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The NFL is a league of parity. The Dolphins went from 1-15 last year to 11-5 this year. The Falcons were 4-12 last season and won 11 games this season. Every season there are surprising turnarounds and with just 32 teams in the league it was bound to happen to the Cardinals at some point. But this type of logic seemed to allude the many sports writers on Sunday night. I know that the last time the Cardinals won a Championship was in 1947 and prior to this season they had won just one playoff game since that Championship. But while surprising, the Cardinals advancing to the Super Bowl isn’t quite as dramatic as some would have us think:
Paola Boivin – Arizona Republic – “Man walks on moon. Arizona storms into Super Bowl. In the realm of improbable events, the Cardinals' 32-25 victory over Philadelphia in the NFC title game ranks up there.” Alright, MAYBE the home paper can write something like this. Obviously over the top, but can't fault them much for being excited.
Bill Plaschke – Los Angeles Times – “I'm trying to write these eight words, nobody has written them before, nobody has even considered anything like them in decades, and it's hard (eight sentences later)…The . . . Arizona . . . Cardinals . . . are . . . in . . . the . . . Super . . . Bowl.” - Do you really need the ellipses? I think we get it.
Mike Celizic – NBC Sports – “The Cardinals are going to the Super Bowl. I’m not sure the sentence exists that was less likely to be written than that one. Until Sunday, I would have been less surprised to read, “Lasting peace comes to the Middle East,” “Ann Coulter endorses Hillary Clinton for President,” “Keith Olbermann says, ‘Dick Cheney is one of the finest gentlemen I’ve ever met,’ ” or all of the above.” - Well, there goes my my parlay. It really seemed as if Coulter was warming up to Hillary.
And then of course we have:
Jay Mariotti – AOL FanHouse – “Feel free to believe in reincarnation, peace on earth, honest politicians, Spam, Mickey Rourke and the sobriety of Hollywood bimbos." - Ugh, where to begin? Oh, wait, he's not done?
"What's next? The Cubs winning a World Series? The Washington Generals winning a game? Charlie Brown kicking the ball before Lucy pulls it away?" - Hate to break it to you but the Generals have actually won a handful of games. Still not done?
"The Cardinals became the NFL's equivalent of an alien invasion Sunday.”
The Cardinals reaching the Super Bowl is an amazing story. The players and fans deserve to bask in the glory and can spout all they want about how no one thought it would be possible or as former safety Larry Wilson said, "It's a cold, cold day in hell!" But that type of hyperbole shouldn't be coming from the media. Unfortunately, with two weeks until the Super Bowl, this is just the beginning. Be prepared for the full alien invasion to begin.