The Importance of a Home Field Advantage for the Arizona Cardinals
By Erich Becker
After purple was a predominate color, are these still the days of the ‘Same ol’ Cardinals’?
The Arizona Cardinals have made strides in the seven years since they appeared in the Super Bowl. Going from a 9-7 team, that feasted on the NFC West to make their way into the dance, they showed that they could click at the right time and rode the horse all the way to the final two minutes of Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa Bay only losing to the play calling of the man who currently has set franchise records for wins in a three year period with the team at 32.
After the Thursday Night Game this week, having been there, it was a touch of what you’ve seen since the Cardinals moved to the valley. In the days of Sun Devil Stadium, when a sellout was never a given, the opposing team’s colors would be everywhere, especially against teams like the Cowboys who, at the time, resided in the same division so a yearly contest was a given. In the years since the Super Bowl appearance the amount of opposing colors has started to go down, but not all the way. When big traveling teams like the Packers, Vikings, Giants and Steelers come to Arizona, their fans either come with them or buy tickets.
Bruce Arians, the man who called the play to beat the Cardinals in that Super Bowl, recently called out fans for selling their tickets to the TNF game, and to a degree, you can agree or disagree with him.
I was at the game and would never think to sell my tickets, however, based on what they cost me, if I did sell the tickets to just the Vikings and the Packers games, I could pay for both seats that I own pretty easily. However, I wouldn’t do that, but I can see how others may. It’s hard to say that someone is not a good fan when, if they can’t make a prime time, weekday game, and run through all other options, they don’t sell the tickets to someone who is looking to go to a game.
Every team does it, every fan looks for it.
Nov 15, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Arizona Cardinals fans react during a 39-32 victory over the Seattle Seahawks during a NFL football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
This is one of the first years when the Cardinals fans are traveling more and more, even before they started this current run of seven straight wins. In Chicago, early in the season, there was a good swatch of red in the stands. In St. Louis a few weeks ago Cardinals fans were out in numbers (it doesn’t help that the Rams were terrible, and it was the Cardinals former home).
So what’s my point?
The point is this, there are many reasons why you’ll see opposing colors in the stands, and, if the rumors are to be believed, there will be a lot of green and yellow in the stands in two weeks. But the Cardinals have been there before, and even if there are cheeseheads, terrible towels or viking horns in the stands, the game is played on the field, and the true fans know that. Good, bad, ugly or indifferent, University of Phoenix stadium offers a great home field advantage and venue for the Cardinals to continue to dominate the NFC.