Sign of the Apocalypse?
The Arizona Cardinals earning a spot in Super Bowl XLIII may not be the equivalent of the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series but, if not, it’s just this side of it. Considering the shaky status of this year’s NFC Conference, one suspected that one of these teams would be exposed today (with the winner being exposed two weeks hence). Given how well the Cards have played at home this season, it’s only logical that the Philadelphia Eagles were served their comeuppance first. Of course, the Cardinals being the Cardinals still managed to allow the Eagles to make a game of it even after dominating them in the first half.
There are probably still plenty of people around the league, particularly in St. Louis, who cringe at the thought of the Bidwell family accepting the Halas trophy. The Cards lackluster football tradition belies their longtime tenure as an NFL franchise, having won exactly one playoff game prior to this season while calling three different cities home since 1920. NBC figures to have a tough time selling any matchup involving the Cardinals; the very idea conjuring reverse reminiscences of Super Bowls of the early ’90s when the NFC team typically destroyed the AFC representative. Still, Arizona’s offensive firepower might be enough to generate at least nominal interest in the game.
As for the Eagles, it will be interesting to see how this loss will be received in Philadelphia, a city renowned for it’s fans impatience with it’s professional sports teams. When the team was struggling at mid-season, it was widely speculated that this could be quarterback Donovan McNabb’s last year in the ‘City of Brotherly Love’. Falling short in yet another NFC Championship game only figures to exacerbate McNabb’s love/hate relationship with Eagles fans; a balance which more often than not tilts toward the ‘hate’ side.
So the Cards get to shoot for their first championship since 1946. For the sake of the NFL, let’s hope they have one more good game in them.