Remember the movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin? (If your answer is no, it’s nice to finally meet the one person who has never seen it.)
In the movie Steve Carell’s character, which the movie is aptly named after, is in search of his first relationship. Having never engaged in anything remotely resembling adult interactions in his four decades on earth, any woman who showed interest in him and wasn’t digitized or a figment of his imagination was intriguing.
That’s Cardinals fans, present company included, in a nutshell right now.
Instead of 40 years, it has been only four years of abstinence from winning football and good quarterback play but it feels like an eternity. And that dry spell has made it where even the slightest glimmer of hope or interest leads to an irrational love affair with plenty of buyer’s remorse. (Just ask anyone who has a Max Hall jersey more well hidden in their closet than Jimmy Hoffa’s body.)
From Derek Anderson to John Skelton, to the aforementioned Hall, back to Skelton, to Rich Bartel, to Kevin Kolb, back to Skelton, back to Kolb, back to Skelton, then to Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer, fans were willing and ready to whole heartedly jump in and embrace each of them in hopes they were “the one.” Although Shane Falco, played by “the one” from the Matrix Keanu Reeves, probably would have been better and he was fictitious.
Now there is a new hope looking to end the drought in the desert in the form of head coach Bruce Arians and he’s brought with him quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton.
In their first dress rehearsal all three looked great against the Packers. Arians’ game plan was right on the money, so were Palmer’s passes and Stanton showed toughness and skill.
The former No. 1 pick as well as a Cincinnati and Oakland prisoner, Palmer finished his time on the mildly humid tundra of Lambeau Field with an impressive 4-for-6 with 77 yards and a nicely placed touchdown throw. The career backup Stanton looked like someone more than capable of playing in spot duty as he racked up 107 yards on 8-for-14 passing with a touchdown.
Both performances had the Birdgang all a-twitter. Once again the fans were more than ready to commit to another quarterback and put all their hopes in the potential relationship. But, as Elvis or the bad ’90s movie starring Matthew Perry and Selma Hayek taught us, only fools rush in.
Take a step back and remember that we’ve seen good preseason performances before that led to nothing more than regular season heartbreak. As we learned from the great Cardinal prophet Denny Green, no one takes the third game of preseason as BS. But that doesn’t mean game one can’t be fool’s gold.
I for one could rather save myself and my heart until after Week 1 at the earliest because I’ve seen more than my fair share of quarterbacks in my time and been burned. I’m just not ready to let it happen again.