Destiny favors Cardinals over uptight Steelers

I can't wait until approximately 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. That's when I'll be doing what my family lovingly calls the "Cardinal Dance" as they wonder when I'll grow up and stop acting like a teenager when it comes to my favorite teams.

There has only been a few times when I believed in a team, and it actually took me to the Promised Land. There have been plenty more, perhaps hundreds, when I believed in a team and it didn't take me there. I believe this year's Cardinals will make us Arizonans proud. So proud, I plan on lobbying Mayor Salem for an official "Cardinals Day" here in Kingman to honor the Super Bowl champions.

The Pittsburgh Steelers won't be winning the game on Sunday because the hype of that storied franchise just doesn't measure up this season. It's fine to have history on your side, but it's no match for destiny. Just ask the Brits about America's fight for independence.

Ever since the matchup became Cardinals-Steelers, every Super Bowl conversation has begun with the Steelers' defense. For all who are leery of this unit, you might as well be a salesperson for Circuit City - 'cause I ain't buying it.

There's no reason to fear any defense in today's NFL. They aren't like they used to be. The last great NFL defense was the Super Bowl XXXV champion Baltimore Ravens. The league has changed, and a highly charged offense with an adequate defense wins Super Bowls nowadays. Sounding familiar?

I'm thinking the Steelers won't be able to handle the pressure. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has harped about his performance in Super Bowl XL, and defensive lineman Casey Hampton sees this Sunday's game as do or die.

"It was months and years after that when you start thinking, man, I played really bad and I didn't help this team win the football game," Roethlisberger said about Super Bowl XL. "That kind of eats at you a little bit. My play didn't help them to win, almost helped them to lose it. I expect it to be different this time and to treat it like it might be my last game."

Roethlisberger is going to be so intent on correcting his past wrongs, he'll be pressing too hard. As a result, he's going to make some horrendous throws, and it'll be Go-Cardinals-Go time.

"You've got to go out there and win the Super Bowl or it's nothing," Hampton said. "It's like your season was nothing."

The pressure is all on the Steelers to win, but for the Cardinals, expectations have been surpassed. I see the Cardinals going out on the field in Tampa, Fla., to have fun doing what they do best - playing football.

My third-strongest point for the Steelers not winning is that Madden NFL '09 has already christened them champions. Madden had a good run predicting the five Super Bowls before last year. But, its time is over, and for the second year in a row, it will find itself on the wrong side of the scoreboard.

The Cardinals are going to win because of their offense. The Steelers haven't faced an offense like this, and even if they manage to quiet Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals will have Anquan Boldin. They shut Larry down, they lose a blitzer. There are just too many issues for the Steelers' defense to have to deal with on Sunday.

Nobody seems to be talking about the Cardinals' defense. Despite the third quarter against Philadelphia, this unit is the hottest thing going. "Big" Ben is going to have a day much worse than his Super Bowl XL. Not only will he have a bad day, his team will lose as well.

I got excited when the Cardinals hired Ken Whisenhunt as their coach in January 2007, but my admiration for what he has done in only two seasons is almost limitless. Having him lead the Cardinals in battle on Sunday affirms they have the edge here. He designed the Steelers' offense back then, and things haven't changed all that much.

Whisenhunt was the teacher for the Steelers. The teacher always knows how much the student knows, but the student never learns as much as the teacher knows. The student only learns what the teacher lets them know.

We, the Cardinals' fans, will be celebrating a championship on Sunday because we have destiny on our side. These are not your average Cardinals. Cardinals fans have to be honest - we don't recognize them for what they are. We just have to believe in who they are.

I need to go do some jumping jacks now. I have to warm up for my "Cardinal Dance."