Thursday, March 26, 2009

Top 10 Events in Cardinals Glendale Stadiuum

Wow, the Arizona Cardinals' "new" stadium in Glendale AZ (called "University of Phoenix Stadium" by those who think corporate sponsorships matter) just opened three years ago, yet it has already hosted some awesome sporting events. Here are my top 10. Frankly the list is pretty impressive. Even better, I had tickets to every game on the list except SB42.

1. NFC Championship Game. Jan. 18, 2009. Cardinals 32-25 over the Eagles in a back and forth game that had fans on edge. Thunderous noise and joy throughout.

2. Super Bowl 42. February 4, 2008. Giants edge the Patriots 17-14 in a great game. Not #1 because it featured no local teams and was full of "fans" who didn't really care about the game.

3. Fiesta Bowl Jan. 1, 2007 Boise State 43, Oklahoma 42 (OT). Huge upset with amazing play after amazing play to finish the game.

4. NFC Wildcard Game January 3,2009. Cardinals defeat Falcons 30-24. First home playoff win ever.

5. Fiesta Bowl Jan. 5, 2009 Texas 24, Ohio State 21. Great game between two traditional powers when many were predicting a Texas blow-out.

6. International Soccer February 7, 2007 62,462 fans saw the U.S. National team defeat Mexico, 2-0. Raucus, pro-Mexico crowd made the whole event a blast.

7. Fiesta Bowl Jan. 2, 2008 West Virginia 48, Oklahoma 28. Huge upset by the Moutaineers.

8. Cardinals v. Dallas October 12, 2008. Cardinals defeat Dallas on a blocked punt in O.T. Though a regular season game, this result sent notice that this was a very different Cardinals team. Alot of Cowboys fans left the Stadium as Cardinals fans.

9. BCS National Championship Game. January 8, 2007. Texas blows out Ohio State 41-14. Not much of a game, but it was the National Championship.

10. First Game. August 12, 2006 Cardinals 21-13 win over the Steelers. Pre-season, but it was long sold out and we beat the Super Bowl Champ, and was an exciting start to a beautiful stadium.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

2 years at $20 million sounds pretty good

This hurts to say, but the Bidwills are right with respect to Warner. Hey, Kurt, there's no "i" in team or in John 3:16. $10 million for the only year you're likely to be any good, plus another $10 million in case the team wants to hang on to you in 2010 as well, and we'll throw in a receiver who will catch anything you can throw at him. Hey, man, if you want to cadge a free steak dinner off the 'Niners, that's cool, but there is no way those guys are gonna fork over more money. You're a perfect fit for the Cardinals, and they are treating you fairly.

Mind you, my inability to criticize the Bidwills only goes so far. If you all want to make Warner settle for less than he wants (i.e., be treated like everybody else in America during a recession), you better make sure you use all your cap room to get us a running back (not Lamont Jordan -- a running back) and some big fellas on the D- and O-lines. And if you need even more cap room, trade the sulky California kid; as dumb and immature as he appears to be, Leinart will command a decent trade to make the rest of the team better.

Monday, February 9, 2009

UFL is here

Not exactly the launch I hoped for, but the United Football League will begin play this October --but with only 4 franchises playing in 7 cities. You can read the full announcement HERE.

As a sort of explanation for the modest barnstorming start, those clever lads at the UFL are calling this season the "UFL Premiere Year."
In its "Premiere" year, the UFL will have four teams playing in at least seven cities. The four teams selected for the "Premiere" season are Las Vegas/Los Angeles, New York/Hartford, Orlando and San Francisco/Sacramento. During the course of the six-week season, these four teams will travel to each city for games. The season will culminate with a Championship Game tentatively scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend in Las Vegas.

Hmmmm... since the original goal was 8 teams, I guess the UFL decided they had to launch now if at all. Only 4 teams in seven cities with the hope that they'll expand to all 7 cities in the following year. But if I live in Vegas, why would I root for a team based in LA? Or vice-versa? Will they have different nicknames in each city? Or will we see the Los Angeles-Las Vegas Vagabonds against the New York-Hartford Commuters and the like?

