Salutations from Sun Devil Stadium …
Shoot, I forgot where I was. And really, how could I? The glistening new Cardinals Stadium — which nods to the past by reminding fans that the homestanding franchise was established around the time of the Spanish-American War — couldn’t be more different than the team’s previous home, from its chairback seats for all to Cardinal red replacing Sun Devil maroon as the primary color in the place.
Oh, and then there’s the matter of that roof overhead.
Tonight witnesses an unusual football confluence, with college football games — that count for the final standings — bisecting with a fairly copious slate of professional tuneups. Here in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Arizona State and the Cardinals are playing concurrent home games for the first time since — well, ever, because they obviously couldn’t use their once shared Sun Devil Stadium digs unless the NFL decided to mimic Major League Baseball and have its teams play preseason games against college outfits.
For the Broncos, it’s the night of the runners. While the vast majority of the starters will be held out, the running backs will continue their audition for the No. 1 job. With Ron Dayne back on the practice field this week, all but Damien Nash were a part of the short preparation for the game.
Other early pregame thoughts:
- The stadium is a part of the “Sportsman’s Park” complex that includes Glendale Arena, home of the Phoenix Coyotes. Considering that these Cards opened their St. Louis tenure in the first Busch Stadium — a long-since-demolished edifice a couple of miles west of downtown that bore the name Sportsman’s Park — dubbing the complex as such makes the move to Glendale a homecoming, of sorts.
- Denver has won five of the last six preseason games between the clubs, including the last three in a row at Arizona (with all of those three triumphs coming since 2000).
- Mississippi State — whose game with South Carolina is on the TV above me — is wearing white at home. Who do they think they are, LSU?
Time to take a stroll around this place … Back with more later.