Monday, September 8, 2008

Could be a rough NFL season for ASU fans

First, a little background.

When I moved to the Valley to attend ASU in 1991, I had no allegiance to any specific NFL team, so I quickly adopted the Cardinals. Sure they were terrible, but they were the hometown team, and they played on campus. I could scalp a ticket to most games for $5 and sit on the 50 yard line of the upper deck. Even if they were the worst team in the league, it was still NFL football.

After graduating, I became a season ticket holder for a few years, primarily to get into the Super Bowl lottery (I got tickets!). Even after leaving the Valley, I still followed them. In fact, I was at the Eagles/Cardinals game at the Vet where Jake Plummer made his pro debut.

All that changed, however, on the day that the Cardinals filed their lawsuit against ASU. Remember, this was just nine days after the citizens of Arizona had given the franchise a $400 million gift. How did the Cards respond? By suing a state agency for over $20 million. Nine days. Un-freaking-believable.

I said at the time, and I maintain to this day, that the lawsuit was unforgivable regardless of its merit. I don't care if the Cards were 100% right that they were due an additional $20 million from advertising. They should have simply held a press conference and announced: "Although we believe ASU owes us an additional $20 million, as a sign of gratitude to the people of Arizona, we are going to forgo all claims to that revenue."

Of course, as we later discovered, their claims were largely without merit, but that is not the point. The point is that the lawsuit should never have been filed in the first place. ASU still racked up nearly $1 million in legal bills, and for an Athletic Department that struggles to make a profit, that's a lot of money.

Ever since that day I have wished nothing but the worst for the Cardinals franchise and the Bidwill family. I have no ill-will to the individual players on the team, but I take great pleasure at watching them lose year after year.

2008 may be different. The NFC West is possibly going to be the worst division in NFL history. Seattle, San Francisco and St. Louis are all terrible. Not just bad, but horrible. The Cruds could go 8-8 or even 7-9 and win the division by 2 or 3 games. I'm trying to find a way that another team will finish ahead of them, but I can't. So unfortunately, it's going to happen: the Cruds will win their division this season. My only solace is that they won't make it past the first round of the playoffs.

No comments: