Big Lead Sports Bar


Cardinals = Pirates?

I just finished watching the train wreck that was Monday Night Football, and I can't help but thinking there's a little bit of Arizona Cardinals in the Pirates, and a little bit of Pirates in the Arizona Cardinals. These are two franchises that are so ingrained in their losing ways, they simply can't, or won't, take the next step.
The Cardinals forced Rex Grossman into SIX turnovers on Monday Night. They allowed a total of ZERO points on defense. They held the Bears to 168 yards of total offense. And they STILL lost. If I were a Cardinal fan, I would be totally flabbergasted after this game. Seriously, where do you go from here? You totally shut down what was the NFL's #1 offense for an entire game, and you lose by one point on a missed 40-yard field goal by one of the game's best kickers?
On the other hand, if I were a Bears fan, I'd probably be more concerned than excited after this game. Grossman was compared to Brett Favre earlier this season, and tonight he finally showed why. He was all over the place---bad throws, poor reads, and a general failure to protect the ball. If he's confused by a Cardinals defense, I don't like his chances of going too far in the playoffs. The only reason they won this game was because of the opponent. Throw up stats like this against any decent team and this game goes in the "L" category.
The Cardinals season is probably over at this point. They fell to 1-5, Dennis Green just blew a gasket at his press conference, and the sky has already fallen and smothered the entire team. Their running game is non-existent. Edgerrin James had 36 carries for 55 yards. That's 1.5 yards per carry. That has to be some kind of record low for a guy toting the rock that many times. And he provided the back-breaking fumble that resulted in one of the three non-offensive Bears TDs.
Once the Cardinals got the lead, they tried sitting on the ball and killing the clock, a la Cowher, Schottenheimer, etc. That's great if you can run the ball, but if you keep setting yourself up for 3rd-and-9s with the defense ready for the pass, you're not going to be successful, especially against a defense like Chicago's. Matt Leinart is the real deal, Anquan Boldin is a man among boys (as is Larry Fitz, when healthy), and the defense was great, at least on this night. But watching this team is like watching the movie Groundhog Day. The result is the same, year after year.
Of course, we know all about Groundhog Day here in Pittsburgh, as we've lived it since 1992. Unfortunately, it's not one day we live over and over, it's one year. It is very difficult to change a losing culture. Look how long it took the L.A. Clippers to go anywhere in the playoffs. Look at the Bengals. They celebrate their 2005 season so much because they're so starved for a winner. And they didn't even win a playoff game last year.

Changing a losing mentality is a difficult task. It takes an exceptional mix of players, the right coaches, and savvy front office moves. For the Pirates, Cardinals, Devil Rays, and several other perennial doormats, winning is an entree that they have no recipe for.

Update: here is the Dennis Green video, which I'm sure they will tuck away when building a case to fire him at or before year's end.


Unknown said...

Picture this:

You just watched Oliver Ross play turnstile operator and get his quarterback annihilated and the score is now 23-10. Next comes the sandman in to work his Monday Night magic.

Next thing I know, I amazingly wake up with about 50 seconds left to play. The Cardinals are lining up to kick a field goal. What's this? They're losing? How could this be?

This is another perfect example of why you should never, ever, bet money on football games.

Heck, a week ago I said, "Bet the house, bet your wife, bet your first born that the Steelers were going to beat the Chargers. Well I guess I was one week premature. But had I taken my own advice, I'd now be penniless, without a home, a wife, or even one of my sons.

So let's put this football game into the proper perspective. Now Dennis Green, he's getting paid to coach the Cardinals. He should be blowing his stack after a loss like that. But for those who are upset because of their wagers, I have one thing to say: Find a different way to amuse yourself because betting on football makes about as much sense as playing slot machines. If you feel like throwing away money, either way works great.

Megatron said...

I went to bed with 7 minutes on the clock, reminding me of another Monday night game a few years back when the Colt's or some shit threw seven touchdowns in 2 minutes. I woke up this morning, read Mondesi and could not believe what I was reading, well not really, but I had to read it thrice, crushed ice. It gives me another reason to hate Grossman even more, like I hate Rivers, and TJ Houschmandickhead. Nothing worse than a cocky athelete. The Dennis Green clip was a thing of beauty.