Cardinals, Fitzgerald headed to Super Bowl XLIII!
The Cardinals are the last birds still flyin
By: Larry Fitzgerald
Originally posted 23/01/2009
Glendale, Arizona — The Arizona Cardinals 32, Philadelphia Eagles 25 — how do you like that?
Charter members of the NFL in 1920, the Cardinals, who started in Chicago, moved to St. Louis, then moved again to Arizona. Those Cardinals are now flying to Super Bowl XLIII February 1. Quarterback Kurt Warner threw four touchdown passes, three to the remarkable Larry Fitzgerald Jr., and just like that the Cardinals are Super Bowl-bound.
This flock of red birds are the last birds standing in the NFL playoffs.
When the playoffs began, of the 12 teams that qualified for the postseason, the Ravens, Falcons, Eagles and Cardinals all had visions of reaching the Super Bowl.
The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Baltimore Ravens Sunday 23-14 to win the AFC Championship and eliminate the Ravens. However, the Cardinals have beaten the Falcons 30-24, and now the Eagles, so the Cardinals are the last birds flying.
No bird — or player, for that matter — has played better in these playoffs than Fitzgerald. The remarkable 25-year-old receiver has been on fire in the playoffs. In many ways he has literally carried his team on his back, making incredible acrobatic caches and big plays.
Fitzgerald has set an NFL record for one postseason with 419 yards, breaking the previous record set by Jerry Rice in 1988 of 409 yards — and Fitzgerald still has one Super Bowl game to play!
Fitzgerald became the fourth man in NFL history to record three straight 100-yard receiving games, and the first ever to do it in the same postseason. Fitzgerald is the third player to have three TD receptions in an NFL/conference championship game, and the first to do it in the opening half.
Fitzgerald has raised his game each and every playoff game like the great athletes he grew up watching: Michael Jordan, Kirby Puckett, Kevin Garnett, Jerry Rice, Randy Moss and Cris Carter. The All-Pro had nine catches for 152 yards, including two big catches on the decisive game-winning drive.
After leading 24-6 at the half, the Eagles, led by the great Donovan McNabb, came storming back and actually took the lead 25-24. McNabb threw three touchdown passes in the second half and passed for 375 yards in the game.
“The guys were focused and ready to go,” Fitzgerald said. “You could see the look in the guys’ eyes. Nobody wanted to be the guy who let this team down. Everybody did their job when we needed them to do it.”
However, Warner was 21-28 for 279 yards and four TDs, and was a perfect
4-4 while engineering the game-winning drive. “I want to say ‘Arizona Cardinals’ and ‘Super Bowl’ in the same sentence,” Warner declared. “The Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl — how about it?”
The Cardinals are the first 9-7 regular season team to reach the Super Bowl since the 1979 Los Angeles Rams. The well-traveled team last won a championship in 1947. That’s 61 years — only MLB’s Chicago Cubs have a longer championship drought with their 100 years.
Did I say Fitzgerald and the Cardinals are Super Bowl-bound? Believe it!
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at
8:25 am, and on WDGY-AM 740 Monday & Saturday mornings at 7:50 am and Fridays at 3:50 pm; he also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.