It’s part of the culture in sports. Even in the face of adversity, head coaches are tasked with always trying to find ways to spin negatives into positives.
Over the past few months, Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt held up quite nicely in the silver linings department despite his team’s eight-game losing streak. Sure he was critical of his team with each passing loss, but the coach always made an effort to let the media and fans know that under his watch, the team would continue to play hard and find ways to improve.
However, none of those cliches were spewed after the team’s worst loss in franchise history Sunday in Seattle. Instead, Whisenhunt sounded rather dejected and apologetic.
“All I can do is apologize for what happened out here today to our fans and our organization,” Whisenhunt said following the Cardinals’ 58-0 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Whisenhunt, who is in sixth season with the organization, has been a part of some poor performances (47-7 against New England in 2008 and 41-7 to Atlanta in 2010) during his time in Arizona, but nothing like the clunker his team produced on Sunday.
To make matters worse, the team has now put together its longest streak (nine games) of futility since the organization was in Chicago back in 1944.
“It’s embarrassing,” said Whisenhunt. “We let a game get away from us today. It hurts, it really does because we have a lot more pride than that.”
The Cardinals gave up a franchise-high 58 points in the loss and were shut out for the first time since September 2003.
Whisenhunt attributed the lopsided score to the six first half turnovers committed by Arizona, two of which were returned for touchdowns.
“It’s hard to overcome that,” said Whisenhunt of the game-changing giveaways. “And it did get away from us. There’s not much you can do about it, and there is not much you can say about it. It hurts.”
What might also hurt for Whisenhunt are the numbers going against him in recent years.
After leading the franchise two its first two division titles and a Super Bowl appearance back in 2008 and 2009, Whisenhunt is just 17-28 over his last three seasons. And after Sunday’s drubbing the Cardinals have been mathematically eliminated from the postseason for the third consecutive year.