Friday, November 4, 2016

Arizona Cardinals Hold a New Title: Longest Championship Drought in American Sports

PHOENIX (KPHO/KTVK) - By Derek Staahl

The Chicago Cubs’ first World Series win in 108 years means there is a new team with the longest...

The Cardinals’ last championship was in 1947 before the Super Bowl even existed. Back then, the team played in Chicago.

Chicago Cardinals memorabilia is hard to find in the Valley of the Sun. Mike Weber, owner of Hall of Fame Collectables in Mesa, said he last had some in stock 12 years ago.

“Phoenix and the history of sports is not like the No. 1 thing,” Weber said. “If I had my choice of stocking Mickey Mantle or somebody from the yesterday Cardinals, there's no contest.”

But Weber thinks it might behoove the future of the franchise to play up the past.

“The more talk about history and not winning, the more publicity the Arizona Cardinals get. The more you mention it, the more talked about, the more action,” he said.

The Cubs played the “loveable loser” card to perfection over the last few decades, but the Cardinals have been reluctant to embrace their history at the more modern-looking University of Phoenix stadium, said Greg Smith, who runs ChicagoCardinals.org.

“You see the pictures of the old Chicago guys in the atrium as you're walking around. The pictures are there, but there's no explanation as to who these guys are,” he said.

Smith said the Cardinals have traditionally been a “have not” franchise; a smaller market team that operated in the red in the early years and may have been hurt most over the years by their mediocrity.

“They weren’t bad enough to get the No. 1 draft pick,” he said.

If the Cardinals stay true to their Chicago roots and wait 108 years to win a championship, it won’t happen until 2055.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
active championship drought in professional sports. That title now belongs to the Arizona Cardinals.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Week 7- What More Can One Say?


Fortunately they didn't lose, but damn they should have won! More on the Cards later. Time to crash after watching the Cubs lose game one of the World Series.  Friday's game will be at the former home of the Cardinals- Wrigley Field.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Week 5- The Day After Throwback Thursday


Last night the Cardinals and 49ers played an old style game on Throwback Thursday, which reminded me of those games in the 1970s when the running game trumped the passing game. In this case it was more about the lack of quality quarterbacks playing on the field. So now the Cardinals are 2-3 after beating up on a pretty awful 49ers team, whose only redeeming value last night was their black Lycra clad cheerleaders in their "Color Rush" cheer uniforms (truly the best ones in the league)... We pause here for a long look!

Mmmmm.... Ok time for leering and gazing is over, back to football! Let's take a look at the highlights from last night... 




Thank God the defense played great, for the passing offense with Drew Stanton under center looked sluggish. To many dropped balls. Fortunately David Johnson brought his Walter Payton moves and ran all over the 49ers defense. In sum, despite their quarterback and struggling back up quarterback, the Cardinals prevailed.  Midway through the first quarter this writer was calling for Josh McCown to come in and take over, for he could have moved the ball with much more fluidity up and down the field, for he is the type of quarterback the Cardinals need on the bench, a 21st Century version of Don Strock.

The Cardinals should never have gotten rid of Josh
Don Strock was the ultimate pinch hitter and relief pitcher in the 1970s and 1980s, just ask Don Shula!
Well, those are my early morning thoughts on last night.  More later today, especially on the subject of uniforms and the need for the NFL to remember its history...

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Breaking! Carson Palmer ruled out for Thursday vs. 49ers


Carson Palmer Does Not Have History on His Side


The 2016 season has not been kind to Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer.
Palmer’s completion, touchdown, and interception rates are below the league average, he suffered a concussion on Sunday that puts his status for Thursday’s game in doubt. To top it off, Arizona is just 1-3.
The rough start comes on the heels of a career year for Palmer in 2015, when he threw for more than 4,600 yards and 35 touchdowns, while leading the league in net yards per pass and Passing Net Expected Points (you can read more about NEP here).
When viewed in this light, his current struggles are surprising, but should we have seen them coming?

Palmer's 2015

It seems easy to ask this now, but if Palmer turns things around, this success would buck a trend for aging quarterbacks, even good ones.
During his age-36 season last year, Palmer set career highs in raw yards per attempt, net yards per attempt, and adjusted yards per attempt both in standard form and relative to league average. His 6.5% touchdown rate was also the best of his career (and second-best of his career relative to league average).
In terms of advanced stats, Palmer also set career bests in terms of Passing NEP and Passing NEP per drop back. His 52.9% Passing Success Rate was the second-best mark of his career, narrowly trailing his 53.1% rate from 2005 (Success Rate is the percentage of plays that yield positive NEP).
All this success at an old age (for a football player, at least), put Palmer in rare company, as his 2015 season marked the 47th time a quarterback threw at least 200 passes and posted an adjusted yards per attempt rate that was at least a standard deviation above league average, according to Pro Football Reference (there have been 171 total seasons in which a quarterback who is 35 or older has attempted at least 200 passes).
Adjusted yards per attempt takes raw yards per attempt and gives a 20-yard bonus for touchdown passes and a 45-yard penalty for interceptions (it is inferior to adjusted net yards per pass because it does not include sack yardage; however, sacks were not tracked until the 1970s, so AY/A is useful here because it allows us to look at all of NFL history).
Before we go on, make sure you’re paying attention New England Patriots fans -- because Tom Bradyjoined this group last season as well.

