The long hot wait is over for Cardinal fans. Sunday marked the first day in eighteen years that the faithful could watch a home opener without the glare of the sun in their eyes and without sweat from their brows dripping into their beer. Cardinal fans have long been denied what it feels like to match cool crisp autumn air with NFL excitement. Rather, sitting through the first few games has always left us feeling more like buckets of hot, greasy chicken wings left on the dashboard. (Actually, we gave this one a try on Sunday and discovered that five-hour, car-broiled wings make for a tasty post-game treat.)
That this year is going to be different was abundantly obvious as we drove down Camelback and were greeted with the expansive view of the stadium. We made our way down 91st Avenue with ease, although admittedly we arrived two hours before kick-off. Though we miss the pre game stops at our favorite Mill Avenue spots, the grassy area on the west side of the stadium will hold its own appeal for mingling once the mercury drops a few degrees.
We've had many months of hype about the stadium's design and technological marvel of a sliding grass field, however what struck us foremost and made us smile over our suds was the blast of cool air that greeted us as we entered the stadium. No longer do you need a gallon water chaser after every Bud. Instead we moved smoothly from concessions, cold beer and hot dog in hand, to section 104, without a single bead of perspiration forming on our brows. One small step for man, one giant leap for Cardinal kind.