Super Cards Like Obama: Came out of Nowhere

Super Cards Like Obama Came Out of Nowhere
By David A. Lane of

It’s just practically impossible to write anything this week without somehow injecting an inaugural flavor to it, so when considering the fact that the Arizona Cardinals are actually in the Super Bowl it seems easy to draw comparisons between the team and our new President Barrack Obama. Both have defied the odds to arrive at the pinnacle of their respective fields at the expense of hardened ‘favorites’ who stood in their way. Although neither had enjoyed any measure of success before they have each broke through barriers while gaining the public’s acceptance along the way and have given us all a new sense of hope.

Though football teams and a candidate are two very different things, they both involve orchestrating a number of people to arrive at and to achieve common goals such as winning a Super Bowl or presidential election. Either one could tell you that they weren’t supposed to be here because they were told that those like them before enjoyed no success and they should also not expect to enjoy any either. Certainly, neither would accept people’s opinion that they just didn’t belong and that they were in over their heads while they continued to go places where they supposedly could not.

Obama of course was trying to be the first black man ever to run and win the presidency of the United States while having to overcome foes such as Hillary Clinton and John McCain who were favorites to win. Winning something so big has always taken more than just one person and this again is true in both cases. Among the many other accomplishments that helped get ’44’ elected, his team put together an internet campaign contribution program that out-gained any one that had ever come before it in the history of presidential elections- which made a huge difference in the election.

The Cardinals on the other hand have future Hall of Fame Quarterback Kurt Warner (67.1 comp. %, 30 TD, 14 INT, 4583 YDS) whose high character personality, infectious personal confidence, and previous playoff experience has helped guide this young team to places no one predicted they would go. A defense that ranked 28th of 31 teams in scoring against allowing 26.6 points a game has pulled together when it all counts for head coach Ken Whisenhunt who is thrilled (a) to be here in the first place and (b) to be facing his previous team the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl- an opponent he knows better than any other- who passed on him being THEIR head coach letting him leave the organization. Although they were already division champs at the time a particularly harsh butt kicking at the hands of the New England Patriots in the snow 7-47 in late December reminded us all that these were still the fun-loving loser Cardinals and they’d much more likely be serving for jury duty in late January than playing for all the marbles.

Like Obama did when Hillary started to get rolling against him- the Cards turned the negatives against them into positives and disregarded what they heard in the media. No one took notice besides true Cards faithful when they went out the next week and won a ‘meaningless’ game in a very tough place to win one at Seattle their last game of the season 34-21. Nor did they really receive any credit the following weeks from the prognosticators (including me) as they passed each playoff test with flying colors while winning three tough games.

Now each is poised to make their respective marks on history with what will unquestionably be a large and well coordinated effort. Though there are many big differences as well between the two, what is blatantly obvious is that one will play in one big game while the other has years to perform before being judged. My guess is that each will give us everything they have and will leave it all on the field making all viewers winners regardless of the score.

The fortitude it takes to rise above public opinion, past history, and traditional norms, is massive making each feat’s achievement all the more difficult. They both have given us all hope that the under dog CAN rise above it all and still succeed- like we have as a country for years. Do these facts or similarities give rise to the notion that the Arizona Cardinals now deserve to be ‘America’s Team’, probably not but if getting behind the under dog is American then at least for this year they have earned it.