Allegedly a TV Deal is forthcoming, and they have already hired Jim Fassel to coach Vegas, and given they plan to pay much more than the CFL, there is still some hope that the UFL folks will pull this "Thursday and Friday Night TV" league off.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Soccer Time

With the end of the NFL season and the pending onset of another boring summer of baseball, the only fun left is soccer. (The Suns and Coyotes stink right now, so the NBA and NHL playoffs don't offer much solice). MLS doesn't start until April, but the good news is that we'll have a pro game in Phoenix on March 14 -- Los Angeles Galaxy v. Chicago Fire. On paper this is an excellent matchup. Galaxy has Beckham and Fire has Blanco. But at this point it seems unlikely that Becks will even show.

Get your tickets now HERE.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Good Times

I had a great time at Super Bowl 43, even though the good guys lost. What a fun game and a pretty fun city. Tampa wasn't that impressive, but Ybor City (old section of Tampa) was very cool and we enjoyed St. Pete as well.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Go Cardinals

Hey, for a team that wasn't even supposed to be there, the Cardinals showed themselves to be championship-caliber on Sunday night. Way to go, team. I can't be too disappointed.

Maybe a little frustrated, though, at the Steelers. What a bunch of inbred, hillbilly coalminers. A dirty bunch of mother-f***ers, too. Who was that thug punching Aaron Francisco in the kidneys? I guess we should be lucky they didn't go all Deer Hunter on us, but seriously, folks, when the nastiest team wins, we can all have pride in a clean, second-place finish.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sour Grapes

My friends and I have had Cardinals season tickets for 13 years. We have been loyal fans, sitting in the sun (at Sun Devil Stadium), drinking beer, buying products, and watching some really bad football and even worse team management. No need to document the well-known foibles of the AZ Cardinals here. We've been loyal as fans and we love the players. We love Arizona. We love our team. And now that love is finally being paid off- The Cardinals are going to the Super Bowl!

Today we received the bad news.
Dear Season Ticket Holder:
Thank you for your tremendous support throughout this historic season. It was certainly true when Coach Whisenhunt said the team could not have made it this far without the incredible home field advantage the team receives at each and every home game.
The drawing for season ticket holders to determine which accounts are able to purchase Super Bowl tickets has taken place and notification letters were mailed Friday, Jan. 16. Unfortunately, your account was not selected.
Please see below for a number of Super Bowl related links including the contact information for fan travel packages including game tickets.

The bad news is certainly frustrating. But we understand it. There are only so many tickets to go around. After all corporate sponsors and team bigwigs need their share. Heck some of them even like football!

But the outrage came at the end of the form email. The link they provided for ticket packages was to a so-called "travel promoter." The promoter offers packages that include tickets to the game. Check out this ticket broker's site HERE.

That's right. The Cardinals' "Official Fan Travel Partner" is offering special packages to CARDINALS FANS to go to the game. You get a room, a gift bag, and tickets to the game for only $6k or so. So in other words, World Events Packages" is not really a travel partner. It is a TICKET SCALPER. They are making money selling tickets to long-time fans that include lame hotel rooms, SB trinkets, and "parties" in order to justify the outrageous profits they are making selling tickets.

There is NO justification for this company having a single ticket to sell, let alone several thousand. The Cardinals are finally a success, due in large part to the HUGE TAX PAYER SUBSIDY they received in the form of their new stadium in Glendale. They are making plenty of $. Yet that is not enough. They took the tickets away from loyal fans and gave them to a ticket broker in return for a fee. Sickening. Pathetic. Just plain wrong.

The Cardinals will have some excuse about "NFL requirements" or the like, but they'll have nothing legitimate to say. They turned their backs on fans in return for just a few more dollars. Basically the Cardinals just spit in our faces.

UPDATE: We got tickets! But my criticism of the sale of tickets to scalpers remains.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bizarro Nation

Within about fifty hours this coming week, the Arizona cardinals will host the NFC Championship Game, and the nation will watch as an African-American is sworn in as the leader of the free world. Neither event would have been predicted by any sane person even a decade ago, but enjoy these bizarro moments while you can. Let's just hope Mister Mxyzptlk will be strolling the sidelines in Cardinal red.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Peter King of reports:
"About New York'' column in Saturday's New York Times about the Yankees' request to the city for $370-million in additional taxpayer financing, on the heels of already getting $942 in prior financing; in addition, the city has committed $660 million to replace the open spaces used by the next stadium and for parking improvements. On the heels of a superb ESPN report last summer on the vanishing play spaces for Bronx youth because of the stadium, this is more of the same. For improvements to the video and sound systems in the stadium, the Yankees want $34 million. This is a team that just spent $423 million on three players? What unmitigated gall.

