There’s an old saying about how nothing poisons people like the spoils of success.
Members of Steeler Nation have been burdened by those spoils for over three decades. Most inferior NFL teams are happy when they simply make the playoffs. We’re only satisified with championships. The bar has been set high but thanks to people like Dan Rooney and his well-run organization, satisfaction is ours more often than not.
Every once in awhile, one of those teams which has been a proverbial dog for a long long time manages to get the sun to shine brightly on its ass. And when that happens, their fanbase doesn’t know how to react.
Take for example the Fighting Belicheats. New Englanders barely acknowledged their football team until Bill Parcells took them to the Super Bowl in 1996. Once they started to cheat win championships, all of a sudden a rabid fanbase emerged from the woodwork. This phenomenon isn’t unusual. When long-suffering fanbases begin to win, they tend to go from one extreme of not caring about their team to the other extreme of being obnoxious homers.
They don’t know how to enjoy victory with the humility and class of Steeler fans. They don’t act like they’ve been there before because they haven’t been there before. Oakland, Denver, Indianapolis, and New England are but some examples of this. Philly and New York fans are D-bags as well but that has nothing to do with winning or losing because they come by their douchebaggery naturally.
Which brings us to the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards have been around for 60+ years and have tortured three different cities with their sad and pitiful ways. The most recent victim has been Arizona, where the Cards have finished in the bottom third of the league on a regular basis since moving there in 1988. They’ve done nothing but maintain a position as the doormats of the league until this year.
And now their fans don’t how to react. At first, they reacted with joy. Then joy turned to denial. This denial culminated in the disgraceful display of barely selling out the stadium for their first home playoff game in forty years. But with more winning came a stampede to jump on the bandwagon. Which has now culminated in the story of two yahoos who decided to celebrate their biggest ever win by using diesel fuel to burn pro-Cardinal slogans in the lawn of Eagles’ QB Donovan McNabb.
At first, I simply saw the act as sympathy for their Philly brethren who couldn’t get there to do it themselves. Then I debated whether the criminal act was classless because they lit something on fire or because they lit something of McNabb’s on fire? After settling on the latter, I noticed one of the fine gentlemen wore his Cardinal hat in his mug shot which told me it was indeed a show of support for the team. A show of support against a team they already beat. Well, they are unaccustomed to winning…
And to be fair, the whole incident would have been a lot smaller except McNabb tried to throw water on the fire with a bucket but came up 2 yards short.
Thank you, I’ll be here all week. In the meantime, stay classy Arizona.
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