The Following Year

37 of these quarterbacks returned the following year to throw at least 140 passes, and things generally did not go well for this group. In the seasons in which they were at least a standard deviation better than the mean, this group had an average AY/A+ of 121.9; the following year, their average AY/A+ fell to 105.4 (AY/A+ is adjusted net yards per pass relative to league average, in which 100 is always average and 15 units equal one standard deviation above or below the mean).
Only eight of these quarterbacks saw their AY/A+ increase, while 19 saw a decline of more than one standard deviation, and nine fell by at least two. Peyton Manning (last year) and Y.A. Tittle (1964) fell by more than three standard deviations, suggesting all-time greats are not exceptions here.
Here is the group:
PlayerYearAgeTmYear
Att
Year
AY/A+
Y+1
Att
Y+1
AY/A+
AY/A+
Diff
Randall Cunningham199835MIN425136200104-32
Peyton Manning201337DEN659134597116-18
Steve Young199736SFO356133517126-7
Dave Krieg199436DET21213252193-39
Steve DeBerg199036KAN444132434101-31
Y.A. Tittle196337NYG36713128173-58
Roger Staubach197836DAL4131284611335
John Brodie197035SFO37812638798-28
Rich Gannon200237OAK61812622590-36
Brett Favre200940MIN53112535885-40
Charley Johnson197436DEN24412514290-35
Y.A. Tittle196236NYG3751243671317
Steve Young199635SFO3161243561339
Len Dawson197136KAN301124305100-24
Tobin Rote196335SDG28612416387-37
Roger Staubach197735DAL3611234131285
Phil Simms199035NYG311122141111-11
Peyton Manning201236DEN58312165913413
Fran Tarkenton197636MIN41212125899-22
Dan Marino199635MIA373119548106-13
Doug Flutie200038BUF23111952194-25
Jeff Garcia200737TAM327119376109-10
Rich Gannon200035OAK473118549116-2
Tom Brady201235NWE637117628101-16
Brett Favre200738GNB53511752290-27
Billy Kilmer197435WAS234117346111-6
Trent Green200535KAN50711719890-27
Rich Gannon200136OAK54911661812610
John Elway199535DEN542116466113-3
Fran Tarkenton197535MIN4251164121215
Peyton Manning201438DEN59711631368-48
Sammy Baugh194935WAS255116166106-10
Kurt Warner200837ARI598115513107-8
Doug Flutie199836BUF35411547898-17
Craig Morton197835DEN267115370102-13
John Elway199737DEN5021153561205
Warren Moon199539MIN60611524790-25
AVERAGE121.9105.4-16.5
MEDIAN121104-16

The picture may be even bleaker for Palmer though. We can subdivide this group of 37 even further, by looking at the eight quarterbacks who (like Palmer) had a career year in terms of AY/A+ and returned to play the following season (note that Vinny Testaverde, John Elway, and Jim Plunkett also had their best AY/A+ seasons when they over 35 but did not get significant playing time the following year; Elway and Plunkett retired, and Testaverde missed virtually all of 1999 with an injury).
This group did better than the population as a whole (average AY/A+ of 128.4) but also saw a steeper decline the following season (average AY/A+ of 92.9, meaning they actually played at a below league-average level).
Except for Doug Flutie (who declined by 25 units or about 1.7 standard deviations), this group all declined by at least two standard deviations. Only Randall Cunningham (in 1999) and Steve DeBerg (1991) played at an above league-average level.
PlayerYearAgeTmYear
Att
Year
AY/A+
Y+1
Att
Y+1
AY/A+
AY/A+
Diff
Randall Cunningham199835MIN425136200104-32
Steve DeBerg199036KAN444132434101-31
Dave Krieg199436DET21213252193-39
Y.A. Tittle196337NYG36713128173-58
John Brodie197035SFO37812638798-28
Rich Gannon200237OAK61812622590-36
Charley Johnson197436DEN24412514290-35
Doug Flutie200038BUF23111952194-25
AVERAGE128.492.9-35.5
MEDIAN128.593.5-33.5

None of this is to suggest Palmer cannot play at a high level going forward. The Cardinals' offense remains loaded with talent and is led by Bruce Arians -- widely considered one of the league's better coaches -- and Palmer himself has been an above-average quarterback for most of his career.
It does seem, however, that history is not on his side.