5 Things We Can Learn From The Arizona Cardinals

The great thing about learning is that it is not confined to certain times or a specific location. Learning can happen anytime, anywhere.

I like to highlight this fact by, once a month, looking at things we encounter on a daily basis and seeing what important lesson we can from them.

In today’s installment of “Five Things We Can Learn From Everyday Objects” we are going to talk about something that I will be paying very close attention to for the next 17 weeks (and hopefully a few more after that)…

5 Things We Can Learn From The Arizona Cardinals

1. Failure Is Not Fatal

For most of my life, you would only need to look in one place to find the Cardinals — the bottom of the NFL standings. In their 28 years of playing in Arizona, they have finished with a winning record just six times. However, three of those times have come in the last three years. All of a sudden, they have gone from laughing stock to respected franchise.

A famous John Wooden quote says, “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” The Cardinals failed many times since coming to Phoenix in 1988. Many times it appeared as if they would never win. But luckily for Arizona sports fans, their failure was not fatal. They have figured out how to change and are beginning to reap the rewards.
2. Individuals Can Change

If there is one Cardinal player who is a walking billboard for the above Wooden quote it is Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu has failed school, drug tests, and recently his knees have failed him. He carries failure like experienced travelers carry neck pillows.

Despite all that, the scrappy safety is seen as one of the best defensive players in the NFL. Like the Cardinals organization, he has not let that failure become fatal. He has cleaned up his life, his image and (Cardinals’ fans hope) his knee problems.

3. You Need The Right People In The Right Places

My football knowledge is limited but I know this much…when the Cardinals were bad, their owner was bad. And when their owner was bad, their coaches were bad. And when their coaches were bad, their players were bad. Sure they have good players and coaches here and there, but never enough and never in the right positions.

Now they are good because they have a future hall of famer in Larry Fitzgerald, a top 10 head coach in Bruce Arians, and a star quarterback in Caron Palmer. They have all the ingredients needed for success. Something they haven’t always been able to say

4. Continuity Is Critical

The Cardinals return every player who scored an offensive touchdown last season — something that is unheard of in the era where players change teams more than most people change toothbrushes. This familiarity may not seem like much, but in a league that is so balanced, even the tiniest sliver can make a huge impact.

5. With Great Power Comes Great Expectations

Sorry Spiderman’s uncle, responsibility is not the only thing that comes with having great power. Expectations are also known to follow the powerful. When the Cardinals were bad, they had no expectations (except maybe to lose 12 games). Now, they are being picked to win the Super Bowl. It is clear they have the power, now we’ll find out if they can live up to those expectations.

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