It’s definitely not my favorite memory, those last couple of minutes of Super Bowl XLIII. Everything leading up to those two minutes for the Arizona Cardinals though seemed like a fairy tale. I was waiting for someone to wake me up from the dream. No, it was real. Unfortunately only too real five years ago today on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. As if you needed reminding but that was the day the Cards lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-23, giving the Steelers their sixth and most recent Super Bowl championship.
The Cards had shocked the world by defeating the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, and the Philadelphia Eagles en route to their first Super Bowl trip. The Cards offense was a beast. The defense left a little to be desired at times but did enough in the playoffs to carry them to the Super Bowl.
As good as that post season ended up being for the Cards, former quarterback Kurt Warner said at the end of this season that the 2013 version of the Arizona Cardinals were a much better team. I tend to agree with him. Unfortunately in 2013, both the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers were much better too. If for nothing else, the team was much better on defense and improved greatly on offense in 2013.
So they missed the Super Bowl in Arizona by one year last time. Super Bowl XLII in 2008 was in Glendale. Next year the Super Bowl returns to Glendale. The Cards should be legitimate playoff contenders in 2014. I don’t think they are at an elite level to get to Super Bowl XLIX next season however I thought the same thing in 2008 as well. We shall see. They could become the first host team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. We shall see. A lot will happen between now and then. A lot of work to get done to make that a reality.