Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man about town: Where are the Cardinals fans?

Steelers fans are everywhere.

Ordering coffee in front of me. Cutting me off in traffic with their team flags fluttering in the wind. Buying Super Bowl merchandise at the mall.


Cardinals fans?


No, really. I checked.

• • •

I called the Cardinals to get the number to the Tampa chapter of their fan club.

Doesn't exist, the woman on the phone told me.

Okay, how about the national one?

Doesn't exist either.

"We don't have anything official; have you tried the Internet?"

Off to the Cardinals' Official Web Site, where I created a handle — DeckofCards — and asked where I could find Tampa-based fans of the Cardinals.





• • •

Hit the malls, where any self-respecting Cardinals fan would be strutting around in full gear.

I was the first one in Sports Fan Attic one morning.

Dr. Peter Szackacs was second.

I thought I had my man when we both headed for the Super Bowl section. But just over $100 worth of Steeler glasses, shot glasses, tattoos, T-shirts and one flag later, I knew I was wrong.

"Good luck," Szackacs said.

The Wesley Chapel chiropractor said he only knew one Cardinals fan. One of his patients.

"I could call and see if they'll talk to you," he offered.

But I wasn't ready to throw in the Terrible Towel just yet.

He shared some local Steeler hotspots with me, and together we figured out where the Cardinals probably gather to watch their team.

Little place called "Phoenix."

• • •

I went back in the store and found out it had sold its only Edgerrin James jersey last week. It was the same one that went unsold last year.

And the year before that.

Outside of two generic Super Bowl T-shirts, it was Cardinals-free.

I walked by a table filled with discounted Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons and Super Bowl XXXVII hats on my way out.

• • •

At another store, I found a J.J. Arrington No. 28 jersey.

That is a real player, right?

"I don't know where that came from," the guy working the floor told me.

But I think we know where it's going.


• • •

Matt Leinart's official No. 7 NFL jersey — the Sports Fan Attic at WestShore Plaza is throwing in the cobwebs for free — hung amid a sea of seven different Steeler black and gold jerseys: Roethlisberger, Parker, Ward, Woodley, Harrison, Holmes and Polamalu.

Matt Leinart? What, were they out of Charlie Batch jerseys?

I saw jerseys for NFL greats like David Garrard, Frank Gore, Chris Cooley, Braylon Edwards, Devin Hester and Wes Welker.

I did not see Kurt Warner or Larry Fitzgerald or Anquan Boldin.

"Maybe next week," I was told.

I tried on two different Detroit Lions hats on the way out, just for fun.

• • •

I'm not dissing Cardinals fans. I know you're out there. In Chicago. In St. Louis. In Tuscon.

And let's face it, Pittsburgh fans are already here, sharing space with their frostbite-fearing friends from Cleveland and Green Bay and Chicago and New York.

The Steeler faithful beat their football team down here, two months and a dozen snowfalls ago.

Snowbirds, we have lots of.

But Sunbirds?

Still, I was determined enough to spend an hour at the Super Bowl Merchandise store on West Shore Boulevard.

Patty, who was working the counter, offered to help find a Cardinals fan. Each time someone walked in, she shouted "Go Cardinals!"


"Heck no."


Patty went 0-for-7.

She swore she had seen Cardinal fans this week. Promised one would eventually show up.

She was waiting on hangers to put up her final box of Super Bowl T-shirts.

I was waiting on Cardinal fans.

Eventually, the hangers showed up and Patty went back to work.

John C. Cotey can be reached at [email protected]

Man about town: Where are the Cardinals fans? 01/24/09 [Last modified: Saturday, January 24, 2009 5:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  2. Lightning's Steve Yzerman enjoying Nikita Kucherov's scoring run

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, of Russia, celebrates after scoring a goal on the New Jersey Devils during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  3. Bucs journal: Offense needs to get off to a faster start


    TAMPA — The past two games have seen the Bucs offense muster furious rallies in the fourth quarter of losses, with 229 yards against the Patriots and a franchise-record 27 points against the Cardinals.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  4. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues


    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  5. Lightning's Steve Yzerman: Nikita Kucherov 'wants to be great'


    If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Nikita Kucherov joined Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and Keith Tkachuk as the only players in the last 30 years to score a goal in each of his team's first six games.