Photo: AP

Some people are fans of the Arizona Cardinals. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Arizona Cardinals. This 2018 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.

Your team: Arizona Cardinals.

Your 2017 record: 8-8. Congratulations, Arizona. Your painfully brief stretch of tangential NFL relevance is now OVER. Bruce Arians opted for a retirement full of bad hats and nitroglycerin tablets. Carson Palmer hung up both of his prosthetic knees. David Johnson suffered the first of MANY season-ending injuries. It’s all over now, but what a run! You were an NFC finalist one time! HANG A BANNER. Years from now, you’ll tell your grandkids about the Arians/Palmer glory days, and those grandkids won’t give a shit because they’ll be Cowboys fans.

Your coach: Steve Wilks. Excuse while I nut my pants in excitement at the prospect of yet another Panthers assistant getting a head job. Do you people WATCH the Panthers? That team’s success is wholly dependent on whether or not the refs want to see Cam Newton get murdered any given week, and yet the rest of the league is always like, “Now that team seems criminally uninteresting. Let’s see if we can replicate their formula.” Welcome back to the football wilderness, Arizona. I think you’ll get re-accustomed to it quickly.

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By the way, it will take roughly five weeks for every white person in that state to demand Wilks be fired for being too impassive. “Look at that black coach just standing there. THE BUM.”

Your quarterback: Sam Bradford, who played the game of his life against New Orleans in Week 1 of last season, walked off the field without a limp, and then was NEVER HEARD FROM AGAIN. It was the most Sam Bradford thing that has ever happened: one week of brilliant potential followed by sixteen weeks of private, intensive chemo treatments. This man’s knee is a wormhole. For all that, Arizona paid $15 million guaranteed. Unreal. Sam Bradford will end his career having made over $150 million, and he’ll have done it despite having a skeleton made entirely of ball bearings. Honestly, I’m proud of him. This is what all football players SHOULD earn. Make this man head of the NFLPA.

Bradford will be in charge of showing rookie Josh Rosen where everything is located in the training room. He knows where ALL the best medical tape is tucked away, especially those wide crinkly rolls! Rosen, as you know, fell in the draft for having actual human thoughts, which is a big no-no both in this league and in the state of Arizona proper. If you don’t wear a MAGA hat and walk around with enough open-carry firearms to star in a fucking Sicario sequel, this state will ask for your papers.

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By the way, I’ll gladly defend Rosen against steakhead puds like his former UCLA coach Jim Mora (who said Rosen was a millennial who “needs to be challenged intellectually so he doesn’t get bored”), but honestly, I don’t really know Josh Rosen. I’ve never met him. For all I know, he’s a just a shithead rich kid with all the manners of a Youtube star. It’s more than possible that he and the scouts who recklessly downgraded him are ALL terrible people.

Behind Rosen and Bradford is veteran Mike Glennon, who has a fat bank account and a neck like a Dr. Seuss character. Truly, this is the snowbird franchise, where every old rich QB comes down in the winter to bake in the heat and contract herpes from a Scottsdale local.

What’s new that sucks: Hey, your GM is a drunk! This is what you get for hiring a GM who looks like he should be a strength coach. Steve Keim should be selling questionable vitamins to roidheads at your local Planet Fitness, but instead he’s been placed in charge of a full NFL roster.

Keim told the officer that he had drank two beers at a friend’s house while eating pizza, and that he couldn’t take a field sobriety test because he has a bad knee.

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I really wish I had used that excuse when I got my own DUI. “I’m so sorry, officer. But I just fucking HOUSED a large ‘roni with mushroom, and I’ve had three back surgeries. You can’t expect me to walk a straight line!” That shit seems foolproof to me. In the police report, Keim supposedly passed himself off as the Cards director of security and then name-dropped a dead officer to get out of a citation. Now, the cops have backtracked on this…

…but come on, now. I know a favor called in when I see it. The NFL and local law enforcement have a mutual hard-on for one another. If the NFL wants to clean up a police report or send a cop to catch you masturbating, they can. And they will!

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Anyway, Keim is suspended for five weeks, which means he won’t be around to, I dunno, gut the receiving corps and let cornerstone players like Tyrann Mathieu walk out the door. Big loss.

What has always sucked: I’d like to thank Michael Bidwill for reminding us all that the Bidwill family is a bunch of sewer people.

