I must be getting old. Or maybe I just don’t drink that much.
I was, uh, flabbergasted to see this tweet from my friend and colleague Paola Boivin regarding the reaction she’s getting from her column about the return of Ken Whisenhunt:
Angry reaction over suggestions we should applaud Ken Whisenhunt? I can’t even fathom that kind of reaction or the type of person that would feel moved to feel that way.
Whisenhunt was fired last year as coach of the Cardinals, and deservingly so. The double-barrel losses to the Jets and Seahawks blasted away any lingering belief that he was the right man for the job.
It didn’t make him a bad guy or even a bad coach. His time here had simply run its course. Mistakes were made and — as it often does — hubris got in the way. By the end, things had grown so complicated the Cardinals made the right choice because they truly had no other.
As convoluted as things had become, it doesn’t change the fundamental fact that Ken Whisenhunt led the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl. Maybe you haven’t lived here long enough to understand the gravity of those words or those actions, but for us lifers, the concept of the Cards in the Super Bowl was once virtually inconceivable.
So one more time, just for fun.
Ken Whisenhunt led the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl. And I’m supposed to hate him for that?
I even have a hard time understanding the common argument against the Whisenhunt era; that he was merely a bystander to Kurt Warner’s brilliance. That Whiz just happened to be there when the wheel went round. I particularly enjoy fans’ attempts to quantify how much of those great years were Warner’s responsibility. 60-40? 80-20?
Of course this is utter nonsense because we all know that Warner was here well before Whiz and didn’t amount to much during the Dennis Green years.
Warner and Whisenhunt needed each other. Who was Batman and who was Robin is inconsequential. The journey was all that mattered and in the history of Arizona sports that trip was an all-timer.
And for that, Ken Whisenhunt should get nothing but respect.