10 Reasons to Hate the Arizona Cardinals
I'm not sure how many of you know this, but there is a side to me that some of you may find surprising. I am a RABID Carolina Panthers Fan. If you cut me, I bleed Black & Teal. I've been a fan since the day it was announced Charlotte NC was getting an NFL Franchise. As you can imagine, this season of Football has been a hell of a ride and it’s been great time to root for the Cats. However, last week, I came across an article written by a guy named Benjamin Leatherman, who writes for the Phoenix New Times. The title of his piece was “The Top 10 Reasons to Hate The Carolina Panthers.” Link: At first glance, I was excited to read it because I thought it was going to be an old fashioned, ball busting, all in good fun, article written within the spirit of good sportsmanship. However, it was a trite, petty, and at times malicious, cry for anger management as I’ve ever read and the hateful diatribe Mr. Leatherman published angered a lot of us true Carolina Panther fans. So, the good news for us Panther fans is Carolina beat the shit out of the Red Birds Sunday night on a National Stage. It was a spectacular ass whooping the likes of which hadn’t been seen before in a Championship level NFL game. The Bad News for Mr. Leatherman is he pissed off this foul mouthed blonde who happens to own her own blog.
Below is my rebuttal to his claims…
10.) “They're the NFL's biggest bandwagon team.”
“The Panthers attracted hordes of fair-weather fans (in the Carolinas and across the nation) with their league-best 15-1 regular-season record. Die-hard Panther fans hated these come-latelys, including one Panther Nation vet who wrote the following online: “Dear new Panther bandwagon fans . . . if you’ve ever worn a Steelers jersey to a Panthers game, we don't need ya. If you ever used the phrase Who Dat, fug off.” Don’t worry, we’re sure the newbies all will be away when the Cardinals upend your pussycats this weekend.”
This was his opening argument and my first thought was, “So what?” What’s wrong with picking up fans along the way of a fantastic run to a championship? Last I checked, the NFL doesn’t offer a bonus check to the team with the most fans at the end of a season. In the four years I’ve lived in Los Angeles, (the Capitol of flaky and fair weathered), I have occasionally run into other Panthers fans. A guy wearing a Cam jersey at the mall or another chick in agrocery store wearing a Panthers cap. You know what I haven’t come across in this city, that up until last week had no NFL team, a Cardinals fan. I’ve seen no jerseys, no hats, no nothing. If there are Cardinals fans here somewhere, they're not very visible or vocal. I find that really odd, considering Arizona is just a short drive from LA. Also, according to Bleacher Report The Arizona Cardinals fans have only started showing up at the stadium since 2013.
“ And if you need further proof that this is true, a study was actually conducted during the 2014 season by Emory University that proved Arizona Cardinals fans to be the most bandwagon bunch in the NFL.”
9.) “They ripped off the Boston Red Sox.”
“It has become tradition for Panthers fans to sing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” at home. Y'all know, right, that another pro sports franchise already does that shit. Way to be original.”
We didn’t rip off anybody. It’s a tradition at most sporting events in the Carolina’s to sing “Sweet Caroline” near the end of the games. It’s sung at all levels of sporting events across both states; Whether it’s grade school, college or professional sports. We sing it because life, in the Carolinas, is sweet.
Sure, the Red Sox fans may have started singing it years before we did, but let’s be honest: They were singing it to remind themselves life is worth living and to keep them from throwing themselves off of the roof the stadium.
What exactly do Cardinals fans sing anyway? Fat bottom girls? Red solo cup?
8). “The Carolinas suck as a location on many fronts.”
“Sweltering humidity. Swarms of Insects. Bible-thumping politicians. There are so many reasons why you’d never want to live in either Carolina, including that the literacy rates are worse than ours, the barbecue is overrated, creationism is regularly taught in schools, and rednecks and junkies are everywhere. (Don't even get us started on the Confederate flag thing.)”