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You young folks out there might not remember when the Cardinals were run by principal owner and Guy Who Looks Like His Face Belongs On A Popcorn Bucket, Bill Bidwill:

Old Man Bidwill was one of the cheapest owners in NFL history. This team had no players, played every game at Sun Devil Stadium, and only lured in customers when the Cowboys were in town. Then they got a new stadium out in the wastelands of Glendale, went to a Super Bowl with Kurt Warner, and the Bidwill family’s disgraces faded from the public consciousness while newer members of the NFL guard (Jones, Snyder, Richardson) waged a friendly competition to see who could be a bigger dickbag in public. But those Bidwills were always lurking, mis amigos … waiting for the right time to reclaim their rightful place near the top of this billionaire shitheel derby. I’d say that forcing your own team site to carry a rancid Supreme Court endorsement does the trick nicely.

“People are saying stick to sports? You know what? We ask our players 20 days a year — game days — to restrict their statements. The rest of the days, we want our players to get engaged in the community.”

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Fuck this guy and his Mark Schlereth haircut. I’m glad that the Cardinals are about to revert to form. I’m glad they’ll be also-rans to Jimmy Garoppolo for the next decade, and that the only reason people will go to their dopey stadium is for the air conditioning. Arizona is where everything goes to shrivel up and die, and its football team deserves no different.

This state is garbage. It’s Dry Florida. Back in the ‘90s, the NFL had to move a Super Bowl from this state in just to get them to approve a Martin Luther King Day holiday, and I can guarantee you that the league would NEVER do such a thing in 2018. If that controversy popped up again, Bidwill and Roger Goodell would get together and be like, “We know this is an issue people take seriously on both sides, and we want to get it RIGHT … which is why we’ve decided to suspend any player protesting over this.” You know it’s true. The NFL gets stupider every year, and Arizona people are a chief exemplar as to why.

This state is where stupid people flock to cultivate their hatred against smart people. Scottsdale is where Jameis Winston grabbed an Uber driver by the pussy. The fans here are all sunburnt reactionary gun nuts who would sooner hunt Colin Kaepernick for sport than see their team win a championship. Sheriff Joe got pardoned because we live in the Dark Times. John McCain is a spineless warmonger who should just die already, and Jeff Flake is an even more spineless toad who never should have lived in the first place.

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Meghan McCain deserves to live on a park bench. I don’t care about Larry Fitzgerald or his dad anymore.

What might not suck: You’ve got a new coach and a new QB, so you get to maintain the illusion of functionality for a good six weeks before the deficiencies of both men are revealed.

Also, I hope David Johnson catches 200 passes. I love me a pass-catching back.

Let’s remember a guy who sucked: I remember watching Andre Wadsworth and thinking he would be a GOD in the pros. Then he went to Arizona, and all of his intimidating qualities were instantly stripped away.

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Photo: Getty

I mean, that football was clearly pre-deflated for him. I’ve seen Saturday morning cartoons that were scarier than this man.

HEAR IT FROM CARDS FANS! 

Leitch:

Three terrible things that are certain to happen to the Arizona Cardinals this year.

  1. Sam Bradford will defy the odds and actually stay healthy just long enough to be decent, win a couple games you wouldn’t expect the Cardinals to and inspire all sorts of “Josh Rosen is an asshole anyway” stories. I actually think Rosen is a smart guy and potentially an excellent quarterback, but he needs the right environment, a place where he’s not surrounded by shitheads who are just waiting to see him fail, for it to work. Suffice it to say: Arizona is not that place. The minute he throws a garbage time interception or gives some quote about how he wishes he were playing, they’ll turn on him. He’s not Jay Cutler, but it could very well feel that way here, and soon.
  2. David Johnson will be awesome in his first few games, which means the Cardinals will lock him up and then he will of course get hurt immediately.
  3. When the inevitable Trump-NFL moment happens again this year, I bet Arizona will be the focus of it. Remember that Pat Tillman Tweet Trump retweeted? He’s going to do it again, putting Tillman back into this. There isn’t a person on earth who would have disgusted Tillman more than Donald Trump. That’s exactly the type of nice carpet Trump always stomps his shit-stained feet on.

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Chris:

The good news is, when Sam’s knee implodes in Week 2, they can take some ligaments from Glennon’s neck to fix it.

Mustafa:

It dawned on me a few months ago (before our GM was arrested for extreme DUI) that we have now completed our greatest stretch of success in our franchise’s history. We had three 10-win seasons and the most we got out of it was getting to see Carson Palmer violently shit his own pants in the divisional championship game. This is as good as it will ever get for us and we deserve it.

