The greatest thing about being a sports fan is that every once in a while your team accomplishes something amazing -- as a fan, you feel like a small part of it.
It's the reason fans follow their teams throughout the struggles, the tough losses, the bad draft picks and the crummy coaches -- eventually something great will happen to relieve the suffering and make the support worthwhile. Just ask Red Sox fans.
The way this season has panned out has forced Arizona Cardinal fans to rethink their positions, again.
The toughest job in football doesn't belong to the kicker or even the quarterback. If you have been an Arizona resident for longer than 6 months and have watched more than a few Cardinals football games, you know this.
The toughest job in football belongs to the fans of our bumbling franchise.
I know this because I am a Cards fan.
I'm one of the many across the state who will begrudgingly admit it. Likewise, I'm one of the naïve or maybe just plain stupid fans who keeps coming back each year.
I've been a Cardinals fan since I was a little girl and the team came to Arizona in 1988.
Along with most of my extended family, I've closely followed the few ups and the countless downs the team has experienced in the last decade.
By this point in my football fan career, I've learned to accept the pain. It almost feels natural.
This season seemed different. With a new coach, a new defense, a more determined running back, a more established quarterback and one of the best corps of receivers in the league, the Cards seemed destined for greatness. The team seemed on the brink of something big.
The bludgeoning the Seattle Seahawks administered on Sunday was the latest piece of evidence of perhaps the most disappointing season yet.
A week after improving their record to .500, the Cards most likely blew their chance at a playoff spot in true Cardinal fashion. Reaching the playoffs is a huge feat in itself -- the Cards have only played in the postseason once in the last quarter century.
Since 1988, the Cardinals have never been above .500 13 games into a season.
There are other franchises in sports worse off than the Cardinals. I hear it all the time.
But it's not the losing that drives Cardinal fans crazy. It's the painful, almost comical way that the team loses that sets us apart from other teams.
Nine times out of 10 the Cardinals beat themselves. Costly turnovers, mindless penalties, poor clock management by the coaching staff, lack of discipline... you name it, the Cardinals have mastered it and turned it into an L.
The Cardinals could easily be 9-4 and vying for the NFC west title at this point in the season. I mean easily.
It's the mantra of the Cardinals fan -- shoulda, woulda, coulda. I, for one, am really sick of it.
With the talent the Cardinals have this season, the level of accomplishment the team has achieved is absolutely ludicrous.
Once again, I'm left exasperated, puzzled and feeling foolish for putting my faith in the Red Birds.
I have my two front teeth -- all I want this Christmas are some Cardinals wins.