The hopes of Arizona Cardinals fans around the state received a huge boost Saturday evening after the team's 16-13 overtime win over the Seattle Seahawks.
The last time the two NFL teams metSept. 13, 1998 the Seahawks parlayed three interceptions and seven sacks of Jake Plummer into a 33-14 win.
Saturday night in Seattle, however, Plummer showed glimpses of the quarterback he was four years ago when he led the ASU Sun Devils to the Pac-10 title and the Rose Bowl.
In one quarter at the helm of the Cardinals, the former Devil signal caller completed 6 of 7 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown.
Make no mistake about it, as inept as the Cardinals were last year, the team boasted some diehard fans in the Rim country, including PHS boys basketball coach Mike Loutzenheiser and former PHS baseball coach Bruce Haught.
Many of those local fans traveled to Flagstaff the past few weeks for a first-hand look at the team as it trained on the campus of Northern Arizona University.
The Cards completed the NAU portion of the camp Aug. 15 and returned to their Tempe training facilities.
Preseason victories mean almost nothing for most teams, but for the win-starved Cardinals, the whipping of the Seahawks could be a sign of good things to come.
There are a few folks in Payson who believe the recent visits to Payson by the Sun Devil football team and the Sun Angel alumni group means that ASU is becoming more involved in our community during visits to Tontozona.
There are many who court the notion that university coaches and officials could be enticed into returning the Camp Tontozona scrimmage to Payson High School where it was held in the 1970s.
With the upgrading of the PHS football and track facility now under way, it might be just the time for district officials to test the waters and see if ASU is interested in moving the scrimmage.
An estimated 4,000 fans attended Saturday's camp-ending scrimmage at Camp Tontozona, where there are no stands or bleachers. The only restrooms open to the public are portable, there are no concession stands and fans had to park along Highway 260 and then make the long walk into the camp.
Sure, its probably America's most scenic collegiate training camp, but Tontozona bulges at the seams when the scrimmage is held. The same crowd that packs Tontozona each year would be a huge boost for the local economy, and could open up a myriad of opportunities for local youth groups to host fund-raising events.
According to news reporters, new Arizona football coach John Mackovic is concerned about trash-talking on the field.
His advice to the players should be heeded by athletes from Pop Warner to the National Football League.
Mackovic is quoted as saying, "We'll play with class, play hard and demand intensity and excitement ... but it's not a game of personal satisfaction it's a great team game."
Amen to that.