I will be first to admit that NC, my home state, has some flaws. There is no question that progress is sorely needed there, but are you really going to bitch to us about sweltering heat? To quote another writer :
“Phoenix summers start in April and don't end until October. The first three months are bearable, so we collectively laugh, asking ourselves why we complained so much about the heat last year. Sure, it was 109 degrees the other day, but we have our air conditioning and our TVs and we'll survive, even if the electric bills average $400 per month. "It's a dry heat," we mutter through our blistered, sunburned lips, blandly reminding ourselves of our trademarked postcard platitude. But then mid July rolls around. The monsoon season is lackluster, as usual, and does nothing to combat our "urban heat island," which cooks the asphalt like a pierogi, blasting scorching waves back out at night. Now, even after sunset, the heat won't escape, and suddenly it's 105 degrees at 1 AM. This is worse than humidity, because at least humidity cools down in the evening. The heat is in your clothes. It's in your hair. You feel your dreams evaporating as you sleep. Even swimming or air conditioning provides only brief relief from the perpetual sauna before you're glossed in sweat again. And you have another two months of this to look forward to.”
Sir, your state is in a constant state of an underwhelming beige haze and there’s a rumor the Arizona state motto will be changed to, “Arizona: It’s California Without The Good Stuff!”™
Seriously. I heard it’s supposed to be on the ballot during the next election.
Carolina politicians may thump a bible here and there but, honestly, they’re just thumping at the swarms of insects that naturally occur in the presence of such skilled bull-sh*t artists. Don’t feel bad, lots people get that one wrong.
All joking aside, yes, we have work to do when it comes to our elected leaders, but if we followed Arizona’s lead in this area, all we’d have to do is shoot them in the head if we disagree with them, right?
Personally, I take exception with the “Creationism being taught in our schools” thing, because I was educated in NC and that’s simply not true of the public school systems. There was some controversy recently with three schools in a very small community who were publicly shamed for scheduling Bible study classes into their curriculum. However, the local school board found out about it and shut it down a few days later. But, because the internet caught wind of it, IT MUST BE TRUE AND OVERREACTIONS OF THE SMALL MINDED ARE THE ONLY REACTIONS PEOPLE READ AND REMEMBER.
The Confederate flag thing, however, is South Carolina, not North Carolina. You have to understand, for a very long time, the only thing South Carolina had to be proud of was them being the first state to secede from the Union during the War of Northern Aggression. (It seemed like a cruel joke to take away the only bragging right they've ever had, so we let them have it.) But now, I think we can all be proud of them for recognizing this was not an acceptable symbol for our country today and applaud them taking it down.
But I’m afraid you’re just plain wrong about our barbecue. It’s a cultural phenomenon that’s not to be missed. Of course, neither should our Shrimp and Grits. Or our hushpuppies. Or our sweet tea. Or our biscuits and gravy. Or our peach cobbler. Or our Banana Pudding. And many, many others… Tell me again, what are Arizona’s culinary offerings to the world? You can get tacos just about everywhere these days so that leaves you with what? Cactus juice and broiled scorpions?
7). “The Panthers' owner is a sourpuss.”
“If Newt Gingrich and Grumpy Cat were to have a kid, he'd look exactly like perpetually dour Panthers czar Jerry Richardson. If you need a few other more reason to hate the multimillionaire (who Rolling Stone cited as one of the "worst owners in sports"), Richarson made his fortune shilling greasy swill via the Hardee’s chain and reportedly was a jerk while negotiating the most recent collective bargaining agreement with NFL players. Plus, he pulled off the worst rendition of the “dabbing” dance we’ve ever seen.”
Shame on you! Didn’t your Mama teach you not to judge a book by it’s cover? Why are you picking on our Big Cat? Jerry Richardson is one of only two NFL Players to become NFL Owners and one of two owners to honor the league by placing the NFL logo in the center of their home fields because he personally believes no one team is more important than game itself. Despite the outward appearance, Jerry and his wife are the warmest, kindest people I’ve ever known. (I was in college in the 90’s when Mr. & Mrs. Richardson, while waiting for their house and stadium to be built, were residing in a suite in the hotel where I was working part time. I came to know the Richardson’s quite well in the year they stayed there and they were lovely people.) I can’t speak to his business dealings but how many NFL owners would happen upon a couple of fans outside their stadium and guide them on a tour of the facility himself?
