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Why Your Team Sucks 2019: Arizona Cardinals

Photo: Ross D. Franklin (AP)

Some people are fans of the Arizona Cardinals. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Arizona Cardinals. This 2019 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.

Your team: Arizona Cardinals

Your 2018 record: 3-13. Not bowl eligible. Outscored by a total of 200 points across 16 games. Even the Jaguars outscored these humps. How’d the Cardinals manage it? Well, dear reader, STRAP IN and I’ll tell you the tale of this broken down cheeseburger egg roll caravan out in the desert…


First off, they signed the pile of discarded sandwich crusts that is Sam Bradford to a deal with $15 million guaranteed and released him in the middle of the season. They also signed Brad Johnson neck transplant recipient Mike Glennon to a deal and later let HIM walk, too. They traded up to get Josh Rosen in the 2018 draft, fed him to a pack of feral hogs, watched him fire off interceptions like he was using a Nerf catapult to launch them, and then traded him away (presumably after he made a negative offhand remark about CBP in a meeting), but only AFTER they had drafted a new QB and exhausted any potential leverage they might have had in such a deal.

Still with me? My condolences. Owner and man who looks like a character in a spinoff of The Office Michael Bidwill used the team’s official website to endorse fellow beer enjoyer Brett Kavanaugh for a Supreme Court post. Bidwill, seen here being wrong…

When you do peyote and stare at a saguaro cactus all day

…issued that missive after caterwauling like a stock chickenshit about how everyone needs to stick to sports. Then he presided over a glistening turd of a season. We all expected the Cardinals to fall apart, but holy shit, did they do it with a quickness. Hard to do a rebuild and a fire sale simultaneously, but they sorted that out in record time. They even found a way to make David Johnson suck, and he was their only decent offensive weapon. That man would have been better off snapping his other knee last year. The Cardinals signed Johnson to a lucrative extension and then forgot he’s a multi-purpose running back. They owe your fantasy team money.


There’s less! Larry Fitzgerald’s son, presumably now 37 years old, skipped out on watching his (very) old man play the Niners to literally attend the Arizona State Fair instead. ALL THE FRIED GUNS YOU CAN EAT! I bet the Guess Your Weight guy at that fair gets a LOT of dirty looks. The average temperature at a normal state fair is roughly 57,000,000° Celsius. I can’t even imagine what kind of thermal extremes that one planted in Arizona would subject the human body to. You’d have to crawl into a lion’s mouth just to find some shade. Anyway, Fitz Jr. opted for that over watching Rosen sail passes 10 yards to the left of his dad.

Also, Von Miller did this to their offensive line:


This came after Miller predicted the Broncos would kick the shit out of the Cardinals. And so they did. When you want to prove your manhood to John Elway, you schedule the Cardinals.

Patrick Peterson demanded a trade and then rescinded that demand when he realized GM Steve Keim takes four months to make any decision. Two of their three wins came against a Niners team with more casualties than the Korean War. The Rams beat them by a combined score of 65-9. In one of those beatings, the Cards didn’t cross midfield until their penultimate offensive play. They fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy in the middle of the season, because every NFL team gets a chance to fire that man at some point. Their only memorable victory came against Stephen A. Smith’s Twitter feed.


I’ve seen worse seasons from a team, but few so aggressively wasteful. They drafted Rosen and gave up on him immediately. They brought in Steve Wilks to coach the team and gave up on him even more quickly. How you can trust this franchise with the beginning of anything now? They don’t even bother to build up your expectations so you can be properly let down anymore. They’re allergic to hope.

Your coach: This team handpicked a defensive guru to pair with Josh Rosen and then shitcanned both of them immediately for a corgi quarterback and a Vineyard Vines fascist. Your new head coach is Kliff Kingsbury, who got fired by Texas Tech after going 35-40 in seven seasons, took a gig as OC at USC, and then ditched that gig when the Cards came calling. I assume they think Kliff is the next Sean McVay because those two men share the same beard stubble length. Kliff koached Patrick Mahomes when Mahomes was at Texas Tech, which naturally means everything good that happened for Mahomes in the NFL will now happen for a team that routinely gets punched into fucking outer space by the rest of the division. Kliff will spend the bulk of this season looking like a sad Bama fan.


Your new defensive coordinator is fired Broncos head man and accused groper Vance Joseph. And lest you think Joseph is returning to the role he’s best suited for, please note that he was a shitty DC too! And he only has one year of experience as one! No no, Vance Joseph’s true calling is as inside linebackers water station quality control associate.

No one will buy this rebranded iteration of the Cards, and neither should you. They have all the cachet of an XFL3 outfit, and they’ve entrusted two consecutive reboots to a GM who looks like a bouncer at a skinhead bar.


