Like the 2023 Arizona Cardinals, the Arizona Diamondbacks were defying expectations during the early going in 2021. The Diamondbacks, between April 1st and May 2nd, were 15-13, and many who followed the MLB may have been thinking twice about underrating the Snakes. Then the endless losing struck, and the D-backs embarked on arguably their worst stretch in franchise history, going 7-47 between May 3rd and June 30th.
Want more fun? Between May 16th and June 20th, the D-backs went 2-31, and by July 1st, they sat at 22-60, well outside of playoff contention. They were the worst team in the National League that year, and tied for the worst team in baseball with the Baltimore Orioles, who also finished 52-110.
Here we are, two years later, and the Snakes are National League Champions, and just four wins away from their second World Series title in team history. How does all this relate to the Cardinals, you may ask? Simple: The Cards started off 2023 more competitive than anyone ever thought, and here they stand at 1-6, and losing four straight without giving opponents much resistance.
Diamondbacks have shown that the Arizona Cardinals can turn things around fast
Sure, you can argue that these are two different sports, and list the differences between the two all you want. But that’s not the point. This article isn’t talking about how to build a team, but it instead touches on the fact that it’s possible to turn things around from worst to first faster than many think.
And if you still aren’t buying it, then perhaps we need to look at some examples in the NFL. In 1989, the Dallas Cowboys finished 1-15, and they forged a dynasty just three years later. Fast-forward to 2003, when the Carolina Panthers earned their first Super Bowl berth after posting a 1-15 season in 2001.
Or, dare I say it? The 1981 San Francisco 49ers, who won their first of four Super Bowls in the decade just two seasons after posting a 2-14 record. Overall, in any sport, whether it’s the NFL, MLB, NHL, or NBA, we have seen teams morph from nothing only to at least win their league or conference just two or three seasons later.
Therefore, even if the Cards finished 1-16 this year, their cousins who just won the National League are local proof that you can turn things around rather quickly in the world of pro sports. And at the time of this writing, they are the latest example to finish with a hopeless record once upon a time, only to play for their league championship two seasons later.
(Historical information provided by Baseball-Reference and Pro-Football-Reference)