First off, congratulations on making the Super Bowl. It's amazing that two teams that have struggled so much in their history have managed to appear in back to back Super Bowls(maybe you guys can win it). The reason for my post today is to pass on some advice. As you know, we were in this same boat this time last year and went through the ups and downs of the experience, and here are my thoughts:
- Soak it all up now - Basically just enjoy every moment of it. You have a little over a week now and let me tell you, it flys by. Buy as much merchandise as you can. Shirts, hats, bumper stickers, whatever. I wish I would've bought more stuff to remember and display on my Cardinals wall of fame.
- Get out of denial - I know it seems surreal right now - It didn't hit me that the Cardinals were actually in the Super Bowl until after they lost. It was just this unreal feeling that they were actually there and I guess my mind couldn't wrap itself around it. Saints fans, YOU ARE IN THE SUPER BOWL!!!!!. Consider that your virtual shake and slap in the face to wake you up if you weren't already.
- Go for the kill - I've glanced around your site and have noticed some of you accepting the fact that you just made it to the Super Bowl and you're okay with that. Trust me when I say, I am still ecstatic that the Cardinals made it, BUT, I really wanted that trophy. I remember telling myself last year that I didn't care if they lost, that I was just so damn happy the Cardinals were actually in the big game. Our NFC championship win was our Super Bowl, and as great as it was, it couldn't have stood up to hoisting that Lombardi trophy. I wanted nothing more then to see us in NFL Network's, "America's Game". Instead I was stuck re-watching Ben Roethlisberger throw the game-winning TD pass to Santonio Holmes...over and over and over and over and...you get the point. Everyone I knew, even friends and family that weren't really Cardinal fans but lived in AZ were depressed..yes depressed. Therefore, aim for the ultimate goal and don't be happy with anything less.
- Prepare for anything - Now this isn't saying be ready to lose, but prepare your mind for anything. As indescribable as it is for your team to be IN the Super Bowl, it's the same feeling to describe the loss - gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, tooth-pulling, grabbing the noose and wrapping it around your neck only for a family member to...oh wait, too much information. I'm sure you understand where I'm coming from here. I know right now you feel like it's impossible to be knocked from your high-horse, but IT IS POSSIBLE. Just get the alcohol ready before the game, and you'll be ok if things go bad.
So that is my little spew of advice from a team that was just in the Super Bowl last year. Yes there are probably other Cardinal fans that may disagree, but I think we can all agree that winning the big game was more important then the entire season all together. I realize the Saints are relatively young but there's a reason why people say getting to, and winning the Super Bowl are damn near impossible. So as I get ready for the Super Bowl that is a little over a week away, I'll be rooting for my fellow NFC - former doormat team - to win Super Bowl 44. Go Saints!!!