The Arizona Cardinals are going to the Super Bowl. The Arizona Freakin' Cardinals are going to the Super Bowl.
Why bring this up on a (mostly) baseball blog? And why drag Carl Peterson into it? Well, it's my blog, and while I am happy for any Cardinal fans out there, it angers me as a Chiefs fan that my team has been unable to reach a Super Bowl, which is apparently so easy a Cardinal can do it.
When Peterson took over the Chiefs after the 1988 season, the NFL had 28 teams. Now there are 32; two of the new teams have been to a Super Bowl in the last 20 years (this counts Baltimore as a new team, since the new version of the Cleveland Browns was granted the rights to all of Browns history. It may not be the most sensible decision, but that's how the NFL looks at it). And of those 28 teams, 20 have gone to the big game at least once in those 20 years. The Un-Elite Eight: Cincinnati (the Bengals did make the Super Bowl following the 1988 season), Cleveland, Detroit, Miami, Minnesota, New Orleans, and the New York Jets.
And the Chiefs.
Even worse, here are some teams who joined the Chiefs at the bottom of the 1988 standings: Atlanta (5-11 that year, lost SB XXXIII), Dallas (3-13, won 3 titles in the 90s), Green Bay (4-12, won SB XXXI, lost SB XXXII), San Diego (6-10, lost SB XXIX) and Tampa Bay (5-11, won SB XXXVII). And Detroit, proving some things never change.
It may not be fair to blame Carl Peterson for all of this. But he was the one constant in the Chiefs organization through the entire 20-year period. Players changed, coaches changed, even the owner changed. Scott Pioli may prove to be a terrible hire as new GM (I don't think this will be the case, though). But it will be easy for him to surpass Peterson's record. Just get to one Super Bowl, and he will look much better than his predecessor.