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Youth is served

Posted by Darren Urban on July 13, 2010 – 4:58 pm

When I pointed out to a journalist friend of mine that I felt old when I was looking at the Cards’ roster and saw a handful of players who were born the year I graduated high school — 1988 — he pointed out that would be a great story. Talk to these guys about what they knew about the Cards, since that was the same year the Cardinals moved to Arizona. So I did just that, with running back Beanie Wells, receiver Andre Roberts, quarterback John Skelton and cornerback A.J. Jefferson.

I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me as time marches on. But when you peruse the Cardinals’ alphabetical roster — the one with the players’ birthdates — and you see all the guys who seem to be born so recently. Obviously, we are pre-training camp, so there are more younger guys than usual, but of the 85 guys still around (remember, the team must cut a player every time one of the five remaining unsigned draft picks signs) 39 were born in 1985 or later. The youngest guy remains Wells, who doesn’t turn 22 until Aug. 7. Eleven guys were born in the 1970s. They are, in order of oldest to youngest: P Ben Graham (1973), NT Bryan Robinson (1974), K Jay Feely, TE Anthony Becht, LS Mike Leach and G Alan Faneca (1977), LBs Clark Haggans, Joey Porter and Paris Lenon (1977), LB Monty Beisel (1978) and S Adrian Wilson (1979).


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Posted in Blog | 24 Comments »


24 Responses to “Youth is served”

  1. By georgiebird on Jul 13, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,

    As I look at some of the recent news two things don’t sit well with my 51 years as a Cardinals fan.

    1) all the accolades given to Don Coryell as a Charger. He did his best work with the Cardinals. He led the Cardinals to 3 straight NFC East Titles (one was a tie)-in what has always been the toughest division in the NFL. He also single handedly drafted Terry Metcalf probably the most exciting Cardinal player of all-time.

    2) the current Cardinals not knowing a guy like Neil Lomax is depressing. But not to know Roy Green-the greatest Cardinal receiver. What young people aren’t aware – is that for two years running Bill Parcells called Roy Green the best offensive player in the NFC. Beside his 106 yard kickoff return, Green was constantly double and tripled team as a WR. His stats pale against the current crop but given a more balanced offense and some playoff appearances, Green would have been one of the all-time greats

  2. By Slim on Jul 13, 2010 | Reply

    I love this article! It’s cool to know that I’m actually 6 months older than one of my favorite player, Beanie Wells. As a life-long cardinals fan, even that makes me start to feel old! I remember being a little kid sitting in the bleachers of Sun Devil Stadium, relishing in the cards finally beating the cowboys in front of mostly Dallas fans. We’ve come a long way in 22 years.

  3. By Scott H on Jul 13, 2010 | Reply

    Darren –

    Since you mentioned the draftees….we still have five yet to sign. Yeah, it’s too early to panic, still plenty of time until camp starts…but do you see any potential problems there?

  4. By darrenurban on Jul 13, 2010 | Reply

    Georgie —

    1) You’re right, Coryell did great work with the Cards. But he did ground-breaking work with the Chargers with the passing game. My guess is his Chargers were on TV more than his Cards too.

    2) I think there has to be a break given here to the young players. If you didn’t live near Arizona, you aren’t going to know many Cards at this age, no matter how great. Andre Roberts said he didn’t even pay attention to the NFL period until he got to high school. Also, aside from Beanie, the other guys have been Cardinals for three months. Give them a little time to learn about their new franchise.

  5. By darrenurban on Jul 13, 2010 | Reply

    Scott H —

    No.

  6. By CMacyn on Jul 13, 2010 | Reply

    Darren-
    What do you think the chances are that we cut Jason Wright and keep Alfonso Smith? I know its really early but I think Smith could bring a lot to the table in terms of Special teams and a change of pace back with Beanie and Hightower and a very elusive Larod Stephens Howlings. Also how is the fullback spot shaping up. Thanks

  7. By darrenurban on Jul 13, 2010 | Reply

    CMac —

    I think Wright will be kept above Smith. As for FB, Broughton is the leader heading into camp.

  8. By aaaaudio on Jul 13, 2010 | Reply

    Great job on this article Darren! If folks are close to your age Darren (40?), it really is an eye opener. I have been a fan of the NFL since I was probably 8 yrs old (same age as you now). I am also an AZ native. Little story here….I lost $2 when I was 8, bettin on the Cowgirls vs Pitt in the SB to my uncle. Hated them ever since (That WAS the closest team for AZ). I certainly was not entertained much by the Cards when they were in St. Louis as many others can certainly relate.(Although they had some GREAT players) But I support all the AZ teams so I jumped on board with BIG RED in 88′.
    To think these guys were born at the same time the Phoenix Cards were, is amazing! That 20 years went quick!