Your quarterback: Heisman winner and No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray, who gave up a job in Oakland (playing baseball) in exchange for the privilege of ending up stranded in the middle of the fucking desert. It’s like they made the Raiders into a person! NEAT! As far as I’m concerned, Kyler Murray should never live down having a Utah baby name. But his passing stats at Oklahoma were nearly a dead match for Heisman-winning predecessor Baker Mayfield, and he does all kinds of fancy shit with his feet and legs that will make you THINK he’s the future of the sport before Aaron Donald grabs hold of him and breaks him over his knee. Here’s Keim explaining his thought(?) process in drafting Murray to Peter King:

“When I closed my eyes and I visualized Kyler Murray running around State Farm Stadium in red and white, for whatever reason, all I saw was just fireworks, excitement, a must-see [environment] where fans have to go and show up and see this thing.”


Now you know what it would look like if Jimmy Haslam had actually hired the hobo who told him to draft Johnny Manziel. After that, your backup is former Packer Brett Hundley. ARIZONA: Land Of Failed Californians™. I hope Murray is good, but for the sake of this particular batch of Haterade, I’m predicting he ends up more like the No. 1 overall pick from Oklahoma that the Cards just kicked to the curb than the other No. 1 overall pick from Oklahoma that they think he’ll emulate.

What’s new that sucks: Great news! Patrick Peterson is suspended for the first six games! That gives him just enough time to reinstitute his trade demands. While he sits out, your new self-appointed leader of the secondary will be safety D.J. Swearinger, who was shipped out of Washington after he got too mouthy about what a flaming shitwreck the Skins are at all times. No chance Swearinger voices his displeasure with THIS organization at some point. No way!


Elsewhere on the roster, the team brought in 86-year-old Terrell Suggs and his alarmingly huge gums. They also signed Kevin White away from Chicago. Finally, a new place for White to nurse his chronic injuries! He’ll have no shortage of hot tubs to sit in down there. Phoenix is NOTHING but hot tubs. In three years as a pro, White has caught 25 passes. Frankly, that’s a bigger number than I expected when I looked it up. I thought his total would hover somewhere in the vicinity of -6. They signed tight end Charles Clay, the guy you pick up in DFS because you can’t afford anyone better. They also extended Larry Fitzgerald. More games for his kid to blow off. As presently constituted, the Cardinals’ only hope is that Lamar is on the schedule.

What has always sucked: I’m sorry, but I’m not done shitting on this team for the Rosen fiasco. Here’s Peter King again, surprisingly ready to aid me in the condemnation of a braindead franchise:

Keim dealt the 15th, 79th and 152nd picks a year ago for the 10th pick, so the Cards could draft Rosen. Keim just dealt Rosen for the 62nd pick and a fifth in 2020. Which means, in essence, he traded the 15th, 79th and 152nd picks of a draft for a slot receiver from UMass.


This is the part where I mention that Kliff Kingsbury once played under Bill Belichick, which TOTALLY means he’ll be as good of a coach. In the eyes of NFL people, if you deliver Chinese food to Bill Belichick, you are legally part of his coaching tree. The Cardinals are trying to sell you on the idea that they will be the new Chiefs, which is only true if you’re talking about the Romeo Crennel era of those Chiefs. Otherwise, truly, this ain’t Chiefs, it.

Like Glendale itself, the Cardinals are a cardboard façade dropped in the center of a T-fal skillet to give off the veneer of civilization, but with no substance of any kind lurking inside it. They are the replica town of Rock Ridge, designed to lure deranged rail barons and racist goons looking for a shootout, and boy do they ever attract the latter. Sometimes the Cardinals are fairly decent. Most often they are wet shit. Either way, they are always transparently disposable: there to distract you for a few seconds before you realize you’re in hell and that you must leave. Arizona, man. We’re talking about a state where people think the only way to cool down is to shoot other people.


What might not suck: I like that Christian Kirk fella. Surprised Keim didn’t trade him in the offseason for two fifth-rounders and some cooking spray. ALL I SEE IS FIREWORKS!



I mean, come on.


This fucking team.




Kliff Kingsbury looks like a long lost member of The Chainsmokers.


Phoenix is a great city to host events like the Super Bowl and Final Four because there is no local culture to be displaced. It’s perfect.



Murray will be begging the A’s to take him back by October.


Did you know Steve Wilks gave every player in training camp a brick with their name on it last season? To build a foundation? You can’t make a foundation out of bricks.



Nick Bosa would have been perfect for this MAGA chud state. Think of all the terrible legislation he could’ve passed as a senator after his retirement. He could’ve been this generations McCain.