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Evin:

The only Cardinals fan I know is a Cardinals fan because of Jerry Maguire.

Steven:

Michael Bidwell has less charisma than a wilted houseplant.

Wizz:

The Bidwill family must have some serious blackmail shit on Larry Fitzgerald to get him to re-sign for another season of getting over- and under-thrown. Either that, or he has a secret MJ-level gambling problem and needs the dough. Those are the only two scenarios in which someone would want to keep playing for this litter box of an organization.

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Kaylor:

I’m convinced there are more Cardinals fans in the UK than there are in Arizona. I assume this is because the majority of Arizona’s would-be fans are preoccupied with manufacturing shake-and-bake amphetamines or fighting the construction of a synagogue in a local town hall meeting.

As a resident of Canada, I have literally never met another fan of this team. Whenever I tell someone which team I cheer for, their response is invariably “...why?” a question which I’ve heard so many times that I’ve developed a carefully crafted, involuntary response: “Because I love Larry Fitzgerald and hate myself.”

A further note to bar patrons: I don’t care that you drafted David Johnson 1st overall and lost your fantasy league. This is what you get for relying on the Cardinals.

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Sverre:

Sam Bradford AND Mike Glennon? Ace Of Base put more effort into their lyrics than our front office puts into roster construction.

Kyle:

September 11, 2016 — Pats in town, a lot of confidence we could contain Jimmy G in his first start (we didn’t). Regardless, pregame video is a recorded tribute on the 15th anniversary of 9/11, with all living presidents from GHW Bush to Barry O making a brief statement. I’m sure you can guess what happens next, but the idiot fans right in front of us and many more throughout the stadium made the effort to BOO PRESIDENT OBAMA during a damn 9/11 memorial. Related: this was two months before the election and now makes much more sense. Cardinals suck.

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Jonah:

For years I have deluded myself into thinking that the Cardinals’ front office was slightly different than the rest of the assholes in other front offices. After Elway sent his dumbass letter supporting Gorsuch, I specifically remember thinking, I bet the Cardinals’ front office feels the same way but probably wouldn’t send a fucking letter like that. Also the fact that Bidwell took his support a step further and went on radio to back up his letter and to bitch about players kneeling is fucking infuriating. Fuck this guy with a rusty hammer.

I’m happy that Steve Keim has been suspended, not only because of his DUI, but because he might finally spend some time with his wife and kids. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then watch the Cardinals All or Nothing series. The sections with Keim’s family show that he obviously spends no time with them. The Cardinals are just a really sad team overall, and this year will probably just be another sad year. Sam Bradford getting his knees ripped apart by Aaron Donald pushing our garbage center onto him will be sad. Seeing Josh Rosen being turned into a broken husk of a man by our garbage o-line will be sad. David Johnson being worn down and not compensated for his excellent play by our alcoholic GM will be sad. And saddest of all is seeing Larry Fitzgerald waste his career away with this garbage organization. Fuck the Cardinals.

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Ryan:

I can’t believe I have to root for Sam Bradford’s pork rind knees not to crumble every offensive snap. Even after his inevitable Week 3 injury “Two Beers” Keim and Baby Bidwell will keep Rosen on the bench due to his politics.

KP:

The Cardinals are, by far, the worst team in NFL history. Their all-time record is 550-740-40. 740 losses! Only the Lions, with 648 are within 100. Their biggest rival is the Pottsville Maroons.

After a few years of shocking and uncharacteristic normality headed up by Bruce Arians, the Arizona Cardinals are now coached by a man the drunken GM met on a beach.

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Chris:

The majority of the roster is old enough to have kids in college. The young part of the roster is mostly undrafted guys and castoffs. The offensive line is yet another installment of “sign some random assholes and hope the Cohesion Fairy leaves a quarter under our pillows”. The receiving corps consists of a timeless wonder and 7 guys who will be working at a car wash by March. The QB room is a brash intelligent rookie (who I’m legit excited about, because I’m a dumb asshole), a giraffe with opposable thumbs, and a man who is only one injury away from living out his days like Cotton Hill.

I’m actually optimistic about the defense, because 3/5 of the defensive roster is guys on one-year deals who will have great seasons and then sign elsewhere next year. Patrick Peterson is finally going to get a chance to make plays on the ball this season, which means he won’t have to worry about continuing to be exposed as a shitty tackler quite as often. The tight ends are a bunch of dudes named Chet, and the “star” TE is a guy who everyone is excited about because he had a single good game last year, and who won’t be told no when he is drunk and has to take a piss.