I don’t recall hearing about your penny pinching owner reaching out to the community when tragedy strikes in his area, either. In the aftermath, of the mass shooting in Charleston last year, Mr. Richardson donated $10,000.00 to each one of the victims families to help with funeral costs.
Pick on his sour expression or inability to dance if you must, but he would never dream of judging you like that because he is the better man.
6). “The whole dabbing thing is freakin' stupid.”
“The dabbing dance fad that Carolina quarterback Cam Newton has popularized among his teammates and throughout the Carolinas is just flat-out ridiculous. Seriously, y’all look like you’re trying to stifle a sneeze. Or even shield your eyes, which is what we wanna do when senior citizens, fat rednecks, or even Panthers head coach Ron Rivera start dabbing.”
What is your problem with the dab? No, seriously what? It’s just a little celebration dance. Cam Newton told every body that if you don’t want to see him dab, keep him out of the end zone. I couldn’t agree more. If he wants to dab after he scores, more power to him! Besides, who’s gonna stop him? You? ‘Cause your certainly team didn’t stop him …..or rather, couldn’t stop him.
So quit your belly-aching about my quarterback’s dancing and take your lumps like a man.
P.S. You may want to worry about your aging quarterback’s propensity for throwing multiple interceptions during clutch games.
5). “The Panthers don't deserve the accolades in such a weak division.”
“Though it's true that the NFC South wasn’t the league’s worst division this season (the dishonor goes to the AFC South), it wasn’t what you’d call ultra-competitive. As a matter of fact, the Panthers were the only team with a winning record. And things were even worse in 2014, with Carolina winning the division with the esteemed record of 7-8. It's easier to go 15-1 when nearly half of your games are against awful teams.”
Um… Your Mama’s in a weak division. Look, I agree the NFC South wasn’t the toughest division this season, but the NFC West didn’t exactly raise the bar, either. I mean, the Cardinals were keeping company with the Rams and the 49ers. And even the vaulted Seattle Seahawks were discounted by the talking heads until December when they finally started to win games. At least the Saints and Bucs showed signs of life near the end of their seasons and the Falcons, while having obvious growing pains, managed to do something your team couldn’t; they beat the Panthers.
4). “Their field is a disaster area.”
“Much has been said this week about the awful turf at Bank of America Stadium. It's described as soupy mire, even after team officials had the thing re-sodded. Just ask the Seattle Seahawks, who slipped and tripped all over the place during their recent playoff loss to Panthers.
Thing is, the bad turf is nothing new, as Carolina had such problems right after the place debuted in 1996. And again in 2001, 2003, and 2013. It could be all the area precipitation is to blame — or maybe it’s just the team’s secret weapon. Yeah, that's it! Either way, it’s a good thing the Seahawks gave the Cardinals advice on how to handle the situation: better cleats.”
Oh, boo frickin hoo. Why don’t you and Seahawks save the whining for something really serious, like getting the sand out of your vaginas. Not all teams have the luxury of playing on a picture perfect field of manufactured grass in January after several nasty weather incidents and multiple college bowl games. Sure, it’d be great to be able to play on a pristine, neatly manicured, climate controlled field but that’s not football. This game was born in the mud and rain and snow and frankly, for the amount of money those players are making, they can suck it up, and play with a little more adversity that might subject them to muddy uniforms and falling on their asses. By the way, the Panthers had to play on that field, too.
3). “Their fans are classless…”
“After Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was toppled with an injured hamstring during a game with the Panthers last season, Carolina fans cheered manically. So much for sportsmanship. Even Cam Newton found it in bad taste, later calling the move “classless.”
And back in 2013, Rams defensive end Chris Long got showered with trash after he was ejected following a minor scuffle with a few Panthers players. “Thanks Carolina fans 4 the flipped birds+few bottles to the head,” Long later tweeted. “Sticks n stones may break my bones but aluminum zimas will never hurt me.””
Sorry, but I have no problem with people throwing things at a player who got ejected for trying to hurt a guy on the home team. It was my understanding that the referees do not eject a guy for blowing raspberries or kicking dirt at your opponent. Football is a vicious, smash mouth sport and you have to be a real dick to get ejected. So, if Panthers fans made it known they don’t take kindly to that type of behavior, good for them. I guarantee you he fared much better than he would’ve had he done that sh*t in Philadelphia. And please, name one game this season, where any fans, Cleveland or otherwise, who didn’t cheer or boo at something stupid Johnny Manziel did this season to hurt himself or his team.
