Ghosts of St. Louis Football Haunted the Desert

Jan 19, 2009 at 1:26 pm
It just isn't really sinking in, you know? 

Are we really going to see the Arizona Cardinals play in a Super Bowl? 

There are certain things that just don't sound right when you say them; phrases that I've never used in my life and, honestly, never expected to say. "NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals" is certainly high among them.

And yet there it is, after the ultimate exile of St. Louis football, Kurt Warner, took the Cardinals on a magnificent eight-minute scoring drive, and a more recent St. Louis exile, Kevin Curtis, couldn't corral a final throw from Donovan McNabb. Fitting, I suppose, that so many of our football ghosts were haunting the desert Sunday. 

I was watching the game yesterday afternoon with my father, and in the post-game celebration, both of us started laughing when the George Halas trophy was handed to Bill Bidwill. Being much older than me and, thus, having much more chance to be bitter about the Cards' departure, my dad also then had several choice words for Mr. Bidwill, none of which are strictly appropriate for reprinting here. 

That's the image that I'm going to try and forget; the man who for so long ran the Cardinal franchise like his own personal hobby horse holding up a trophy the team only earned after he no longer had anything to do with it.

Instead, I'll try to recall only the image of our prodigal son, Kurt Warner, as he quite possibly punched his ticket into the Hall of Fame with the third NFC title of his career. I still may not love him like so much of the rest of St. Louis does, but I think he deserves to get to Canton, and this may be what it takes. So congratulations, Kurt. And congratulations, Kardinals. 

And to the Bidwill family, congratulations to Michael Bidwill, the current leader of the franchise, for the new era you've ushered in. 

Finally, to Bill Bidwill, well, you know what? Today is a holiday, a day to celebrate a man of peace. Let's just leave it alone in honor of that man. The football Cardinals are long-gone from St. Louis, and that's just how it is.