Thursday, January 29, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane

Today's the day. In a matter of hours, I'll fly out of the state headed toward Florida.

I'm so tired of hearing so many comments about how much the Cardinals don't deserve to be in this game, how they're just not in the same class as the Steelers. Lazy people make those determinations.

The countdown is on.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Coming Out of the Woodwork

Having this blog (and having it show up occasionally on a Google search) means that people looking for fans will occasionally find me.

Leading up to the NFC Championship, I got an email from Studio One who was giving away a pair of tickets to people who made a fan video. They wanted a plug, and I would have done it, but over at the Arizona Sports Fans forum, they also had the announcement, and I knew more people would see it there anyhow, so I didn't bother.

Today, I got an email from the Tampa Airport Embassy Suites. It was to alert me that they had 25 rooms available for 4 (that's the minimum stay) nights at $1,050 per night. That's right, a standard hotel room for $4,200. It's good to know that some people (at least as far as they know) have not been hurt by the economy.

Well, I Guess There's Something Big to Post About

I'm a big fan. And I don't just mean I'm physically big (while I've lost over 100 pounds, I'm still big), no I mean I'm thoroughly devoted.

In virtually every season, this makes me the subject of ridicule on the parts of friends, families, co-workers, even complete strangers who enjoy the sport of kicking people when their down. Let's face it, as often as this team has been down, it's hard for the kicks to land while we were standing.

Year after year, I would walk out of Sun Devil Stadium seething with anger. I could handle my team losing, but I became very angry with those people who live in the Phoenix area but who would come to our games hoping that their neighbors would leave disappointed.

The locals are different now. And just as Homer Simpson, upon learning that the Isotopes were on a winning streak, could shift gears from hating the local team to being thrilled that the team has finally hit its stride, I have to face the fact that there will be tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Homer Simpsons clones in the state celebrating alongside of me after making my life hell for the previous 20 years.

And I'm okay with that.

No, I'm ecstatic about it. Sure, I'd like the fans to stand by this team, win or lose, but maybe they're just a bit more insecure than I am and feel the need to have that lifeline of someone else to prop up their self-esteem if the local team loses. I'm fine with that because this season, there are going to be more Arizona Cardinals fans than there are people in the Phoenix area. And I get the pleasure of knowing that when only 20,000 seats were regularly filled at Sun Devil Stadium, I was one of them.

When the game ended Sunday, I got 20 phone calls and 20 text messages. The cell phones around the stadium were so active, that when I tried to get my voice mail, it kept failing because the touch tones couldn't get to the voice mail system clearly.

This is a win for the community, and it makes me proud.

Meanwhile, karma is with me as well. The Cardinals received an allotment of about 11,000 Super Bowl tickets to sell for $825 each. Since 2/3 of those are designated for sponsors and suite holders, that left about 3,500 for season ticket holders. There are 60,000 season ticket holders. So that gave me roughly 17-1 odds against winning. Even holding the account for 13 continuous years doesn't improve me to even money of getting a ticket. But karma was even kinder to me. The NFL provided 500 tickets at the discounted rate of $525 each with stipulations that make them hard to scalp (which is just fine with me, of course). With those odds hovering around 120-1, the fact that I got chosen makes me feel that much more special.

In a week and a half, I'm flying to Orlando (Tampa will probably be too expensive). In just under two weeks, I'm going to the Super Bowl.

This is the year. I've only said that 20 times before.