The only image I have of Josh Rosen in a Cardinals uniform is him running for his life. The good old Cardinals are back. 5-11 forever.

I am going to still find a way to blame Robert Sarver for the Cardinals sucking. Move every Arizona sports team to Mexico City for all I care.



The head coach was found to be in over his head 15 minutes into Week 1. Bradford lasted 2.5 games before management realized what we all knew from the start. Mike fucking McCoy almost made it to Week 8 with his garbage offensive philosophy of “when in doubt throw it three yards behind the line of scrimmage.” All of these decisions fall on one person and he is still employed. I’m writing this well before the draft because my keyboard won’t survive my rage when Keim picks some 3rd round talent with the #1 pick because they ate at the same buffet during St Patrick’s Day. I have little faith that Dimestore Gosling is the answer at HC, but at least Bidwell didn’t hire Timmy or Squi.



I’m from Ireland, but have always been interested in American sports, mostly because my parents will watch any sport on TV. Other than very distant relatives from Texas, I have no attachment to any part of America. I visited the USA twice, at around 16 years old with my parents. I loved Boston and absolutely hated San Francisco. It’s ended up with me following very random teams, the Pacers in the NBA, Bruins in the NHL, and Rangers in the MLB.

The NFL team I follow is the Cardinals. They are the team that I hate the least. I like a challenge for my sports fandom choices. Underdogs are my thing. I’m from a small but very fucking loud country, so it’s almost patriotic diligence. And that Larry Fitzgerald is the most Irish name ever, to the point I expect some hardened 80-year-old Irish farmer to get pissed off that someone hasn’t thrown a ball at him.



The moment it was reported that Nick Bosa tried to scrub his old pro-Trump tweets, this morally decrepit fanbase lost any interest in Kyler Murray and immediately started musing about how many first round picks we’d get for #1 overall.

Let Larry retire with some dignity and just contract the team.


I’ve read these posts for years, and I couldn’t understand why I was so much happier about my team than everyone else. I consider myself a fairly passionate fan. I’m following updates and roster news and team-related stories year-round. I have way too many Cardinals shirts and hats and jerseys. Computer wallpapers, window decals, etc.

Then it dawned on me that because I live out-of-market and am too cheap to pay for Sunday Ticket. I never watch them play. So the secret to being a happy football fan is to not watch football.

I don’t know how they’ll do with Kliff Kingsbury, and I don’t really give a shit. I’ll keep coming back to this shitass franchise regardless of how few games they win. Fuck Mike McCoy with Kyler Murray’s diminutive little body.



Our owner is a failson who inherited this team from his dad, who got it 200 years ago in exchange for some magic beans. Our team president is a failson of a failson who came out on the team’s website in support of the worst Supreme Court nominee before anyone knew he was a drunken teenage groper. Our best head coach ever retired rather than coach Blaine Gabbert for another season. We drafted a quarterback of the future and then traded him to own the libs. We hired defensive Hue Jackson as a head coach. Our Hail Mary of a new head coach drafted a Hail Mary of a quarterback #1 overall. We’re beginning the new era with basically two shrugs.

In good times, our stadium was 20% opposing fans. Last season, our stadium was 40% opposing fans and 20% empty seats.



I knew some team was gonna chase the Sean McVay unicorn and fail spectacularly – I should have guessed that team would be the Arizona Cardinals. This is a franchise whose only identity is desperately trying to emulate better teams.

The Cardinals should be playing casinos since they’re basically just a tribute act to an NFL team. I can see the billboards now: “Come watch Not-Quite-Sean-McVay coach I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Russell-Wilson, throwing to Almost-Jerry-Rice. Squint your eyes after drinking enough beer and they almost look like a real football team!”

The team’s Twitter account actually changed their name to the Kardinals after Kingsbury was signed, then did “The Kards got Kyler” after the draft. I almost feel bad for the poor social media interns who had to spin these idiotic moves into something positive. I hope they have the balls to post “Kyler got Knocked the FucK out” when he inevitably gets destroyed behind our still-porous offensive line.

I already hate Kliff Kingsbury. Give him a herpes sore, and a lifted pickup truck he’s behind payments on, and he’s every Scottsdale stereotype you can find. He’s proof that no matter how much you think times have changed, there’s still gonna be white guys failing up into jobs they have absolutely no right to be in. The rest of the league can’t wait to wipe the field with this failed college head coach and his gimmick offense, and I can’t wait to see how spectacularly it all comes crashing down when they do. My only consolation is knowing that when Kingsbury fails, he’s gonna take our idiot GM with him. Then Michael Bidwill can fuck it up all over again while Josh Rosen starts for the Dolphins for the next ten years.

