It’s been 1o months since the Cardinal lost to the Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII, and today I finally looked at the pictures taken during our Super Bowl party. It may sound ridiculous, but I honestly feel so much residual pain from the experience that I couldn’t bring myself to revisit that day until now.
People that have followed an even mildly successful sports franchise will never understand what it is like to be a Cardinals fan. Since forever, they have been the laughing stock of not just the NFL but the entire sports world. Detroit Lions fans get it . Los Angeles Clippers fans get it. People who cheer for the Yankees or the Broncos simply do not understand what it is like to support a team that has zero chance of ever winning anything. Cowboys fans, Steelers fans, Lakers fans are all given credit for being such amazing supporters, but really, cheering for a winner isn’t the best way to measure devotion.
Last year, Cardinals fans finally had a chance to feel like a winner. When Larry Fitzgerald scored the go-ahead touchdown in the Super Bowl, 20 years of pain was almost instantaneously dissolved, only to rematerialize 10-fold a few minutes later when Santonio Holmes scored the game-winning touchdown. While Steelers fans were ho-hum happy about their SIXTH Super Bowl, it was absolutely devastating to true Cardinals fans. Our only chance in 20 years, and possibly, our last chance for another 20.
It was a a day of extreme highs and lows that I had experienced only a few times in my life. Is that sad? Sort of. Sports are fundamentally about entertainment. But, when you commit yourself to supporting something–a person, a cause, or a sports team–your pride and happiness are also at stake, and it doesn’t matter how seemingly trivial that something might be. Thus, while I am admittedly embarrassed to still be unable to watch Super Bowl XLIII highlights, I am proud to have supported the Cardinals in their best and worst moments.
Anyway, this is a meaningless discussion since the Cardinals are guaranteed to win the Super Bowl in 2010.