You can reach Rich Tandler by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net
I've been following the NFL since 1967 and I've never wanted anything that the Cardinals had, either in St. Louis or as Phoenix or Arizona. Until now, that is. Here is the artist's rendition of their new stadium, which will finally open next season:
No, it's not the retractable roof. I'm not real wild
about those contraptions. Besides, it looks like when it's open that the sun
will shine on the field in disruptive patterns like you find at Texas Stadium.
The cool thing is what you see sticking out in front of it,
the retractable field. Yes, a retractable field. From the brochure describing
The first completely retractable field in North America, it will be positioned inside the stadium on game days to offer the preferred natural-grass playing surfact for football and outside the stadium for the remaining 350+ days of the year to receive sunlight and watering. The field tray will be powered by electric motors mounted on steel wheels riding on tracks embedded in the concrete floor.
Now that's cool. You don't have to use fake grass and
still have your semi-dome. It just goes to show you what you can do if someone
backs up several dump trucks full of public money for you to build your stadium
with. The brochure does note that the Cardinals "contributed" $120 million
to the project, which will have a price tag in the vicinity of a half a billion
dollars. Mighty big of you, Bill Bidwell. It probably about covered the cost of
the retractable field.
The Cardinals' owner is notorious for throwing around
nickels like they were manhole covers. They are under the salary cap every year.
For 2006 they are some $30 million under the projected cap. It will be
interesting to see if he will put the cash that his mostly taxpayer funded
palace into the team or into his pocket. The betting is that the manholes
don't travel far from Bidwell's pocket.
The Redskins are a game behind a group of 7-5 teams that
are fighting for the last Wild Card playoff spot. While it was pointed out here
earlier this week that they might be able to afford one more loss and snare a
playoff spot with nine wins, this is note one of the games that they can afford
to lose. They have to build something called a winning streak, something they
haven't done since the first three games of the season. And you just can't
lose to the Cardinals, one of the worst teams in the league.
Out of the five phases of the game—passing, pass defense,
running, run defense, and special teams—Arizona is respectable in one of them,
the first one. Kurt Warner is finding Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin often
enough to be able to string together four 300-yard passing games in his last
five outings. Their special teams play was very good, especially the kicking,
until Neil Rackers pulled a calf muscle in practice and wound up on the shelf.
But they are dead last in the NFL in running the ball and mediocre at best
Washington hopes to be able to keep Warner and company off
the field and control the clock by running Clinton Portis left, right, and up
the middle. Look for them to go with the pitchout to Portis, the play that
resulted in his 47-yard touchdown run in St. Louis, a bit more often than they
The Redskins won against a mediocre team on the road last
week somewhat easily. The game was not quite as close as even the 24-9 final
score would indicate. They should be able to do the same this week. Unlike some
times in the past when the Redskins have had the superior team and have gone
into Arizona or St. Louis expecting to win easily only to be trapped, they
won't get caught looking past this game.
Redskins 28, Cardinals 14