I would say Larry Fitzgerald deserves a better send off than this, but after seeing him defend John McCain and Robert Sarver all last year he can take his records and fuck off to the long list of Phoenix sports stars to retire without a championship.



Steve Keim is a walking thumb with equal intelligence. Larry Fitzgerald deserves better. Patrick Petersen deserves better. Fucking Michael Floyd was kicked from the team and ended up with a ring. But Larry keeps putting off retirement, hopefully for money and not a ring, because management orders fresh young quarterbacks back-to-back.

The O-Line is held together with scotch tape, if the scotch tape was left in a car during a 120 degree day. Our new head coach looks like he wants to sell me a boat I don’t need. His hat… it is stupid and I hate it. Our last head coach hired fucking Mike McCoy. The head coach before him RETIRED DUE TO HEALTH CONDITIONS, only to then find a more suitable life in Florida and is now coaching a team utilizing Jameis Winston.

The stadium is held in the fartiest part of town, and going to game is an exercise in futility, traffic, and eating shitty chain restaurant fare, followed by more traffic. The high point in my fandom of this team is not their Super Bowl appearance or the disaster of our last conference title game appearance, but when the Seahawks lost their chance at back-to-back Super Bowls to the Patriots in our stadium. The only other claim to fame for that stadium is fucking Left Shark.

We are the retirement community of the NFL, and our offensive line injuries prove that.

God damn it I hate them so much, and yet can’t wait to see poor Kyler get welcomed to the league with 3000 sacks during game 1, develop a season ending injury, and somehow signing with a baseball team in Florida.



We somehow are the oldest franchise in the NFL, and yet we still have no NFL championships if you don’t count the one we won against POTTSVILLE.

I live in the DC area with all the fans of the Washington team, the Ravens, the Steelers and the Eagles and whenever I talk about my team they all stop attacking each other to look at me and wish their condolences to my family for raising such a mistake. Little did they know that my family doesn’t watch the NFL because of Hannity. Joke’s on them.

I can talk for days about the roster of this team being complete ass but this is the equivalent of making fun of someone that has muscular dystrophy on the field. Our coach is a reject from Texas Tech but went to USC afterwards as an ASSISTANT and the Cardinals love that. Also on a side note, we hired Vance Joseph, if that’s not an indictment of our team’s ability I don’t know what is.

Our GM is a marble headed ass that somehow doesn’t know when it’s time to stop drinking instead of driving or making decisions. The Josh Rosen trade, to simply put it, was a horrible decision and they could’ve swindled much more if they traded him earlier. His only other moves are short veteran free agent deals that never work. Remember Arthur Moats? Me neither, but we had him last year. Why didn’t he get fired? Who knows, ask our head coach that got fired after ONE year.

Our owner is the third-worst owner in the league. Mike Bidwill is a cancer to the NFL, even more so than Snyder or Irsay. He is known to be a great supporter of the Trump and somehow more than ever manages to micromanage the team in a way that is hardly rivaled anywhere else. Fuck him.

Fuck Kliff Kingsbury. Fuck Steve Keim. Fuck Mike Bidwill. Fuck Emmitt Smith. ESPECIALLY fuck Santonio Holmes.



It’s going to be really cool when the Cardinals go 3-13 this year, fire Kingsbury, trade Murray to the Raiders for a 7th round pick, then take Tua with the number one overall pick.

Let’s fire our first-year head coach as a scapegoat for the mess Keim made, then hire a guy who just got fired from his college job because he wasn’t good at running his gimmick college offense. And let’s have him run that same offense for our team, because you know that kind of offense always works in the NFL.



An afternoon at University of Phoenix Stadium condenses the entire “Phoenix Experience” into one day. It looks shiny & cool and seems fun from the outside but after spending hours in traffic to get there passing by one-million billboards trying to convince you that an Arizona State MBA is will be rocket fuel for your career, walking across a scorching tarmac after parking 2.5 miles away so you can pay entirely too much to be surrounded by vapid unimaginative morons who can’t think of anything to do besides spend money on dumb shit (SCOTTSDALE), you’ll find yourself wondering, “Why am I here? This isn’t fun. Why do people like this?”

Arizona State considers itself elite yet has 100,000+ students & hired Herm Edwards. Four Peaks beer is grossly overrated and their flagship beer (Kilt Lifter) tastes like soy sauce. Scottsdale should be bulldozed into a vacant lot.

Flagstaff is cool though.


Fuck Matt Leinart with a Heisman.

Submissions for the NFL previews are already closed, alas. Next up: San Francisco 49ers.

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About the author

Drew Magary

Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.