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The Cardinals are Mud, and I mean that in the nicest way possible

I’ve found that the best source of movie reviews is the kid working behind the popcorn counter. They’ve seen everything that’s out; you won’t get any movie-critic-artsy-fartsy nonsense — just a good, common-people review of what’s at the multiplex.

Wednesday night, I’m waiting to see Star Trek, and the popcorn kid tells me that what I should be seeing is Mud with Mathew McConaughey, which is funny because he’s now the third person to share this with me. In a summer movie season filled with blockbusters like Iron Man, Star Trek and the upcoming Hangover 3 and Man of Steel, it’s Mathew freakin’ McConaughey claiming scoreboard with his 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.

It reminds me of your Arizona Cardinals.

Especially when I read this piece on Sports Illustrated titled, “Cardinals may not win much in 2013 but don’t overlook them.”

The author’s premise, in this case NFL writer Chris Burke, is to praise the Cardinals for their work this offseason while acknowledging reality; they play in the NFC West. The 49ers are loaded. The Seahawks are loaded. They are not only the two best teams in the division but perhaps the conference, heck maybe in the NFL. Oh yeah, and St. Louis kinda killed it in the draft and look to be trending upwards.

Burke suggests that the Cardinals could be vastly improved in 2013 with nary an extra win to show for it. I agree with the premise but with one caveat I’ll get to in a second.

I agree the Cardinals have had a good great offseason. There are question marks that can’t be glossed over — Daryl Washington’s dicey status and the selection of Tyrann Mathieu in particular — but between the draft, free agency and the acquisition of Carson Palmer, I think Keim and company nailed it.

I agree with the notion that it might not matter in this division. Box office is all that matters in Hollywood and I’m pretty sure Mud ain’t gettin’ any.

And yet…

What if something happens to Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson? What if NFL defensive coordinators, with a year’s worth of tape as reference, figure out a way to slow their attacks? What if one of those teams is besieged by injuries? It’s the NFL, it happens.

I understand the “what if” argument isn’t the most sound one, but all you have to do is go back and look at preseason predictions from any year to understand that very little in this league goes according to script. You have to be prepared when they don’t and I believe the Cardinals are prepared.

The 49ers are Iron Man. The Seahawks are Star Trek. The Cardinals are Mud, and I mean that in the nicest way.