I’ve always felt a great admiration for an athlete who walks away from the game on their own terms , rather than in the end for them having to be shown the door unceremoniously . It happens far too often with regard to the latter. And I know there’ll be those out there who will say that it’s their right to go on as long it’s humanly possible. But consider this , in the real world there’s a mandatory retirement age. And granted, we see people in all walks of working late into their years in a variety of fields. We’re not going to see someone in their late forties still playing in the NFL . Well , not unless your name happens to be Brett Favre. I can only surmise, that he wants to play ‘til he’s as old as Methuselah ? And for those of you who aren’t religious or perhaps have never read the Bible. Methuselah happened to be the oldest recorded person from that venerable book.
Well after 12 years in the NFL, Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback, Kurt Warner , has to decided to call it a day. He goes out on his own terms having had a story book career . A two time league MVP, Superbowl (SB XXXIV) winner and Supebowl winning MVP. Amongst other accolades , Warner has three of the top five performances ever as a quart back in the Superbowl. If that’s enough to book him a place in Canton , Ohio, then they might as well shut the frigging place down once and for all ! Never mind the regular season stats that’ve littered his career. Kurt Warner has been an exemplary player, teammate and an outstanding human being. And there are not too many sport’s individuals that one can say that about in this day and age. I don’t care in what sporting endeavor you might care to name. There has never been any controversy surrounding Warner on or off the field. And his peers past and present consider him to be amongst the very best not only as competitor , teammate or opponent. But also in terms of his character and his compassion for other less well of than him. That will be the measure of Warner’s legacy upon the NFL.
Now having said this, I must admit that his retirement hasn’t taken me by complete surprise. I understand why he now feels it’s time to bow out from a stage he graced so successfully. He’s a family man but also someone who has devoted a great time in the pursuance of helping others. And his beliefs , as he’s a devout Christian , wills Warner now to a higher calling . In this case it’s not solely about spreading the world of Christ but also to as I’d previously stated is to help those in need. It’s the same approach that was taken by former Indianapolis Colts’ head coach Tony Dungy. And it is now the same path that Warner will now follow . Both men , their accomplishments and their calling are commendable traits !
Now looking at the Cardinals going forward, I think that they have a solid foundation, from which to build upon. That being said , I’m not quite sure as of yet that Matt Leinart possesses the temperament to lead this team. It’s all well and good that he had things essentially handed to him on a silver platter with USC. But since his arrival in the NFL , he’s yet to show that he has the capacity for learning the game , much less show signs of maturity. How else can one explain the petulance shown by him when he was replaced as the starter on the Cardinals’ team by coach, Ken Whisenhunt ? If that doesn’t indicate that Leinart, when at USC was all about self entitlement, rather than doing what is best for the team. Then it’s easy to understand the reason why he’s struggled to make his presence felt in the NFL. With Warner , having been given the starter’s role on the team they haven’t looked back since.
It will definitely be strange, next season to see this Cardinals’ team take the field and no longer see Warner there , with his name emblazoned on the back of his jersey. But as I alluded to earlier , he walks away from this game under his own steam , in good health , knowing that he’s accomplished a great many feats that perhaps none of us could ever have dreamed him doing . Warner did things his way and for that I for am grateful to say that it has been indeed a privilege to see him play. Anything beyond that is now just an after thought.
I don’t think anyone could’ve said it better than ol’ “Blue Eyes”… Frank Sinatra. ‘I Did It My Way’
Unresolved Issues Do You Want Me Or Not ? Is This What Anquan Boldin Ought To Be Asking ?
As much as he may well have bitched and whined last year, as a member of the Arizona Cardinals and their improbable run to last season’s Superbowl. You can’t but help but now wonder, if the Cardinals’ organization is doing the right thing in the stance that they’re taking with regard to Anquan Boldin and his contract negotiations.
This situation has dragged on over from last year and while there were cries that the team should’ve traded the player. Calmer heads and common sense prevailed in the end. One would like to think that coach, Ken Whisenhunt and team GM, Rod Graves, may well have thought long and hard mulling the situation over. But in essence, this team without Boldin isn’t near as good, as it could be ! With he , Larry Fitzgerald , Early Doucet , Sean Morey and Steve Breaston. The Arizona Cardinals may well have the best receiving corps in the entire NFL. You’d be hard pressed to find a better duo in all of the NFL , than Bolden and Fitzgerald, at present. And if you can name a team with a better receiving corp , then I’ll stack what the Cardinals have at present against your choice !
Glendale , Arizona,. – Five minutes into Sunday night’s showdown between NFC contenders on the road to repeating as division champions, the Arizona Cardinals were in trouble.
