Hello Friends and Family,

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Broncos vs. Cardinals

Back in August, I wrote about attending the Open House at the new Cardinals stadium in Glendale — and lamented that I had no idea when, if ever, I would be back. Well, Sunday I was back — as the guest of my friend and fellow HP retiree, Roger — to see the Cardinals play against the Denver Broncos.

One change since August is the addition and dedication of the Pat Tillman Plaza which includes the statue pictured here and a reflecting pond. If perhaps you don't know about Pat Tillman — he was a football player at Arizona State University and later with the Arizona Cardinals. After 9/11, he decided to forgo the riches of the NFL and enlist, with his brother, in the U.S. Army and was trained to become an Army Ranger. He was deployed to Iraq and subsequently to Afghanistan where he was killed in a "friendly fire" accident.

Two other small differences between then and now were (1) the grass field was now indoors and (2) the roof was open. Interestingly, in today's Arizona Republic, there was an article criticizing the condition of the grass surface. They suggested that moving the grass inside and outside has confused the grass — so it doesn't know whether to grow or go dormant. Roger and I both thought the grass looked a bit brown in the middle of the field — and even worse at end of the game.

That same article also mentioned the fact that the roof had been closed on other Sundays when there was nice weather outside. It seems that some fans did not like the sun in their eyes and the Cardinals did not want to lose any season ticket holders — so the roof was closed. Whether there is any substance to that or not, Sunday was cloudy, the temperatures moderate and so the roof was left open. And I suppose, the Cardinals probably saved a few bucks on their A/C bill.

And the show must go on — huge flames erupted as each introduced player exited from the inflatable (and mean-looking) Cardinal head.

And cheerleaders. Ah, yes — the cheerleaders. One of whom is a trainer at Lifetime Fitness (where I work out). [An aside: Matt Leinart, the Cardinals rookie starting quarterback, is also a member and works out at Lifetime Fitness.]

Oh, and did I mention there was a football game? It seems like someone forgot to tell the Cardinals. The Broncos were so dominant that they could have named a score. But they played with the Cardinals the way a cat plays with a captured mouse. At halftime, the score was 16-10 Denver. But the Cardinals only had 60 yards of offense compared to the Broncos' 240 yards. The only reasons it was close were because of a Denver fumble deep in their end of the field which was run in for a touchdown by the Cardinals defense — and because Denver played the game so conservatively.

Denver's conservative game plan kept it close until the fourth quarter when the Cardinals mediocrity came through (as usual) and the Broncos finally decided to accept the generosity of their hosts.

But Roger and I had a great time. I would have enjoyed it a bit more if that one guy who went for beer every 10 minutes would have just stayed at the beer stand and watched the same from there (you all know that guy, right?). Regardless of the quality of (at least one of) the teams on the field, it is so enjoyable to watch a game in person.

And one of the best things? Neither Roger nor I had to go to work the next day.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com