By Recker McDowell —
The Arizona Cardinals are hiding 100 official NFL footballs around the state as part of a promotion for the start of training camp and the 2019 season and the NFL’s 100th anniversary.
There is some excitement and even national attention for the Cardinals this season with Heisman Trophy winner and overall first pick Kyler Murray at quarterback and new head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
The pair are putting the Cardinals on the NFL map and raised interest in the team after a woeful 2018 season.
Kingsbury’s offense and Murray’s elusiveness could make the Cardinals entertaining and give the fan base something to root for.
Of course, winning will be the name of the game. The Cardinals had solid runs in the Kurt Warner days and then under Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer. The constant during both of those tenures was Larry Fitzgerald who is back for another season.
Like other sports fans, NFL fans aren’t that interested in lengthy rebuilding processes. The success of Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City and Dak Prescott in Dallas shows quarterbacks can have immediate positive impacts.
The Cardinals are also challenged by our region’s transient nature. For every Cards fan, there is a Cowboys, Packers, Bears, Steelers and even Browns fans ready to pledge allegiance to their former home. The Suns know about all this with Lakers fans and Diamondbacks with Dodgers, Giants and Cubs fans.
That has always been a tough nut to crack for the Cardinals in the franchise’s leaner seasons.
But winning is the ultimate elixir. The Cardinals went from NFC East also-rans to the most popular team in the state during Kurt Warner’s Super Bowl run.
Some wins by the new quarterback and coach will put plenty of fans back on the bandwagon even if they are still also watching the Cowboys, Packers or Browns.