I went to Gatlinburg last weekend and saw two Cardinals fans. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen Cardinals fans in the wild. They both had jeans tucked into gaudy cowboy boots and were wearing lots of camo.

Fuck Matt Leinart for being the reason I like this team. And fuck Matt Leinart for being Matt Leinart.

Fuck Bruce Arians for being a stubborn sonofabitch.

Fuck this franchise for continually taking a shit down the throat of Larry Fitzgerald’s legacy.

Fuck Steve Keim for not having the sense to call an Uber/Lyft/taxi/burro/coworker/anyone.

Fuck Mike Glennon with Sam Bradford’s knee brace.

Fuck Sam Bradford with Mike Glennon’s travel pillow.

Fuck Mike Bidwill for using the team website to tout some politico fuckhead.

Fuck this team. At least our rookie quarterback will be entertaining in interviews.

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Joe:

Because in Arizona there are people who are dumb enough to spend at least 130 dollars on a fucking customized jersey with the 2nd Amendment on it of all things. What makes someone want to buy that and wear it to a game I have no idea. I’m pretty sure this dude also owns multiple fleshlights shaped like an AR-15 barrel.

I can’t wait until all of the MAGA chuds in this state figure out that Rosen is a Jewish Atheist who wore a “Fuck Trump” hat. I hope he winds up being even more vocal about his opinions than he was at UCLA just because it’ll make the incoherent gibbering in the comments section of the Cardinals facebook page even more entertaining.

At this point I’m pretty resigned to the fact that 50 years from now the Cardinals still won’t have a Super Bowl win, and a cyborg Larry Fitzgerald will still be playing while catching passes from some different shitty 35-year-old QB each season.

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Wayne:

Everyone seems to forget that the Cardinals are basically the Browns without the loyal fan base. The team is no longer relegated to the bottom rung of NFL derelicts simply because 10 years ago it made it to the Super Bowl only to lose in true Cardinals fashion by allowing a defensive lineman to intercept a ball and return it 100 yards for a touchdown. To add insult to injury, that defensive lineman was James Harrison. I’m surprised that mountain of sentient steroids wasn’t pushing a 1,000-lbs sled down the field and posing for the Insta while the entire Cardinals wide receiving corp tripped over the dicks attempting to tackle him.

The Cardinals spent the next decade cockteasing their fans into thinking this is a good team, when in reality it was just a collection of 5'6" arena football receivers and Larry Fitzgerald playing jump ball while Bruce Arians told Carson Palmer (and his backups whose names escape me. Brett Grubman? Drew Sturtzman?) to throw it deep 65 times a game. Hey, but at least he never wasted any precious practice time having the players stretch - a true stroke of genius that lets the Cards lead the league in pulled hamstrings every year.

As a lifelong Cardinals fan, the team’s recent run of futility is comforting for me. When the greatest coach in team history debate is between Arians and Ken Whisenhunt, you know you suck. And, you know what, I’m okay with that.

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David:

Our new head coach changed our defense – the only thing that worked on our team last season - from a 3-4 to a 4-3. He’s also mixing up our coverage even though we’ve got a perennial Pro Bowl cornerback, who now has to play off the line of scrimmage despite being an All-Pro as a press corner. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG

Our King Hippo-lookin’ GM made headlines this summer after getting popped for a DUI. This is the man who signed Sam Bradford to a $20 million contract. Do you really expect good decisions from him? He also signed a couple of oft-injured offensive lineman to protect his new straw man of a QB. It’s not like we play Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh twice this year or anything. Wait until that promising young QB we drafted gets stuck behind this horrible O-line after Bradford is dismembered on the field in Week 2.

An online diploma mill owns the naming rights to because none of the payday loan shops or tattoo parlors have stepped up yet.

Arizona is a terrible state full of shitty people. Most residents are transplants who only ended up here after failing in a better state and the Bidwill family fits right in. Phoenix only exists because of Big Government water projects, but that doesn’t stop these toothless yokels from jacking into their Gadsden Flag spankerchiefs, fantasizing about 2nd Amendment solutions to government tyranny. A haboob could bury Maricopa County and everyone in it and the average IQ in the United States would skyrocket.

Fuck Michael Bidwill and his douchebag Georgetown Prep school. Why do I keep cheering for this piece of shit team? I hate myself.

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Submissions for the 2018 Deadspin NFL previews are now closed. Next up: Baltimore Ravens.