  9. By BluePitt on Jul 13, 2010 | Reply

    darren,
    I think you are right on with the younger guys, but Wells needs to know by now what he and this team represents and means to all of the fans that sat in the devil’s oven at ASU, and how much just having a .400 season meant to us in the old days! Heck our SB was beating the CowGirls back then! I cried when plummer and co. took the field VS the Cowboys in our first play off birth in AZ, I was at the Saints game when we won to get in and cried as well! I was sobbing after the SB telling all the people at my party that “we can be counted in a very rare circle of men and women that have even had the privilege to see their teams in the SB before they pass on”. Just maybe wells or that rook will get an extra yard or push knowing what and who they are out their fighting for! Tell them it is easy just go to this site and click on history, and they will find a great read about the Card-Pitt and sooo much more!

    Thanks’ for the great work!

  10. By BR on Jul 14, 2010 | Reply

    I’m an old Cardinals fan Darren.
    The times I remember and enjoyed most were as a youngster watching the Cardinals in the 70’s and 80’s. I have had a chance to watch some of the Cardinal games again from that time frame. I am afraid thinking back to such seasons in the late 70’s like when they started 0-6, my memory of them was being bad, especially the defense. However, now as an older fan watching those classic games I was impressed with the all out effort they gave despite the record or score. The players were better than I remembered and the games very enjoyable even in a loss. Correll did a great job. I was surprised watching the Bud Wilkerson year’s games as well. The team played hard for Coryell and Wilkerson. The defensive coaches made the best of the talent available and players gave great effort, as the current Cards do. Wilkerson’s final year brought in a wealth of young talent that helped lead to the exciting season of 1984 (Lomax, OJ Anderson, Roy Green and a good defense). I was and will continue to be a big Jim Hart, Coryell, Lomax, Wayne Morris, Stump Mitchell, Roy Green, Ken Greene, Steve Neils, EJ Junior, Jim Otis, Mel Gray, Metcalf, Mike Dawson, Curtis Greer, Leonard Smith, to many to name them all fan. Thanks for all the memories, effort and hard work!

  11. By darrenurban on Jul 14, 2010 | Reply

    BluePitt —

    Well, first of all, Beanie is the youngest guy of them all, so ….

    Look, I know as fans everyone wants to believe the players are as vested emotionally as they are, but that’s just not the case. This isn’t saying they don’t care about the fans or even the franchise, but in terms of history, they didn’t grow up following this team. Think of it this way: What if, all of a sudden, you had to move to Detroit and were told you had to get behind the Lions. How much of their history would you know? Would you even be that interested in finding out?

  12. By brad oneill on Jul 14, 2010 | Reply

    It is not surprising that Beanie and company did not grow up following the Cardinals, the team was awful for years and years and years with a few bright blips that faded faster than our playoff hopes. i would not want this current team modeling itself after the futility that was the past. Don’t get me wrong there were guys that were fantastic and had great heart and gave everything they had like Lomax, Moore, Vai Sikahema, Aeneas WIlliams, Tillman,Plummer, etc etc etc. But the teams themselves were never really worthy of a fan base.

    i attended a pre season game in Minnesota a few years back in 2004 and i swear i did not see a single cardinals jersey in the crowd. this team we have now is different, they are better, the legacy they create will be their own.

  13. By brad oneill on Jul 14, 2010 | Reply

    just for fun i went and looked up the press from that preseason game in 2004. remember the good old days! :0

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=240814016

  14. By ben on Jul 14, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,

    How do we make Georgie a once a year teacher to all new Cardinal players. He should come in and give a lesson on the history of the Cardinals. It is good for these players to get to know the history of the team. I think it could be very benificial. I dont know Georgie, but by his post he seems to know his stuff.

    BOOK IT!!!

  15. By darrenurban on Jul 14, 2010 | Reply

    Brad —

    Denny’s debut? Man, did he NOT want to talk about Minnesota before that game.

  16. By BluePitt on Jul 14, 2010 | Reply

    darren,
    I get your point, as for wells I meant that due to him not being a rook and having a year with the team, not just getting here. To tell the truth the Lions are my second favorite team (from the sanders days), funny you used them..lol but I do get your point. However if I did move to, lets say Dallas UG!!! I would be a Cowboy fan (second to my card’s) I will always root for the home team! My reasoning is simple, the Home teams success or failyer does affect the community financially and affects the community moral. I would do the research on my new home team, but I do understand where you are coming from from a player’s stand point.(it just sucks from a fans view)

