The Arizona Cardinals can’t afford to be the Seattle Seahawks.
That may sound about as odd as saying Congressman Al Franken when you’re talking about a team who is the defending champion of your division, but it’s true. That’s because — if we can believe anything that’s being thrown around right now — the Seahawks bought their ticket to the Andrew Luck sweepstakes on Tuesday when they decided to part ways with Matt Hasselbeck and say hello to Tarvaris Jackson and Matt Leinart (yep you read that right, they’re going with a pair of quarterbacks who combined to throw 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions last season).
The Cardinals can’t afford to follow a similar path. As a matter of fact, we’ve seen exactly where that path leads thanks to the 2010 version of the Red Birds. It ended with a 5-11 season and a quartet of quarterbacks that would make a UFL coaching staff cringe even more than realizing their league is going bankrupt.
They have to send a message to their fans, the division and Larry Fitzgerald that this isn’t the same old Arizona Cardinals. Another season with any quarterback not named Kevin Orton or Kyle Kolb — sorry they’ve basically become one indistinguishable blob at this point to me and I think most fans — would be a wasted one.
If the name Matt Hasselbeck or Marc Bulger is the one that the Cardinals draw out of the hat and name as their next starting quarterback fans should be outraged. It’s something I haven’t said before and honestly didn’t feel until I saw what the Seahawks did. Arizona may be a great place for the older generation to retire but that shouldn’t be the case when it comes to the state’s NFL franchise. The old Cards were a team that would bring in aging big name veterans, prop them up in the introductory press conference and then try to sell fans on them being the savior (See: Smith, Emmit). That should be about as acceptable to fans as the thought of former Cardinal Leonard Davis posing in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
While most expected to see the Cardinals make a deal in the first few minutes it now appears the process will take much longer. If it lasts beyond Wednesday fans should become more concerned than the makers of the Smurfs. (I mean really Hollywood, do you have to destroy everything about growing up in the 1980s?)
The Cardinals can’t let themselves be the Seattle Seahawks and settle for mediocrity at the quarterback position. It could cost them not only their sellout streak but their star receiver as well.