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Any love for the Cardinals?
January 8, 2009 - Buck Frank
Last Saturday, I wrote my annual playoff prediction column where I pick each game through the Super Bowl.
Usually, I'll miss one or two the wild-card weekend, and then that messes up the matchups the rest of the way. This past week, though, I was fortunate to get all four correct.
Which leads to my divisional round picks: Tennessee over Baltimore, Pittsburgh over San Diego, the Giants over Philadelphia and ... ARIZONA over Carolina. When making predictions such as these, I never like to pick all of the favorites because that's too easy and it rarely happens in the NFL where all of the home favorites win.
But ARIZONA over Carolina? What was I thinking, right? Immediately, I was "questioned' by several staff members about that pick, and it has since become a running joke because I can't find anyone else (who follows the NFL semi-closely) to support me with the pick. Here's how it usually goes, "Hey, do you like the Cardinals over the Panthers this Saturday night?' --Strange look, "No.' No one even gives it a thought.
I've seen several of the national predictions, too, and I'm seeing scores like 27-12, 34-14, all in favor of the Panthers. That's even worse than the nine-pont spread!
I realize the Cardinals are not a good road team, and I pointed that out in the column. I also realize they are 0-5 on the East Coast this year, but they do have a quarterback who's won a Super Bowl, a head coach who called a terrific offensive play to win a Super Bowl, the best receiving duo in the league and a defense that can put points on the board. That said, I can see why they're an underdog, but that's what makes the NFL playoffs great.
I'm sticking with the Cardinals, and on Saturday night, I'll be singing, "Ar-i-zona, hey won'tcha go my way.'
NOTE: ONLY CONTINUE IF YOU WERE BORN BEFORE 1980
Yes, I know not many will get the Mark Lindsay reference above. I feel like Chris Berman for even mentioning it. The song is actually an oldie for me, too.
You know you're getting up there in age, though, when you turn on the local oldies radio station and hear the Goo Goo Dolls instead of "Party Doll.'
One more music reference: I wrote a column in Thursday's Mirror about how Steelers fans should feel fortunate to have their team in so many playoff games when other franchises such as the Lions, Chiefs and Browns have had so fewer chances. It made me think of a line from a Kinks twisted Christmas song, "But remember the children who got nothing, while you're drinking down your wine.' The song, "Father Christmas,' was about a bunch of lower-class thugs who mug a fake Santa Claus. It goes well with Perry Como's "Home for the Holidays.'