Obviously Arizona

The Baltimore Sun

Super Bowl. Arizona Cardinals.

Do those two phrases go together?

Yeah, like Paris Hilton and sensible shoes.

Hey, people, the owner of this outfit is still Bill Bidwill, the reverse alchemist who can turn gold into lead. Bidwill showed up in one of the largest markets in the country, one hungry for NFL football, and almost immediately his teams were playing to an empty stadium.

OK, it's understandable that in 2008 the Cardinals made the postseason and earned their first home playoff game since the Truman administration. After all, somebody had to win the NFC West.

And the Cards getting by Atlanta in the wild-card round wasn't all that earth-shattering considering how far the Falcons had come in a year.

However, Arizona thumping the Panthers at home Saturday, hitting them between the eyes like a two-by-four - the next day I passed through Charlotte, N.C., on the way back from the Ravens' game in Nashville, Tenn., and those Carolina folks had zombie eyes.

From a football perspective, what is stunning is that a team so one-dimensional can get this far. The Cards' game plan boils down to Kurt Warner chucking it to some talented wide receivers.

And while some teams have defensive lapses, the Cardinals go into defensive comas. Outside their own sorry division, the Cardinals gave up 32.5 points a game. And not surprisingly, outside its own division, Arizona was 3-7.

Actually, I must give the Cardinals some credit because they finally figured out the key to success after all these decades: Get yourself into the weakest division in football. So if the NFC West eventually snaps out of it, I hear the Cards are looking into that Sun Belt Conference.

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