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Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Arizona Cardinals Playoff Chances

So its week 17 in the NFL and the road to the playoffs is as hot as its ever been.  This holds especially true for the Arizona Cardinals.  The Cardinals go in to week 17 with a 10-5 record.  They will host the San Francisco 49ers in hopes of making the playoffs this season.  Not only do the Cardinals need a win over their division rival but they also need a little bit of help.  The Cardinals only make the playoffs with a win Sunday and a New Orleans saints loss.  The Saint's play the 4-11 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  I know it doesn't look good for the Arizona Cardinals, but stranger things have happened in the NFL.  Tampa Bay even with a bad record has been playing well the last few weeks.  They are a team that was in every game regardless of the outcome.  The other factor is the Saint's.  They having been playing horrible the last few weeks and after last weeks loss you have to wonder if they are beginning to doubt themselves.
Regardless of what happens Sunday the Cardinals have a lot to be proud of.  Under a first year head coach and an aging mediocre quarterback they are going to at least win 10 games.  They have had a lot of young guys step up and have great seasons.  This gives Cardinal fans something to look forward to in the future.  As good as they are my prediction is that they beat the 49ers by a field, but don't get in the playoffs because the Saints beat the Bucs.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

It's Time To Be Thankful..........For The Bidwill's?

Not very many people realize but the Arizona Cardinals are the oldest franchise in football.  They originated in 1898 as the Morgan Athletic Club.  In 1920 they were one of four teams to start the NFL.  The Cardinals have been owned by the same family since 1932, the Bidwill's.  Only the New York Giant's and the Chicago Bears have been owned by the same family longer.  The team has been in Chicago, St. Luis and now here in Arizona.  While researching I found out a few interesting things.  Violet Bidwill had her business partner run the team after her husband Charles died.  She then got remarried to a St. Luis business man and moved the team there 11 years later.  Strange coincidence don't you think?  Her sons Charles Jr. and Bill then took ownership over when their mother died.  Charles sold his portion to Bill and he has been sole owner ever since.
While being the owner for 61 years Bill has taken a beating from the media, and for the most part it is pretty much well deserved.  The Bidwill's have been known for being cheap.  Bill moved the team from St. Luis and promised fans that he would lobby for St. Louis to get a franchise team.  When the vote came around he voted for the team to be given to Jacksonville.  This put a sour taste in a lot of St. Louis fans mouths.  Until recently the Bidwill's would not open up their wallets for any players.
Another thing most people don't know about the cardinal's is that Bill doesn't run the everyday operations of the Cardinals anymore.  His sons Michael and Bill Jr. run the team on an every day basis.  This brings me to my point.  Yes the Bidwill's are not the best owners in the NFL, they may not even be in the top 10 but they have managed to keep the Cardinals profitable for over 60 years.  If you ask me that's pretty good ownership.  The Bidwill's do what owners should do, the paperwork.  They handle all business side of football and let the players play and the coaches coach.  For those of you who still don't see my point it could be a whole lot worse.  Arizona could have owners that want to be in the spotlight and use favoritism to get focus on their team.  These owners would rather be in the headlines then have a winning team.  So Cardinal fans be thankful for the Bidwill's because it could be Jerry Jones or Daniel Snyder!  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Are The Refs Really To Blame?

The hot topic in the NFL isn't the playoffs,  it's not even the amount of injuries there has been this season.  But instead most of the talk has been about the referees.  The refs have blown a lot of calls this season, so much that it has cost some teams games.  Now there is a saying in sports that goes, "if you have to rely on one call by a referee then you probably should have lost the game anyway".  This is true most of the time, but with all the bad calls lately and some refs seemingly not knowing the rules it makes you wonder how much of an impact those calls would make for a team fighting for a playoff spot if they were called the correct way or even reversed.
I get how sports goes for the average fan, if your team loses blame the refs.  But the reality is that there have been a lot of bad calls that weren't even looked at or explained by the NFL.  In case you didn't know the NFL does have a committee that reviews game film and even grades the referees.  The problem is that this info never goes public, so you never hear if a ref was reprimand for his actions.  When there is a mistake found the team is sent a letter of apology, the ref is made aware and the case is considered closed.  This lack of accountability is what makes everybody so mad.  If the NFL would add some sort of penalty for refs I think they would not catch so much crap every time a ref makes a mistake.
Everyone is quick to blame referees but lets really think about it for a minute.  Are the refs really to blame.  When the NFL was forced to use replacement refs there was such an uproar.  Everyone wanted the regular refs back.  So much so that it was almost like they were overlooking the bad calls they have made in the past.  They were willing to overlook that as if to say, you guys aren't that bad come on back.  Now sometime later everybody wants something done about these refs.  But what is it they want done?  Should we bring back the replacement refs?  I think not.  The way to fix this problem is to make the refs full time employees of the NFL.  When this happens you can train them and make them watch film all week long.  Then they will be more in tune with the rules and be able to at the very least believe and back up the calls they make, even if they are bad calls.