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Prime Cuts 2013

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Beyond Local X-Sports And Outdoor-Related High Adventure, The Phoenix Metro  franchises from the top four professional sports. In 2013, the gilded wings and feathers of our athletic hegemony provided ambient context for life in the U.S. Southwest.


By Chris G. Braswell
Modern Times Magazine

Dec. 30, 2013 — It is said that all the world’s a stage. We say OK to that, except when the subject is sports, because sports are a special case. Nevertheless, the world of sports does reflect realities about reality, in the same sort of way that art reveals intent.

Anyway, the metaphysical axiom that “change is the only constant” is evident in the Modern Times Magazine sports prime cuts for 2013.

No. 7 “Arizona Cardinals Eye Rebuilding In 2013”
“Rebuilding is proving to be a witch — with a wart on its nose and a cackle in its cockles.”

It was March, the middle of the NFL off-season. To our beloved and highly-aged habitual sports specialist Bob Goodwood, the Cardinals’ release of strong safety Adrian Wilson in seeking greener pastures in the secondary made sense, and so did the release of quarterback Kevin Kolb in exchange for $7 million in salary cap space. And Beanie Wells, LaRod Stephens-Howling, and various others did not fit into new head coach Bruce Arians and/or new general manager Steve Keim’s vision for the team.

However, the logic of free agent Kerry Rhodes being cut, for example, and replaced with former New York Jets safety Yeremiah Bell was a move less transparent. But that’s just scratching the surface. Read on, sports fans.

No. 6 “Trumbo (Or Trumbomb) Trade For Dbacks?”

Image by Keith Allison and used under a Creative Commons Lisence.
The baseball train does not stop just because it’s the off-season, in Phoenix or anywhere else.

Outfielder Mark Trumbo is joining the Dbacks dugout from the A.L. West, as an affordable option at a projected $4.5 million in 2014 after arbitration. Dbacks centerfield Adam Eaton will go to the White Sox, and lefty pitchers Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago will go to Anaheim.

Round and round and round she goes, and where she stops, well...“no man ever steps in the same river twice,” as Heraclitus of Ephesus wisely observed.

No. 5 “What GCU Can Learn From FGCU”
During its second year of NCAA eligibility, the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles made an unprecedented run in the 2013 tournament.

Again, our freelance specialist Bob Goodwood made comparisons between that Cinderella Story and to Grand Canyon University’s potential future achievements.

“It shows what might be possible at the private Christian university and under the tutelage of new head coach Dan Majerle. GCU already has an arena worthy of a Division I powerhouse, but it is going to take a lot more than that if the team hopes to make a dent at the next level. Luckily for the ‘Lopes, the Eagles are proving that, with a little ingenuity and a lot of hard work, even the smallest of programs can make their presence felt during March Madness.”

No. 4 “Are Rattlers New Sports Kings Of The Phoenix Metro?”
The Arena Football League is not considered as one of the “Big 4” major professional sports, but its teams and their players don’t care.

But it is certainly different. The field is 50 yards long. The goal posts are narrow. Punts are illegal, players bounce the ball off nets in the end zone, and all sorts of other crazy stuff is going on. The local Arizona Rattlers are no exception.

“In other words, the Rattlers are not just winning games, they are doing so in exciting fashion. With ticket prices that run as low as $6 apiece, that is a pretty good bang for the buck.”

No. 3 “Adam Eaton Can Still Overcome Injury, Win ROY”
At the end of the day, the Marlins’ Jose Fernandez won the 2013 N.L Rookie of the Year. And since the season ended, Eaton has been traded to the White Sox.

But back in March, the Bob Goodwood showed many things nigh: “If this spring is any indication, center fielder Adam Eaton could develop into a poor man’s Mike Trout.”

No. 2 “Don’t Lose Heart Yet, Arizona Cardinals Fans”
Image courtesy Mike Morbeck and used under the terms of a Creative Commons License.
As the Cardinals shopped for a quarterback, the Kansas City Chiefs tendered a high-second round draft pick in exchange from quarterback Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers — apparently a substantially higher offer than the Cardinals’.

“Cardinals fans have plenty to panic about, but they should not fret about Alex Smith. They have plenty of problems, from no quarterback to breakable running backs to an increasingly tough division, to keep their fingernails freshly bitten.”

Anyway, Carson Palmer ended up leading the desert redbirds to at least a 10-win season (as of the print date). That’s not bad for working men.

No. 1 “The Arizona Cardinals’ Baffling Coaching Search”

Image courtesy Arizona Cardinals Media Guide.
Before replacing Ken Whisenhut, who was let go a year ago, the team’s management took a look at former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid. Reid instead went to Kansas City (and we hear he has a night job sorting mail, but anyway).

After that, there was the habitual sniff at the team’s former offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

In the end, we got Bruce Arians at the helm. Not too bad in retrospect.
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