitter, so he offered to pay for the baby-sitter.  Reluctantly she accepted his offer for a date for the following Saturday.  That Saturday night he arrived at her door only to have her tell him that she was unable to go with him. The baby-sitter had called and canceled. To which Kurtis simply said, “Well, let’s take the kids with us.”

She tried to explain that taking the children was not an option, but again not taking no for an answer, he pressed.  Finally Brenda, brought him inside to meet her children.  She had an older daughter who was just as cute as a bug, Kurtis thought, then Brenda brought out her son, in a wheelchair.  He was born a paraplegic with Down Syndrome.

Kurtis asked Brenda, “I still don’t understand why the kids can’t come with us?”  Brenda was amazed. Most men would run away from a woman with two kids, especially if one had disabilities – just like her first husband and father of her children had done.  Kurtis was not ordinary – he had a different mindset.

That evening Kurtis and Brenda loaded up the kids, went to dinner and the movies. When her son needed anything Kurtis would take care of him.  When he needed to use the restroom, he picked him up out of his wheelchair, took him and brought him back.  The kids loved Kurtis.  At the end of the evening, Brenda knew this was the man she was going to marry and with whom she would spend the rest of her life.

A year later, they were married and Kurtis adopted both of her children. Since then they have added two more kids.

So what happened to Kurtis the stock boy and Brenda the check-out girl?  Well, Mr. & Mrs. Kurt Warner now live in Arizona.  If you tune in on February 1, you can watch him quarterback the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers!  Is this a surprise ending or could you have guessed that he was not an ordinary person?  Some athletes are also great people.

It should be noted that he also quarterbacked the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. He has also been the NFL’s Most Valuable Player twice and the Super Bowl’s MVP. On Sunday, 1 Feb I’ll be rooting for Kurt and the Cards!!

Now, I did a little research (because that’s what I do) and found the following information:

Summary of eRumorKurtis, a stock boy, meets and falls instantly in love with Brenda, a cashier at the supermarket where they both work.  He asks her out, and she resists, saying she’s got 2 kids and no money for a babysitter.  Kurtis offers to pay for the sitter, so she accepts.  Kurtis meets the children, one of whom is a boy in a wheelchair who has Down Syndrome.  At the last minute, the babysitter is not available, and Kurtis offers to take the whole family out for the evening.  He’s a hit with the kids and they are a hit with him and Brenda decides Kurtis is the man for her.  A year later, they are married and Kurtis, the stock boy, is actually Kurt Warner, the quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals.

The Truth:  The story of Kurt and Brenda Warner’s meeting and marrying is an often-told and inspiring one, but this particular eRumor version of it includes a lot of fiction.They did not meet as fellow employees at a supermarket and their son does not have Down Syndrome.

When they met, Kurt was a university student and Brenda was a divorced single mom living on food stamps.  In his autobiography “Keep Your Head Up,” Kurt describes his and  Brenda’s first encounter when a teammate at the University of Northern Iowa talked him into going to a country-music club in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  There was an instant connection, but Brenda didn’t know whether it would last.  Not only was she a single mom, but one of her two children, her son Zachary, had significant medical problems.  He was blinded and brain-injured when accidentally dropped to the floor by her first husband.  Kurt was not turned aside by the children or Zachary’s condition and he and Brenda forged a relationship that resulted in their marrying four years later.  Kurt’s celebrated job at a grocery store took place in 1994 after he got a pink-slip from the Green Bay Packers.  He returned to Cedar Falls and worked nights stocking shelves for $5.50 an hour.  He rose to fame by throwing an amazing 41 touchdowns for the Rams, bringing them to a 13-3 record and to memorable victory in Super Bowl XXXIV.  He’s become known for his commitment to his family, his clean-kid lifestyle, and his Christian faith.   He and Brenda now live in Arizona with their four children Zachary, Kade, Jesse, and Jada Jo.  He is the founder of the First Things First Foundation (and is going to yet another Super Bowl and Pro Bowl for his phenomenal year!)

Regardless of the specifics of the story, it is a great one nonetheless and this world is a greater place because of people like the Warners.

I’m sure this wouldn’t happen in Pittsburgh

Larry Fitzgerald has publicly stated that he would gladly restructure his recent 4-year, $40 million newly-restructured contract if it would help keep Anquan Boldin in Arizona. Earlier this season during training camp, Boldin stated that he would rather be traded than stay in Arizona, claiming that Cardinals’ management failed to follow-through on a promise to him in the offseason. Boldin has 2 years remaining on his $22.75 million contract – a contract that pays him $4 million this year, a year in which he had 89 catches, 1,038 yds, and 11 TDs even missing four games with injuries AND making the Pro Bowl. Fitz, also elected to the Pro Bowl, finished the regular season with 96 receptions, 1,431 yds, and 12 TDs.

Fitz and Boldin are arguably the BEST tandem WRs in the league today, and having been together 5 years, neither of them wish to break up their amazing relationship. Boldin stated that he does appreciate Fitz’s offer and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus (seemingly every athlete’s agent these days) will speak with Rod Graves after the (Cardinals win) the Super Bowl.

(Source: The Associated Press)

Countdown to the big one

The Cardinals arrived in Tampa on Monday, all excited as the majority of the team had never been to a Super Bowl before.  Luckily Kurt Warner has.  He stresses that “When you are able to put one of those rings on your finger, it means access to a lot of parties in the future” and that the guys don’t need to “enjoy them all this week.”  Instead, looking at the game as “something special” and “a part of history” will give them an “in” to future parties for the rest of their lives.  Instead, they need to focus on the immediate task at hand – beating the Steelers on Sunday and making the rest of the country take notice.