This past Monday evening I attended a Tone Loc concert at State Farm Field (formerly known as University of Phoenix Stadium) which also featured a Monday Night Football game between the 3-9 Arizona Cardinals and the 6-6 New England Patriots.
Just kidding. My friend Aaron is originally from Connecticut, slings insurance in Phoenix and has been a Cards season ticket holder for like 15 years. (Rough). He's a Pats fan deep down (his son's name is Brady), so every 4 years or so he gets to watch his real team come to town and kick the shit out of his adopted team. I've been lucky in that the last two visits he's invited me to join.
By now you know the game was a dumpster fire display of football, poor Kyler Murray shredded his knee on the second play of the game, and Colt McCoy got his ass kicked all night performing fill-in duty.
My major takeaways from the game were:1- how stacked that Cardinals team really is on paper. 2- how atrocious the Patriots coaching is this season, especially special teams. and 3- how truly awful a coach Kliff Kingsbury is.
But none of that comes as a surprise to anybody that watches the NFL on a weekly basis and is honest with themself.
What DID come as a surprise, was several people jumping to defend my condemnation of something I viewed as loser behavior: hanging division banners in a pro sports team stadium. Emphasis on the word pro. As in professional. As in adults, paid handsome sums of money to compete in the respective sport.
This collective was led by mis amigos Jeff D Lowe and John Henry Feitelberg.
Now I was obviously called a spoiled/privileged Boston fan, which is honestly true. It hasn't always been this way, but I'd be delusional to argue New Englanders haven't been outrageously spoiled over the past 20 years.
But regardless of that fact, and being totally impartial here, with nothing against the Arizona Cardinals whatsoever, isn't hanging "Division Champs" banners kind of pathetic?
As I told Feitelberg, you're essentially bragging about beating up on 3 other teams all year.
There is a MAJOR difference between celebrating a Conference Championship and a Division Championship. Namely, one requires winning a playoff game. Which 99% of the time means you beat an equal or better team. I'm not Jerry Thornton so I don't know this fact like I know my own phone number, but I am 99% certain there have been years the Patriots have won the AFC East division without ever beating another AFC East team that finished over .500.
That's a fucking joke.
Speaking of fucking jokes, why are we honoring players who literally had a cup of coffee with your team, aren't even remembered as playing there, and never actually won anything?
Looking at you Carson Palmer. (AKA John Gruden's favorite QB).
If you want to be a contrarian and argue Palmer deserves the honor, go for it.
But that means you also have to back Kurt Warner.
I could be totally, completely wrong on this. In which case, I will be the first to admit it and say sorry for being an asshole. I just thought this was America, and we were better than this, and we celebrated actual winners.
So what's the verdict? We ok with Divisional Championship Banners or not?