All I can say is "How dare the Yankees?!" Have they no shame? They make crazy, buttloads of money, completely unbalance the MLB financial structure, buy playoff teams and then ask for a handout? If they get it, the officials who approve it should be impeached.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I WANT this belt

Check out the WWF-Style belt won by Bertrand Berry for having the most sacks on the Cardinals this year. Former Steeler Clark Haggins brought the idea from Pittsburgh and had the belt made at the beginning of the year. Very cool.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Here comes the UFL!

Interview with the UFL's founder and the UFL's commissioner.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Charles Barkley for Governor?

Though Sir Charles gets points for honesty, I think his chances of being Alabama's governor just went down to zero.

Read the police report of his DUI arrest on The Smoking Gun by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


As a long-time Cardinals season ticket holder, I am annoyed by all the pundits. Virtually all of them are picking the Falcons over the Cardinals. I agree that the Cardinals' biggest problem will be containing Michael Turner. If (a big if) the Cardinals can somewhat contain the run, I see them pulling this game out.
Branch has been a big DL disappointment but he made a few good plays last week and may rise above his current "semi-bust" status.

Warner has been woeful the last month, but last week he put together a great game after an awful first quarter and set the Cardinals team record for TDs in a season (30). Edgerrin James is well-rested and coming off an impressive 100 yard game last week. While this isn't monumental, I think the Cardinals running game could be at least adequate. If so, the Cardinals will be in a great position to win as Warner throws to his THREE 1,000 yard receivers (Fitz, Boldin, and Breaston). Arrington has found his niche as a good, speedy third down back and KR. I don't think you'll see much of Hightower. Also, insiders have told me to expect to see Leinart for certain play packages --as a wrinkle. If so, that could be fun. All in all, as a homer, I'll take the Cardinals to win (plus the points, thank you very much).

Other games:
Eagles come off their impressive win over the Cowgirls to beat the Vikings.
Colts dominate the Chargers.
I'll take the Ravens over the Dolphins, though I really think the Dolphins are a solid team that could win by playing havoc with rookie boy Flacco.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Poor Mark Cuban

Flamboyant Dallas Mavericks Owner/ Billionaire Mark Cuban was recently indicted by the Feds (SEC) on charges of insider trading. Read SI's take on the charges HERE. The SEC thinks Cuban used some "insider knowledge" to dump some stock before in order to avoid a $750k hit.

Amazingly a large segment of sports talk radio has Cuban's back. Seems they feel that poor Markie is being "picked on" or "targeted" by the SEC because he is a high profile guy. That the SEC is trying to make an "example" of Cuban. I'm not sure why the SEC's motivations are relevant here, but let's assume sports talk radio is correct. My response? So what!?!? Cuban (allegedly) cheated and is (allegedly) guilty. The fact that he is so rich that he didn't need to cheat makes it all that much worse. Why shouldn't the rules apply to Cuban? They should and good for the SEC. To those who defend Cuban: I just don't get you.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

9 1/2 Points

Well Arizona, your Cardinals have arrived. With a three game lead in the NFC West, they head into an MNF showdown at home with the 49'ers. The spread: Cardinals by 9 1/2. However this game turns out -- and, let's face it, we could easily lose by 9 1/2 points or more -- the boys in Vegas and their mob backers are finally starting to show the respect that a faithful cadre at the stadium have shown all along. Let's hope for another sellout crowd in red on Monday.

Are you ready for some football?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Minor Struggles

I attended a minor league hockey game with my son this week and the good news is that he enjoyed it. The bad news is that I didn't. We watched the home game between "our" Phoenix Roadrunners and the visiting Victoria Salmon Kings of the ECHL at USAirlines Arena (or as I still call it, "America West"). The game was not well-played and though our Roadrunners had plenty of shots, they didn't seem particularly powerful or well placed (many went right off the middle of the goalies chest pads). Worse was the crowd. We're talking tiny. Like maybe 1000 people. I have no idea how the Roadrunners are making this work financially but I wish them well. With Coyotes tickets so expensive, its nice to have a lower cost alternative. But if quality of play is your priority, then the Coyotes are a must. I do like the Roadrunners logo so they have that going for them. I hope I just came on a bad night. Go Roadrunners!

