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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Who’s the worst football team in Arizona?

    Roman Veytsmanassistant sports editor
    Roman Veytsman
    assistant sports editor

    If you’re a fan of football at the UA or a fan of the Arizona Cardinals, you’re likely used to people cringing when you name your favorite team.

    You’ve probably chanted “”fire (insert name here)”” numerous times, put a paper bag over your head during a game, told your friends you could do a better job than the general manager/athletic director/coach/quarterback and/or asked God why your team can’t just break .500.

    You may even have considered that your owner/school president wasn’t the best decision maker. Maybe he just stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

    When the Dallas Cowboys once had 20 consecutive winning seasons, why couldn’t the Cardinals have more than one in the past 21 years? If Oklahoma can win 47 consecutive games, why couldn’t the Wildcats string together consecutive wins more than once since the beginning of 2002?

    Rooting for Cardinal and Wildcat football is like rooting for William Hung in American Idol. You know they’re going to lose, it’s funny to watch and they make a mockery of their profession, but you just can’t stop paying attention.

    Let’s take a look at the similarities between the two teams:

    Offensive line: The Cardinals averaged an NFL-worst 71.1 rushing yards per game and reached the 100-yard mark only once all of last season.

    The team has had four offensive line coaches in as many seasons, including a different O-line coach in all three of Cardinals head coach Dennis Green’s three years.

    Everett Lindsay, who played for Green in Minnesota, began last season as a Cardinals lineman, but after being one of the team’s final cuts, he was hired as offensive line assistant. Six games into the season, Green fired Bob Wylie as offensive line coach and promoted Lindsay.

    That’s right, an offensive lineman who sucked so much he couldn’t play for the worst offensive line in the NFL was hired to coach that same offensive line. He has since been fired and Steve Loney was hired to help Edgerrin James find a crease behind an offensive line that couldn’t move a wall made of tissue out of the way.

    “”I look at it like this…you go around town, and you see a car that sits in the parking lot, it doesn’t move,”” Green said when first hired in 2004. “”You go by weeks at a time, and it’s in the exact same spot. There is something we can assume; it doesn’t have an engine that works. I think that an engine that can work for the Arizona Cardinals is the offensive line.””

    Green’s engine, similar to the Wildcats’ offensive engine, resembles a 1978 Ford Pinto.

    The Wildcats’ engine is similarly broken.

    “”Maybe it’s because we’re young. I don’t know,”” right tackle Eben Britton said after the Washington loss. “”Maybe it’s because we don’t understand the scheme. I don’t know. I don’t know what it is.””

    What it is, is three straight games of negative rushing yards. Three games where quarterback sneaking on every play of the game would have netted a positive result.

    “”To have three straight games of negative yardage I think really hurts our progress offensively,”” UA head coach Mike Stoops said.

    Really, you think? That’s like saying that the Mark Foley scandal hurt his chances of gaining re-election in Congress.

    Quarterbacks: Both teams have switched quarterbacks more times than Jennifer Lopez has switched boyfriends. Just this year, the Cardinals have had a quarterback controversy that led to the promotion of rookie quarterback Matt Leinart. The Wildcats have had to switch because of two concussions to starter Willie Tuitama.

    They’ve had six starting quarterbacks since 2003 (Nic Costa, Kris Heavner, Richard Kovalcheck, Ryan O’Hara, Adam Austin and Tuitama) and let’s just say they haven’t exactly panned out. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have thrown out some of these big names in the past 15 years.

    Kent Graham, John Navarre, Josh McCown, Jake Plummer, Stoney Case and Jeff Blake.

    History: Neither team has made the postseason since 1998. The Cardinals record all-time in postseason play is 2-5. That’s a whopping seven games, or the amount of postseason games the New England Patriots play in two years.

    The Wildcats have been to 13 bowl games all time, including the 1949 classic Salad Bowl, where the Wildcats fell to Drake 14-13. Arizona probably should have figured it out the first time they made a bowl game that it just wasn’t meant to be for the next 85 years. They lost that one 38-0 to Centre (Ky.) College in 1921.

    Intangibles: The Wildcats once had a team mutiny in the John Mackovic years when half of the team marched to President Peter Likins’ office and demanded changes. The Cardinals have been notoriously cheaper with their money than Scrooge from “”Duck Tales.”” The only time they’ve come close to the playoffs in the last eight years is in those stupid commercials with Jim Click and Dennis Green last year when Green talked about “”making a push for the playoffs.””

    Advantage (of worst team in Arizona):

    The Cardinals

    Wikipedia has the following passage on the Arizona Cardinals:

    “”The Cardinals have historically been known as a chronic loser.””

    Roman Veytsman is a journalism senior. He can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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