Red Bird Fans Flock To Flagstaff

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Official attendance records are not kept, but the crowd that showed up Aug. 4 for the Cardinals' preseason practice in Flagstaff might have been the largest since the pro football team moved to Arizona from St. Louis in 1987.

At least, that's the opinion of long time Cardinals fan David Garner.

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Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart (7) fumbled on this play after his teammates failed to pick up a safety-blitz by Adrian Wilson (24).

"There are thousands of people; it's a sea of red," he said. "There's more people here than there were at some games when the team played in Sun Devil Stadium."

The Cardinals played in the Arizona State University Stadium until 2006, when the team moved to newly built University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

Ironclad proof Cardinal brass weren't expecting the overflow crowd existed in the number of porta-potties that were positioned just outside the entrance.

With only four available, lines to use them wound 50-60 yards around a second practice field where punters and kickers were working out.

During Cards' two-hour practice and scrimmage, held near Walkup Skydome on the campus of Northern Arizona University, fans in attendance, including many from the Rim Country, roared after each play successfully executed by the offense.

A softly thrown pass from Matt Leinart to a wide open tight end Troy Bienemann drew the loudest approval. Minutes later, Marcel Shipp powered his way into the end zone to once again ignite Redbird faithful.

The only problem was, offensive successes were few and far between.

Much of the practice, Leinart and fellow signal caller Kurt Warner spent most of their time dodging blitzing defenders, handling missed snaps from center and trying to make something good out of broken plays.

Midway through the practice, first year coach Ken Wheisenhunt whistled for a timeout to reprimand his players for their lackluster play.

In the final minutes of the scrimmage, the offense came alive, scoring twice in goal line situations.

With overcast, cloudy skies threatening rain and lightning striking in the distance, Wheisenhunt ended the "Red and White" scrimmage a few plays early.

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Thousands of red-clad fans showed up Aug. 4 at Northern Arizona University to watch the Arizona Cardinals in a preseason practice and scrimmage.

Most players departed the field quickly, but obliged awaiting fans by signing autographs along the way.

The Cardinals had Sunday off, but returned to two-a-day practices yesterday, Monday.

The team's second practice Wednesday will be under the lights of Lumberjack Stadium.

The Cardinals will remain in Flagstaff for preseason training until Aug. 23 and there is no admission charge to see the team practice.

But, before heading to Flagstaff to catch a Cardinals practice, remember times are subject to change. Fans are encouraged to check the team's official Web site, www.azcardinals.com, for the most up-to-date practice information. The Cardinals open the season Aug. 11 at the Oakland Raiders.

Arizona Cardinals 2007 Training Camp Schedule

8/7 3:05 to 4:55 p.m.

8/8 9:05 to 10:30 a.m. and 7:05 to 9 p.m. (Lumberjack Stadium)

8/9 3:05 to 4:55 p.m.

8/10 9 to 10:10 a.m. (Walk thru)

8/13 3:05 to 5:05 p.m.

8/14 3:05 to 5:15 p.m.

8/15 9:05 to 10:35 a.m. and 3:05 to 5 p.m.

8/16 3:05 to 4:55 p.m.

8/17 9 to 10 a.m.

8/20 3:05 to 5 p.m.

8/21 3:05 to 5:05 p.m.

8/22 9:05 to 10:35 a.m. and 3:05 to 5 p.m.

8/23 9:05 to 10:35 a.m.

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