Let me start by saying that I am in no way excited about this Super Bowl – and that’s not just because my 49ers are a long way from being involved.
What’s particularly annoying for me is that I’d prefer that neither team win the Super Bowl. In fact, I have good reasons to root against both. So while one of them will win, I’m stuck with half of frustrations coming true either way.
I know I’m expected to be rooting for the underdog Cardinals. After all, they are the home team. And I have rooted for the Cardinals in the past, partly because they are representing the state I love, but also because they’ve picked up some great ASU players in the past. But I’ve never been a fan of their owner Bill Bidwill, and I’d be happy if they picked up and left town. But what I really despise about the team is how they treated ASU just days after the state voted them a new stadium. See, after partaking in the generosity of ASU allowing them to use Sun Devil Stadium (a prerequisite for them landing in the desert to begin with), they turned around and sued the university for “limiting their ad revenue.” Mind you, this was because ASU had already had exclusive contracts with certain companies to place advertising around the stadium. The Cardinals thought that stunk, and even though they couldn’t sell out the stadium or get anyone excited about the damn team, they wanted ASU to help them make more money that they would in turn pocket instead of putting back into the team. That lawsuit forced ASU to waste a million dollars before a settlement was reached, and if the lawsuit would have been successful, it very well have forced the elimination of some sports. Unacceptable, Cardinals.
I’m also a bit peeved at the current state of the NFL, which rewards teams for getting hot at the right time. This has led to undeserving teams winning the Super Bowl, even when they are clearer an inferior team. The Cardinals are a perfect example of this, and no, they do not deserve to be in the playoffs at all, let alone in the Super Bowl. If the Cardinals win., they will have “stolen” a Super Bowl ring the way several teams in the past have.
At the same time, I don’t want the Steelers to win either. I like Mike Tomlin, and the team boasts a former ASU player as well (The Cardinals have one too, so that offsets this measurement). No, my main reason for not wanting the Steelers to win is that it would be their sixth Super Bowl trophy, breaking the record they currently hold with my 49ers. Though, it should be pointed out that my Niners are 5-0 in Super Bowls (and have the highest average margin of victory), while the Steelers have lost one.
So, after a week and a half of grumbling and thought, I’ve decided to root for the hometown Cardinals. My main motivation is to honor a couple of former ASU players, Jake Plummer and Pat Tillman, who helped set the stage for this victory. In addition, it would be great to add another championship to the state’s resume; right now, it’s a bit bare relying on the Diamondbacks lone World Series Championship.
It’s going to be tough rooting for the Cardinals, but I’ll do my best.