Getting patriotic with Whiz

Posted by Darren Urban on June 15, 2011 – 3:46 pm

The news came out today that coach Ken Whisenhunt will be one of four NFL coaches, present and past (Gary Kubiak and father and son Mora as well) heading to the Persian Gulf to visit U.S. military troops and help boost morale while they are over there serving our country. Obviously, many connect the Cardinals with the military because of Pat Tillman, but former safety/general manager Larry Wilson was one of the first players to take part in one of these USO tours (I’ve repeated posting Wilson’s Vietnam picture below, with the Rams’ Dick Bass in the middle with the beret and Dandy Don Meredith on the far right. Wilson is second from the left).

It’s different than back in Vietnam. Doing some research for this, I came across an article that quoted former Steelers linebacker Andy Russell, who apparently was in the service before going to the NFL and then went to Vietnam in 1968 for one of these trips. Russell was actually handed a machine gun and asked to ride shotgun because they didn’t have anyone else to spare. Russell even did a two-hour guard shift at the hotel, M-16 at the ready.

I am guessing Whisenhunt won’t have to deal with that, although he did say things have changed in the region — after the raid on bin Laden — since he said he’d take the trip. It was low-key for Larry Fitzgerald back in 2009 when he went too.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter how you stand on why soldiers are where they are in the world. It matters that they are willing to do a job many, frankly, aren’t. For what they do for us, it makes sense to send over celebrities — in this case, NFL coaches — to remind them their work isn’t forgotten.

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Posted in Blog | 11 Comments »

11 Responses to “Getting patriotic with Whiz”

  1. By CZarr on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply


    You probably already read this, but I was stoked to see Lyle Sendlein near the top of this list!

  2. By Darren Urban on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    CZarr —

    RE: Sendlein

    Planned to blog about it first thing tomorrow.

  3. By AndyStandsUp on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    Good for Whiz and great for the gals and guys who serve.
    Kubiak stated that it’s a seven day trip and the last 2 years, it’s been around the 4th of July. With the lockout POSSIBLY being lifted at the same time, how bananas would it drive Ken to have the undrafted rookies/FA rush go on without him. (I’m sure he, Keim and Graves have a plan worked out in writing that would go without a hitch.)

  4. By AndyStandsUp on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    Off topic question Darren, but I know you would be the one with an answer.
    Just read the Skydome in Flag is closed for repairs until September 10th or so.
    IF (and I know it’s a big if), training camp opens on time, any backup plans for the fans attending with inclement weather? (Cards will still practice indoors, but patrons not allowed.) Red/White scrimmage has had attendance of over 10,000 the last few years. That would be a huge bubble-burster for Camp Cards loonies.

  5. By Darren Urban on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Flagstaff

    As you can imagine, all the camp details are in the back pocket right now pending the labor situation. I wish I could tell you. I hope it’s not a moot point.

  6. By B on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    Terrelle Pryor is entering the supplemental draft.Do the Cards have any intrest?

  7. By Darren Urban on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    B —

    RE: Pryor

    No, I wouldn’t think they would. Can’t waste a roster spot on someone so raw.

  8. By B on Jun 17, 2011 | Reply

    Haha sure they can..they did with Minimus Hall!haha jk

  9. By ross on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, you mistakenly said “raw”, I think you meant to say “crappy.”

  10. By B on Jun 17, 2011 | Reply

    What was his record at Ohio?

  11. By Scott H on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    Well, I guess these guys have to do SOMETHING while the NFL continues to not exist. But, really, this is a good thing for the troops, so…at least some good is coming from this shut down thing.

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