The formidable Minnesota Vikings had already forced a fumble and taken a seven-point lead on a Brett Favre(notes) touchdown pass, and the 64,121 fans at University of Phoenix Stadium braced themselves for a replay of the Vikes’ blowout victory here a year ago. Having missed the previous game while recovering from a concussion, Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner(notes) seemed a vulnerable target for All-Pro defensive end Jared Allen(notes) and the rest of Minnesota’s physical defense.
And then, with an inimitable mixture of blunt force and sublime skill, Anquan Boldin(notes) put the Cards on his back and carried them to their most impressive victory since last January’s NFC championship game.
After that historic triumph, which put Arizona in its first Super Bowl, Boldin threw a bizarrely timed tantrum over his lack of involvement in the offense and left the stadium as if he were auditioning for a role in “Gone in 60 Seconds.”
On Sunday, following the Cardinals’ 30-17 thumping of the Vikings, a far happier Boldin stuck around to talk about the message he and his team had just sent to the rest of the league: While most people have been fixated on the undefeated New Orleans Saints and the Vikings, who’d lost just once before Sunday, as the teams to beat in the NFC, the defending conference champs remain a force to be reckoned with as the stretch run commences.
“I definitely wanted to set a tone,” Boldin said. “When one of us starts out big like that, it puts pressure on a defense and opens it up for everybody, and people feed off each other.”
In this case, “us” was a reference to Boldin and fellow Pro Bowl wideout Larry Fitzgerald(notes), the NFL’s most dangerous receiving tandem.
Fitzgerald, 26, is in the second year of a four-year, $40 million contract befitting of his status as perhaps the NFL’s best receiver.
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As we all know, the 2010-11 NFL season will be an uncapped one and teams will either have to lavish their unrestricted and impending free agents with large sums of money as an incentive to remain with their teams. Or they’ll just have to turn them loose on the ‘open market’. And as to whether or not teams are willing to pay what no doubt will be escalating prices for those players. Well, it remains to be seen. One thing for sure however, is that the deep pocketed franchises, such as the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins will do their damned to secure the services of such players. The impending ‘free market frenzy’ that’s liable to take place could well have some serious ramifications, as to the future of the NFL and a number of its franchises.
Clearly, if Rod Graves is prepared to ‘roll the dice’ and gamble on the fact, that he can still work something out with Anquan Boldin. Then he may well have something up his sleeve or he’s prepared to call the player’s bluff. He could well be setting himself and the Cardinals’ organization up for a great fall should they not be able to negotiate an agreeable contract amenable to both parties.
While a great many people viewed Boldin as something of a malcontent, given the fact that he wanted his contract to be reconstructed so that he could be paid in line with that of premiere players at the position around the league. He’d seen his teammate, Larry Fitzgerald, resigned to a hefty contract and the team’s quarterback, Kurt Warner receive a two year, $ 24 million deal. Meanwhile , he (Boldin) was being left out in the cold, while management took care of others who they felt it was of an urgency to get something done. If that wasn’t met to be a slight by owner, Bill Bidwill. Then clearly the impression they wanted to create wasn’t met with any great conciliatory response by Anquan Boldin. If it wasn’t a slap in the face, then it may well have felt like a kick to the groin ?
Though the two sides still appear to be at an impasse and it’d be fair to say ,that the Cardinals would not be a better team without Boldin on the field of play. To suggest otherwise , would be to show sheer stupidity by anyone thinking along those lines. Can you hear me Mike Ditka ? At least have the temerity to make a case when putting forth your argument. Instead of just giving ridiculous sound bytes, merely because you’ve got nothing better to say. It just never ceases to amaze me as to the absolute lengths taken by the ‘on air personalities’ on many of the sports magazines and news’ programs. For guys, who are said to have been immersed in the game. They’ll repeatedly come up with something more asinine in the form of a statement, from one moment to the next. All the while, you as a viewer or listener begin to ask yourself ….’did he really just say that’ ?
As the Arizona Cardinals (8-4) embark on garnering a postseason berth in the NFL playoffs. They’re comfortably leading the NFC West division with some ease. In all likelihood the chances are the team will give a good account of themselves in the playoffs. With them having defeated the high flying Minnesota Vikings with a great deal of ease , end result, 30-17 ,that clearly reflects this. I for one hope, that the team can show the same sort of resolve and attitude shown as last year.
Who’d have guessed that the long suffering fans of the Arizona Cardinals would live to see them make the Superbowl (SBXXXXIII)? Albeit, that they lost in the end, putting up a gallant effort against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The team needs Anquan Boldin, just as much as he needs them. He may well be allowed to leave for pastures green but I sincerely doubt that he’ll be to find the type of environment where his teammates and fans made him feel, all the more welcomed ! Money they say … ‘speaks all languages’ but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee you the success or happiness you’re said to be looking for. All it really does, is to provide you with the mere luxuries of life. It may well be something that has crossed the player’s mind. But in the end this will all come down to the desire of the parties concerned. As to what that final outcome might be, one can only speculate at this juncture.