I’ve been telling my friends I’m going to pretend it’s 1974 on Sunday. That way, the St. Louis Cardinals will be playing in the Super Bowl.
When the Houston Comets franchise disbanded in December, I wrote here about knowing the feeling of losing a team. Having grown up a St. Louis Cardinals football fan, I stopped really having an NFL team to root for after 1987. OK, it was a deeper hurt than that. I lost something I’d loved since childhood. Right or wrong, we feel that way about our teams.
The Arizona Cardinals’ solid season reminded me of the bygone days, when I used to do things like skip out of Sunday school and walk home in order not to miss kickoff.
Now, I will in no way claim to be an Arizona Cardinals fan. It is not my team. However, when they made the Super Bowl, I thought, “Oh. Wow. The helmets.”
And what I’m doing now is just staring at those helmets. This seems to be a pretty common feeling among a lot of former St. Louis Cardinals fans. We still feel it when we see the helmets.
By “it” I mean that almost euphoric buzz we sports wackos can get just from the sight of “our” logo. If you feel it, I don’t even have to explain it to you … because you know I can’t explain it. And you can’t. But we understand each other.
The franchise has changed the bird logo somewhat, but it still looks very similar to the old one. (And I’m sure that’s been well-chronicled on the ‘Net … but I’m not reading any Super Bowl stories since none of them are playing along that it’s 1974.)
It still looks, for all practical purposes, like my Cardinal. I’ll take it for a day.
Of course, if it were 1974, Kay Yow wouldn’t even have started her N.C. State coaching career yet. She’d be in the prime of health.
Instead, I’m in Raleigh again – so unexpectedly soon after my last trip – to say goodbye. Many others are coming here, too, for the same reason.
Sunday, though, I can pretend I’m 8, and the Cardinals are in St. Louis and Kay Yow is very early in her journey toward being a sports legend.