There are few feelings worse for a sports fan than the one you get when your favorite team's season comes to an end. For Arizona Cardinals fans, that feeling is extremely fresh right now, so we here at Five for Howling would like to invite you to try and feel better. Just because the Cardinals are done playing, doesn't mean you have to be done with sports until the draft. There is plenty of room for fans on the hockey bandwagon in general and the Arizona Coyotes' one in particular. Here are some compelling reasons for you to get out of the deep end of the Red Sea and join The Pack.
We're practically neighbors already. Seriously, Gila River Arena is literally right across the street from University of Phoenix Stadium. You already know how to get there, now you can do it more often.
You don't have to buy new gear. The Cardinals primary colors are red, black and white. The Coyotes colors are red, white and black. Sure, the reds are different hues, but the difference is slight. Heck, even the initials are the same now.
It's a game of physicality. Big hits like this:
are legal and crowd pleasing.
Penalties. Both sports have them. But instead of yellow flags, hockey has the penalty box. Nothing like public shaming to make you feel regret for your indiscretions. Along that same vein, as much as NFL officials can stink, they have nothing, and I mean nothing, on the legendary Tim Peel.
Scoring and celebrating. Getting a touchdown in the NFL isn't easy, but the rules won't let you celebrate without costing your team valuable yards. Scoring an NHL goal isn't any easier, but there aren't any rules against celebrating (well, no written ones at least). Thank goodness for that.
Fantasy sports. Just like football, there is also fantasy hockey. You can find leagues that run very similar rules to fantasy football and there are leagues that will start after the All-Star game. Don't be worried about the stats. Yards and touchdowns? Not all that different from goals and assists.
Cool design and art elements. In football, the coolest art stuff can be found on the field with creative end zone designs and midfield logos. In the NHL, the cool art is worn by the goalies.
Awesome trophies. The Lombardi Trophy is pretty darn cool. But you can't drink from it.
The future is bright. Sure, the present for the Coyotes is less than ideal, being outside the current playoff picture. But this is a team that is young with a ton of talent on the way. The Cardinals were in pretty rough shape for years, but on the strength of a young and dynamic defense, should be good for a while. The Coyotes are going to be turning the corner soon and wouldn't you rather be able to say you were there when it all began?
One last reason to become a Coyote fan is leadership and class. The Cardinals have been blessed to have a fine captain on their roster for years in standout receiver Larry Fitzgerald. The Coyotes have one of the best leaders and classiest acts in sports with Shane Doan. Even at this stage of his career, he's still finding new and impressive ways to amaze.
There you have it. This list is far from definitive. Sure, some of the rules can be intimidating (icing, I'm looking at you) but the game is fast, exciting and physical, just like yours. The Cards play on grass, the Coyotes on ice, but they both play for us in the desert. So come on and join the fun. We'll even teach you how to howl.