When Looking at the 2018 Cardinals, it is Hard Not to Look Back

The Cardinals season is all but over, but many fans feel that it is already over. The Bruce Arians era is in the review mirror in what seems like only had lasted a moment. But a funny thing happened recently, the NFL Films Documentary “A Football Life” recently released a new episode on none other than Carson Palmer. What better way to distract us from the present, by looking at the past.

Going through his whole story really made me appreciate the type of player that the Cardinals were able to have for the short run that he had with our beloved team. Steve Keim called him “arguably the hardest working Cardinals that the organization has seen in years.” Looking at behind the scenes footage of him at the facility made it hard to deny that.

I distinctly remember when Carson was traded to the Cardinals. Many fans doubted that he would do anything for us, coming off of a terrible year with Oakland. The Cardinals only gave up a 6th round pick for Carson, easily one of the greatest trades that the Cardinals have pulled off. Patrick Peterson called him “The best deep baller thrower I’ve ever played with and I’ve ever seen.” His first year (2013) the Cardinals went 10-6 and in 2014 they had a 9-1 start right up until Carson tore his ACL against the Rams. Larry Fitzgerald declared the 2014 team as the best team of that era. “Carson was on pace to be all pro that year, he was playing that good of ball,” said Fitzgerald. The injury devastated Carson and the organization for that year. Carson came back swinging in the offseason, fighting to come back stronger and better than before.

Carson comes back in 2015 just in time to start. All fans remember 2015-16 as one of the most magical years that the Cardinals have ever had. The year of the All or Nothing documentary, the miraculous Green Bay playoff game, all of it. There was no greater leader on that team than Carson. His grit and determination fueled this team to do things that fans could have hardly imagined. The inspirational music plays as I rewatch Larry run down to the 5-yard line. Tears well in my eyes as I remember being there, nearly fainting with pure joy to watch my team win one of the wildest games ever. Then the somber music plays as NFC Championship game highlights roll. What was almost a fitting ending for Carson and Bruce was now over.

The saddest piece of all of this was seeing Steve Keim tear up recalling Carson Palmer apologizing for breaking his arm in his last season. Watching this episode really took me back to a greater time as a Cardinals fan. From this Cardinal fan, thank YOU, Carson Palmer, for embodying the grit that this team needed. We are truly proud of your time here. You made it fun to be a fan again.

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