Friday, September 23, 2016

What Coulda Been

Song - N.Y. Giants
Artist(s) - Ray Russell
Released - 1984
Primetime Usage - 1988
Featured Highlight - Cardinals @ Bengals, 1988

The next couple weeks will feature two songs from the same album that may have been used as little as one time on NFL Primetime.  The only highlight I have of "N.Y. Giants," by Grid Lock guitarist/composer Ray Russell, was for a game that ironically had nothing to do with the New York Giants.  In 1988, the Cardinals had just uprooted themselves from tepid fan support in St. Louis and had to get ready for nearly 20 years of similarly apathetic support in Phoenix.  Despite this, and the franchise's historically underwhelming win/loss record, expectations were high for the 1988 Phoenix Cardinals.  The still had Neil "The Grand Cannon" Lomax who, though not on the level of a Joe Montana, was still one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.  They also had star WR Roy Green and a decent chunk of other talented players.  An 0-2 start that included a loss to an ultimately terrible Cowboys squad in the Cardinals' first ever game at Sun Devil Stadium probably dinged their egos a bit, but they won 7 of their next 9 games (including a 23-point comeback over eventual Super Bowl champ San Francisco) and were actually leading the NFC East after Week 11.  Unfortunately, 1988 then became the ultimate "what coulda been" season for the Cardinals franchise.  Lomax suffered a leg injury in that last win over the Giants and, though he would eventually return, the team wasn't the same and they lost 5 straight to end the year.  Even worse, Lomax never played a regular-season down again following 1988 due to a chronic hip condition and the Cardinals wouldn't see anything resembling consistent QB play again until 2007.  The franchise's near misses in the late '80s (they also choked away a postseason spot in their final year in St. Louis) combined with the sudden post-Lomax loss of offense led to just one playoff appearance for the franchise from 1983-2007 and largely terrible home attendance over that span.  It's easy to speculate how things could've been different if only Lomax hadn't been hurt or if he hadn't had to retire or even if the team had been able to rally once he returned with 3 weeks to go in the '88 season.  Things are finally going well for the Cardinals now, but it really seems like it shouldn't have taken anywhere near that long.

Anyway…  the aforementioned highlight showcasing N.Y. Giants was the first-ever regular-season game for the Phoenix Cardinals.  Against the Cincinnati Bengals, who would surprise everyone by dominating the AFC that year, Phoenix would kinda foreshadow the tail end of their season by blowing a perfect chance to win the game late.  Oh, as for the song itself:  nothing from the Good Morning America! album was ever released beyond vinyl, as far as I know, so trying to find a bootleg rip online is probably your only option.

No comments:

Post a Comment