    Brad,
    I wouldn’t want them modeling this team after them ether, But the franchise history is deep and worth knowing as they were a charter member of the NFL and saved the Squeelers from being obsolete, with out the Card’s no 6berg!
    They need to know why people dog on them even when they win, and what “Changing The Culture In AZ” really means to us fans. Why would they model the team after a loosing team? This franchise’s history is what defines them, and makes winning so special to us fans that showed up to Midway Chevrolet in 1988 to get the first autographs from Stump Mitchell and Co. (when I was 12yrs old!)
    As for “never really worthy of a fan base.” That is why it took so long to get a winner and a stadium! Home team baby thick or thin!!!!! The band wagon fans only supported winning teams! (not saying that is you i’m just saying..) I wore my Cards jersey when Wolfley came to my school (Alta Loma in 1989) and spoke as a player, not an announcer! I was the only one in a sea of ButBoys jerseys! LOL My first time getting Jumped on the way home! hahaha

  17. By BluePitt on Jul 14, 2010 | Reply

    Denny hahaha they wer who we thought they wer!!!!!!! I was at that game hahaha in the 3rd I told my wife we were going to loose and told her the exact score it would be in the end!! She still thinks i’m psychic.. I just knew my Cards!!!lol

  18. By Scott H on Jul 14, 2010 | Reply

    Great counter point, Darren, about moving to Detroit and suddenly becoming a Lions fan just because that’s where you are. Livinhg near Philly and an Eagles team that has lost 4 NFC title games in the past 8 years, I have been witness to many an outraged fan who feels that the players owe it to the fans to be just as upset as they are after a loss. Sorry, but it just doesn’t happen that way. I’ve always wanted to ask one of them just exactly WHAT they wanted to see from the players? Tears? Suicidal threats? Road rage? Players invest themselves one way and we, as fans, will never be able to relate to it. As fans, we invest ourselves emotionally and financially in our teams but none of that gives us the right to ask or demand that players be “upset” just because we are AND that they do it in the same way. That’s just ridiculous. Then again, I think that’s what part of being a fan is…being SOOOOOO into it that your thoughts and behavior become ridiculous at times!

  19. By Richard S on Jul 14, 2010 | Reply

    The most fun I had watching a Cardinal game was I believe in 1970 on Monday Nite Football when they beat the Dallas Cowboys by a score of 38-0. Really, no kidding. What a great and fund time I had at thefraternity.

  20. By BluePitt on Jul 15, 2010 | Reply

    Scott,
    Wow it goes from knowing the team that just gave you 10mill’s history…
    To “Tears? Suicidal threats? Road rage? ” how lame! Talk about “ridiculous behavior” Who said all of that stuff? We were just talking about knowing a teams History!….WOAH..”ask or demand” what world do you live in! You are welcome to your opinion but please dont take it to stupid levels! I am and will be a Cards fan till the end! I would love to make it to 4 title games I dont really care if we win them or not! Being a 20+ year Cards fan I am content with a wining record! Sorrrry if I seam Rude but dude? “demand that players be “upset”” WoW!!!

  21. By Matt Freiman on Jul 16, 2010 | Reply

    I’m a fan since 1969. What really bothered me about Don Coryell’s death was the lack of any official mention or coverage on the cards website. He was fired by the cards in a shameful way in 1977(office locks changed) and the lack of coverage by them is shameful

  22. By darrenurban on Jul 16, 2010 | Reply

    Matt —

    http://blog.azcardinals.com/2010/07/01/air-coryell-passes-and-deuces-day/

  23. By Matt Freiman on Jul 16, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, I saw that. What I mean is an official press release/article by the team. Not a mention by you in a blog

    Matt

  24. By Scott H on Jul 16, 2010 | Reply

    BluePitt –

    First of all, I have NOOOOO idea what you are so upset about but…whatever. My post wasn’t even directed at you…so relax, dude. Yes, I was propmted by Darren’s response to your post and it was a statement of an opinion that I had. Sorry if there’s a problem with that but I didn’t realize my posts had to make sense to YOU in order to be valid! For whatever reason, what Darren said caused me to reflect on my observations of Eagle fans out here in Philly ( truly an interesting bunch ) year in and year out. Trust me – if you lived in the same area, you would get where I’m coming from. I’m pretty sure you don’t, and that’s fine. But don’t jump down my throat just because I have a different perspective than yours’. My post was basically a commentary on how ridiculous I think it is that OTHER fans of a team anywhere could NOT appreciate that type of success or would get so utterly frustrated because THEY believe that the players don’t care about losing as much as the fans do. Sound crazy to you? Hey, it does to me, too. But I see and hear a whole lot of it every season out here. Eagle fans wear it like a badge of honor. I think it’s pretty pathetic, myself, and maybe it’s why I never identified with them and became an Eagles fan. Respect my view of the world and I’ll respect yours.

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