2). “…and include tons of rednecks”.
“Look, we’re willing to admit that not every fan of the team is a beer-swilling hillbilly. But the fact you can see dudes dressed as Dog the Bounty Hunter at Carolina home games, buy a “Redneck Wine Glass” made from a Mason jar that bears the Panthers logo, or catch players rubbing elbows with NASCAR drivers speaks volumes, don't it?”
Really?! We’re still slamming Carolina fans? I can’t, even...
Read this. I found it on Bleacher Report from last season that will eloquently illustrate Cardinals 12th Man situation:
“The Cardinals suck because deep down 90 percent of our fans are really fans of other teams. Like at the 2009 NFC Championship game when some “hardcore” Cardinals fans who sat near us for years showed up with Eagles jerseys on, or the scene from last year in the photo below. (We were playing the 49ers.)
Sure, Arizona is a rapidly growing, transient state, but there just doesn’t seem to be that dumb loyalty that Browns or Bills fans have. We’re always a couple 5-11 seasons away from the stadium being a ghost town again. Maybe we’re just bitter. We’re fans (well, one of us is) who have had season tickets in Arizona since 1988, who suffered countless ass burns and heat stroke on the metal bleachers of Sun Devil Stadium watching the Cardinals lose to the Falcons by 20. Maybe we don’t know how to deal with the team’s sudden success and popularity. But we kind of hate our fans. You probably do too.”
We have NASCAR drivers hanging out at our games because the Nascar Hall of Fame is two blocks from the stadium. It’s a given in this part of the country. It’s kinda like me saying Arizona’s filled with gun-toting wing nuts that hunt down illegals on their days off or Arizona's nothing but drunk ass college kids and middle income retiree’s looking for the next early bird specials at the local buffet. It is what it is.
And If your fans are so extraordinary, I’ll bet they turned out in droves to welcome their team home from their loss to show them their support.
Oh, wait… It was the Panthers fans that did that…
1. Cam Newton is a pompous ass.
“Look, we get it. Cam Newton is one of the best in the game today, a money quarterback, dynamic playmaker, and a future Hall of Famer. But why does he have to act like a pompous ass, continually running his mouth, taunting opposing players, arrogantly celebrating touchdowns, and pouting after the Panthers lost their lone game of the season to Atlanta.”
Wrong. He’s anything but. We’ve already discussed his celebration dances and I’m not going to rehash it, but your perception of him is dead wrong. All that petty sh*t you listed is not who Cam Newton really is.
He’s the guy who started a Sunday Giveaway tradition of handing a football to a child in the stands after scoring a touchdown because he wants to young fans to love the game as much as he does.
But all you see an arrogant touchdown celebration.
He’s also the guy who heard about a local community throwing a Halloween Party for a terminally ill, 10 year old Auburn fan and showed up, unannounced, with an ice cream truck to hang out with Elijah during his party. And it should be noted that he came without an entourage or camera crew. All the pictures and video that surfaced of the party after the fact belonged to the parents who were in attendance.
And he’s the guy created a foundation with the sole purpose of improving the lives of children. He served over 900 kids Thanksgiving dinner this year.
Then a few weeks later he served lunch to the students of a special needs school, took several under privileged children christmas shopping for their families and then teamed up with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube to give a check to a local high school football team who were in dire need of a new weight room.
But he’s not allowed to have a bad day at work?! C’mon, man! Everyone has a bad day once in a while. You clearly were not having a banner day when you wrote this article. And Carson Palmer wasn’t exactly tap dancing and vomiting rainbows at the press conference after the game Sunday night, either. But I’m not gonna kick a guy when he’s down, that’s you’re job, right?
Thus bringing us to the end of my rebuttal and I feel so much better now that I’ve cleared the air.
Let me leave you all with a riddle…
Q: What do you call 53 millionaires sitting around a TV watching the Super Bowl?
A: The Arizona Cardinals.