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fordfixer
02-05-2009, 10:22 PM
Thumbs Down: Cardinals fans run 'rag'-ged by Steelers' Terrible Towels
Dan Ryan
Issue date: 2/4/09 Section: Sports

http://media.www.suffolkjournal.net/med (http://media.www.suffolkjournal.net/media/storage/paper632/news/2009/02/04/Sports/Thumbs.Down.Cardinals.Fans.Run.ragGed.By.Steelers. Terrible.Towels-3612553.shtml) ... 2553.shtml


After reaching the first Super Bowl in franchise history, one would have assumed fans of the Arizona Cardinals would have come out in droves to support their team's quest for football's ultimate prize. The underdog Cardinals played an inspired game, coming back from a 13-point deficit to take a 23-20 lead with under three minutes to go, only to have Santonio Holmes and the Steelers literally (Holmes) and figuratively snag victory from the jaws of defeat.

Despite the loss, the Cardinals still put on a great performance. It's unfortunate that the performance of Cardinals' fans wasn't so great.

By many accounts, Tampa, the site of this year's Big Game, looked more like "Steeltown South" than a neutral site. The Terrible Towels were out in full force, visible in the thousands, waving vigorously well before kickoff. Mike Celizic of NBCSports.com wrote a column titled "Steeler Nation Invades Tampa", making Steelers fans seem like locusts, swarming to Tampa by the thousands, all in the name of supporting the team.

By contrast, the Arizona faithful seemed few and far between. It's safe to assume that there were in fact Cardinals fans at the game, but their cheering could barely be heard over the thunderous din of the towel-waving Steelers fans.

In fairness, Super Bowl tickets and travel can get fairly pricey. However, even the Nielsen Ratings for the game were a disappointment from an Arizona standpoint. Pittsburgh had the highest ratings in the country, with a 53.6 share. The second highest rating, 52.6, were in Norfolk, VA, hometown market of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. Phoenix, on the other hand, came in at ninth, with a 47.5 rating, behind uninvolved markets like Buffalo, NY, Richmond, VA and Cleveland, OH.

Even population figures fail to counter the numbers. The Phoenix metro area has a population of 4,179,427 according to 2006 Census estimates. The same estimates put the Pittsburgh metro area at 2,462,571, a little more than half that of Phoenix. With twice as many people, wouldn't it stand to reason that the good people of Arizona could have put up better numbers?

Maybe, as Michael Holley put it on WEEI on Tuesday, everyone was just out golfing, enjoying Arizona's mild winter weather. Maybe Phoenix area residents, like many football fans, couldn't believe that the Cards were actually in the game, and forgot to watch. Or maybe the Steelers just have the more passionate fan base.

The question of whether the Cards fans could have pushed them to a win will never be answered. In any case, I give the Cardinals fans a big thumbs down. After the immense effort it took for their hometown squad to make it to the title game, the least the fans could have done was throw some championship support behind their team.

Chachi
02-05-2009, 10:59 PM
They couldn't sell out their first home playoff game, in like, 500 years, with out an extension.

That says it all....

proudpittsburgher
02-06-2009, 07:54 AM
Seriously, people are just realizing some of this? They all shrug it off when we say it, then it happens. And they all act as if they broke the story. Sheesh.

RKSteel
02-06-2009, 09:04 AM
Looks like the wheels fell off the bandwagon pretty quick.

Starlifter
02-06-2009, 10:06 AM
i kind of have a different take. the arizona residents are no dummies and figured out fairly quickly that Bidwell and the boys are scam artists who have no interest in a quality franchise, they just want suckers to pay for their third rate show. thank god the fans of cincy or cleveland don't do the same. i'd hate for those perennial losers to actually have to start trying to win to keep the bucks flowing.