Cardinals seek respect vs. Niners
An appearance on Monday Night Football is a chance to show that these are not your father's Arizona Cardinals — or your grandfather's or your great-grandfather's, for that matter.
This franchise has defined professional sports ineptitude for decades. A national stage in prime time today against the San Francisco 49ers is the perfect place to show that's not the case anymore.
"I think it's a great opportunity for us to show who the Arizona Cardinals are," coach Ken Whisenhunt said.
Halfway through the season, the Cardinals are 5-3 and far ahead in the NFC West.
Whisenhunt just has to make sure the team isn't too emotionally charged for its rare Monday night appearance.
"It is a forum that guys get excited about," he said, "when you know there's a national audience, when you know a lot of your peers are watching you play, it's human nature to want to make a play."
The staff has preached the importance of staying disciplined within the scheme to allow the big plays to come without forcing them.
Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner, the 37-year-old leader of the highest-scoring offense in the NFL, says he would much rather this was just another Sunday game.
"I'm kind of I guess old school in that regard," he said. "I just want to show up and play and would rather do it as soon as I get out of bed instead of waiting all day and having to think about the game."
As for the chance to show that the Cardinals are a laughingstock no more, big deal, Warner said.
"I couldn't care less until it comes playoff time," he said. "We'll be on TV if we get to the playoffs and everybody around the world can watch then. But right now, we're 5-3 and I'm not real worried about anybody else out there and what they think we are as a football team."
VIKINGS' PUNT RETURNER FINISHED FOR SEASON
Minnesota punt returner Charles Gordon was lost for the season after suffering a gruesome ankle injury.
Gordon broke his leg while he was tackled at the end of a punt return. He fielded the punt inside the 10, headed upfield and was immediately met by two Packers. As he planted his left leg to change direction, one of the defenders rolled up on the leg and the ankle gave way. He lay motionless on the turf while athletic trainer Eric Sugarman rushed out to see him.
Coach Brad Childress said Gordon needed to have a pin inserted into his leg, indicating a bad break, and he's undoubtedly lost for the remainder of the season.
McKenzie tore his anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his right knee last season.
HAWAI'I PLAYERS IN NFL
Miami receiver Davone Bess (UH) had two catches for 25 yards in the Dolphins' 21-19 victory over Denver. Bess also returned three punts, with a long return of 11 yards.
St. Louis linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa (UH) was in on seven tackles, six solo, in a 47-3 loss to the New York Jets.
Atlanta kicker Jason Elam (UH) kicked two field goals (22 and 27 yards) and four extra points in a 34-20 win over New Orleans.
Detroit linebacker Jordon Dizon (Waimea High, Kaua'i) had two solo tackles in a 38-14 loss to Jacksonville.
Detroit defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis (Kalaheo High, UH) assisted on one tackle in a loss to Jacksonville.
Detroit center Dominic Raiola (Saint Louis School) was inactive yesterday with an injured hand, ending a streak of 105 straight starts.
Carolina defensive tackle Ma'ake Kemoeatu (Kahuku High) had three tackles and assisted on another in a 17-6 win over Oakland.