He's standing by his Arizona Cardinals through thin and thinner.
There's a warped camaraderie, he said, among those people who stick with a franchise that has had .500 or worse records in 16 of 17 seasons, has one playoff victory since 1947 and has drawn thousands of opposing fans to every home game because the tickets are abundant, the skies are often cloudless, and the victories come easy.
On Sunday, the Cardinals suffered a 17-12 loss to St. Louis in which they blew a final shot at the end zone with a game-ending penalty for illegal procedure. Just another frustrating twist for an 0-2 club perpetually searching for a way to turn the corner.
Newmark, a native New Yorker who was born and raised in the Bronx, became a Cardinal fan because he loves the NFL and could never get a ticket when he lived in New York, Pittsburgh and Washington.
"I'm a huge fan of the Yankees and the Cardinals," said Newmark, an engineering consultant who lives in Albuquerque and flies to Phoenix for every home game. "The Yankees are the best franchise in the history of sports, and the Cardinals are the worst. It's like they go out of their way to lose."
But members of the Cardinal organization say those days are over, even if it isn't immediately apparent in the standings. Beginning next season, the team will be playing in a spectacular new stadium in Glendale, Ariz., with a retractable fabric roof, gauze-like enough to let the sunlight through, and a natural-grass field that slides in and out of the $450-million venue on a gigantic tray. The Cardinals made an original investment of $85 million in the stadium, and the rest will be paid with tax-financed bonds.
"It's going to be the most incredible NFL facility that's ever been built," said Ron Minegar, the club's vice president of marketing and sales. "There's a mind-set here that we expect success, and we're preparing for that."
There is some evidence of that. The Cardinals have drafted well the last two years, and they're paying a competitive salary for a proven coach, Dennis Green, who makes $2.5 million a year. That's a departure from the past, when the Cardinals ranked at or near the bottom of the league in various salary categories.
Consistently last in the league in total attendance, the Cardinals are the only NFL team -- aside from the displaced New Orleans Saints -- playing in a college football stadium. Their new place will play host to the Super Bowl in February 2008 and is the only closed-roof venue in the Western United States with the capacity to accommodate a crowd of at least 40,000.
It remains to be seen if the Cardinals will be able to fill those seats, though, once the novelty of their new stadium wears off. Typical of a Cardinal home game, the upper deck Sunday was maybe one-third filled, and there were some 38-row sections on the sunny east side with fewer than 10 people sitting in them.
"I've seen so many stretchers over the years going down one after another -- especially the fans of other teams that don't understand about the heat," said Don Brown, one of six spectators sitting in Section 230, overlooking an end zone from the upper deck of the stadium's northeast corner, where the aluminum bleachers can get stove-coil hot. He too has had season tickets since 1988.
"You don't have to put up with many opposing fans," Brown said of his lonesome vantage point.
"And," he added, "I've got all the leg room I want."
Forget about the keys to victory. The Cardinals would have been happy to find the keys to their building.
The year was 1993 and Arizona was hoping to woo free-agent quarterback Joe Montana to the Valley of the Sun. Team officials wined and dined him, said all the right things, then brought him back to team headquarters to give him a tour of the place. The gate was locked, though, and no one could produce a key. Montana laughed it off and wound up signing with Kansas City.
Only Montana knows for sure if he was serious about the Cardinals or merely looking to get more money from the Chiefs. But the awkward end to his Arizona visit was just another in a long line of memorable gaffes by a star-crossed franchise.