The Arena Football Arizona Rattlers have also been struggling the past few years. They used to sell out and the atmosphere at "America West" was outstanding. But since the Dbacks came to town, season ticket numbers have dwindled. The team has also struggled on the field the last few years as well. The good news is that team owner Brett Bouchy took over last year and has already started turning the franchise around under coach Kevin Guy. Last year was a largely new roster and the team showed potential amidst the growing pains. The crowds have increased just a bit as well (though they'll probably never get back to the pre-DBacks days).

This off-season the Rattlers signed former Rattler QB Joe Germaine (yes, the same guy who led Ohio State to a victory over ASU in the Rose Bowl back in '97) of Glendale and they just announced they've hired former coach Danny White as the offensive coordinator. Read the story HERE. This is great news for Rattlers fans, but I wonder what Coach Guy thinks about having White looking over his shoulder?

Perhaps more interesting is what the Arena Football League itself is doing to stay competitive. After 22 years of surprising success, the league is now moving to a "single entity ownership" structure in order to combine marketing and sales strategies. Read more about that move HERE in the Sports Business Journal. $100 million should provide some much-needed cashflow in these tough economic times.

Phoenix is full of professional sports options, and perhaps too many. I mean TWO hockey teams in the desert?! We've also had pro indoor soccer, pro indoor lacrosse, USFL football, minor league basketball (and all signs are we'll have it again with the Phoenix Fury at the Fairgrounds Arena) and all kinds of minor league baseball. Hopefully our "good" minor league franchises (the Roadrunners and the Rattlers) will find away to get the attention of the ticket buying public and keep their franchises moving forward.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Silly French

S.I. reports HERE that France is threatening to cancel French National Team Soccer matches if fans of opposing teams boo or whistle during the French National Anthem.

Of course this is an idiotic idea, based on politics and race. Seems that France has a huge population of folks from its former colony in Tunisia. There are repeated ethnic/racial clashes in France and the people of Tunisian origin are often targeted. Those folks still have some nationalistic pride for their former homeland and on occasion they misbehave by making derisive noise during the anthem. Are they rude and inappropriate? Of course.

But French Soccer Hero Michael Platini is advocating for reason. He calls the threats to cancel "absurd" and points out that many of the folks who whistle and boo probably root for the French side when it is playing other European teams. Platini is correct on all counts. Politics does not belong in soccer or any other sport, and calls to cancel the games is unworkable (can you imagine sending home 80,000 people who travelled from all over to attend --not to mention the TV backlash and demind for rights fees refunds and damages) and is the worst sort of Pandering.

Welcome Back Bruce

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced that they will start a "Ring of Honor" next year and that they are going to wear their throwback orange uniforms at least once. Story HERE. I think it is a great idea. The world is a better place with good ol' Bucco Bruce. Tampa didn't win much, but those unis were certainly unique.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


My fantasy football team is in trouble, in part because Fast Willie Parker (RB Steelers) has been injured. Word was that he would be playing this weekend against the Bengals. But not so fast my friend! The latest update (read HERE) is that he is injured again.

"How?" you ask. At practice he stepped in a hole and reinjured his ankle. Now we have all probably twisted our ankle by stepping in a hole or an indentation while hiking or working in the yard. But Parker wasn't out hiking. He was practicing with his pro-team on a multi-million dollar practice field designed specifically for football. Is it really that hard to avoid HOLES that might injure a million dollar player? What kind of clowns do the Steelers have running their lawn and garden program, Carl Spackler?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Another Black Eye for John Dowd

As I watched the latest Youtube thriller, I couldn't help but notice John Dowd's involvement in the Keating scandal. Dowd, you remember, came to prominence when he served as a lapdog to management in banning the alltime Hit King from baseball. More recently he served a businessman-turned-politician (Fife Symington) and a bimbo (disgraced DOJ employee Monica Goodling). Who could remember, though, that he also represented John McCain during the Keating Five scandals? Let me get this straight: he bans one of baseball's greats for off-field activities; and he defends a sneaky politician for his on-court deals on the Senate floor.