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Kent Somers, Arizona Republic Roast Whiz in Skit

Ken Whisenhunt has no doubt turned the tide in Arizona since his arrival, but for good reason or not, Cardinals fans have recently lashed out against Whiz as the Cardinals face their first real adversity during the Whisenhunt era in Arizona.

While I agree with Somers’ implication that it’s not warranted to call for Whisenhunt’s head just yet, questioning a coaches’ decision-making is necessary and actually needed.  Coaches that are left unquestioned and unchallenged can often lead organizations into stagnation.  Further, coaches and players should be answerable to fans to a certain degree.

But let’s leave all that seriousness aside for a while and check out this funny article written by Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic.  It’s obviously quite tongue-in-cheek, but it also gives a pretty good account of some of the up and downs in the Cardinals’ organization over seasons past, with a healthy dose of good-natured ribbing mixed in as well.

It’s risky to judge a constituency by its most-vocal members. The majority of them don’t shout or tweet, and the only message board they frequent is the one on the side of the family fridge.

After four consecutive losses, Cardinals fans have gone from showing blind faith in coach Ken Whisenhunt (In Whiz We Trust) to blind anger (What is he thinking?).

The loudest want apologies and answers on everything from the quarterback situation to the defensive coordinator’s job security. They want Whisenhunt to open a vein during his news conferences, maybe spank a microphone.

They want a future Coors Light commercial.

Failing that, the angriest fans appear in favor of forming a black ops team to take Whisenhunt to an undisclosed location for some “enhanced” interrogation.

It’s fun to imagine how that exchange would go.

Interrogator: Have you had enough? I’ve water-boarded you three times. Made you watch Kurt rumba on “Dancing With the Stars” and Larry Fitzgerald run freely without getting the ball. If you don’t talk, you know what’s next?

Whiz: No, please. Anything but that.

Interrogator: That’s right, a little footage of a certain Steeler returning an interception in a little game we call the Super Bowl.

Whiz: You want answers?

Interrogator: I think I’m entitled.

Whiz: You want answers?

Interrogator: I want the truth.

Whiz: I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a fan who sleeps under the very NFC title banner that we provided.

Interrogator: Roll the Harrison film.

Whiz: Wait. What do you want to know?

Interrogator: Derek Anderson. How? Why?

Whiz: What were the options? Kurt retired a year early. Charlie Whitehurst chose Seattle. Marc Bulger was still with the Rams, and through back channels, we were getting indications he really didn’t want to play any longer. We thought we could coach up DA.

Interrogator: Why didn’t you draft a quarterback in 2009, show a little foresight? If you didn’t like Matt Leinart, and we all know you didn’t, why not cut him last spring instead of halfway through preseason.

Whiz: Got me there. Mistakes were made. Feel better?

Interrogator: Beanie Wells. How bad is his knee? Or is he just not tough enough?

Whiz: We honestly don’t know yet. His knee was swollen, so we rested him. He’s only 22 and you want us to give up on him? Like this team did with Garrison Hearst? Thomas Jones?

Interrogator: When are you going to hire an offensive coordinator?

Whiz: I call the plays.

Interrogator: I know. Why don’t you call more of the ones that work?

Whiz: Look, no one complained last year when I called them, or in 2008, when I had a lot of input.

Interrogator: You had Kurt Warner. He made you look good.

Whiz: No question. But we helped him, too. Wasn’t he floundering when we got here? Wasn’t he supposed to be washed up? We were good for each other.

Interrogator: Levi Brown, fifth overall pick in the 2007 draft. You passed on Adrian Peterson.

Whiz: What do you want from me? An apology? You wanted me in that draft room. You needed me in that draft room. We needed a tackle back then. We made the mistake of drafting for need. Peterson had a history of injury. Every team makes choices and has to live with them.

Interrogator: You fired your defensive coordinator, Clancy Pendergast, after the Super Bowl. His replacement, Bill Davis, has fared no better over the past two years. Why don’t you can him now?

Whiz: When was the last time a coordinator change at midseason produced results? Hasn’t that been tried here before? Didn’t my predecessor fire more people than Donald Trump? Believe me, everything will be under review after the season.

Interrogator: But we can’t stop anyone, especially at the end of games. Why not make a change now?

Whiz: And promote who? Defensive-backs coach Donnie Henderson has coordinator experience, but our secondary is struggling. Besides, my coaches are good guys; they work hard.

Interrogator: So the players aren’t good enough? Someone misjudged talent?

Whiz: I didn’t say that.

Interrogator: And that’s what drives us fans nuts. The coaches work hard. The players work hard. Blah. Blah. Blah. We’re 3-6! Show us some passion in those news conferences.

Whiz: Is there a question in there?

Interrogator: Questions, yeah, I have questions. Who gets fired? What quarterbacks are we going to call when this off-season starts? What new names will be on lockers next year?

Whiz: Are these the questions I was really called here to answer? Phone calls and lockers? Please, tell me you have something more.

Interrogator: Oh, we’re just getting started, mister. Roll the tape – yeah, the one from Tampa, that short little pass attempt from Warner just before halftime.

Whiz: Nooooo! I’ll talk. I’ll talk. We’ll find another quarterback this off-season. We’ll scour America. We’ll work Saturdays. We’ll fix the defense. Anything you want. Just don’t show me that again.

Interrogator: That’s more like it.

Whiz: Are you happy now? You think this job is easy? You have no idea how to run a team. All you did today was weaken an organization.


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