Game of Moans

Phoenix—Once upon a time, long, long ago, the Arizona Cardinals played for a World Championship. United with red shirts on their backs, white pants and a white helm emblazoned with the profile of a crimson bird, they were led by a magical quarterback who rode stallions for linemen and had minotaur for receivers. The running backs were powerful aurochs who could plow through any wall of defenders. And, save for the brilliance of one evil wizard, garbed in black and gold, the Cardinals were two minutes and thirty-seven seconds away from reaching the highest point in the realm before their defenses crumbled and all hope was dashed. It was a mystical ride that some thought could last forever.
That legendary Super Bowl was played in February of 2009 and oh, how the mighty have fallen. Two-and-a-half seasons, twenty-four defeats and five starting quarterbacks later, the team that carried their banners to the postseason with heads held high is now an unrecognizable troupe of jesters, finding ways to create losses like the Cardinals teams of lore.
When heralded king Kurt Warner denounced the throne at the end of the 2009 season, many knew the Cardinals would face hard times while struggling to find a new quarterback to replace the old. But surely, with the same men supporting them, in their keeps behind the scenes, the Cardinals could raise Matt Leinart up to the glory of his predecessor and keep the reign of the Red Bird alive (or Derrick Anderson? Or Max Hall? Or John Skelton?).
Then others deserted too. The stalwart men who’d fought hard on the battlefields to keep the enemies at bay abandoned their red and white helms to don the sigils of other, higher paying lords. Or were traded away for newer, younger squires. The likes of Karlos Dansby, Bertrand Berrian, Antrel Rolle and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie gave way to new blood such as Joey Porter and Patrick Peterson. Well-serviced knights such as Adrian Wilson and Darnell Dockett remained to defend the realm, however they have proven to be aloof and frustrating in the roles of leadership.
Today the Cardinals boast a record of two victories compared to six defeats, with a margin of that old magic to thank for it. In a game that seemed sealed to send them to their seventh straight loss of the season, the Cardinals were able to forge a win out of thin air—blocking a Rams’ game-winning field goal and returning a punt for a touchdown in overtime. Now, nestled with the other low-born teams of their division, the Cardinals watch as the glimmer of another post-season grows ever more distant. The San Francisco 49ers, with an entirely new council and a much-maligned quarterback at the head of their army, have taken over the stronghold of the NFC West and left the Cardinals to fight for scrap.
The latest man chosen to lead the Red Birds, Kevin Kolb, a hired gun picked up during the long summer of free agency, has not yet proven his abilities leading his new team of warriors and now battles a wounded toe that may cause him to miss more than one battle.
Overcoming the obstacles they are presented with seems a daunting task in these troubled times. Whether there will be casualties within the organization remains to be seen. These days even the old warriors from house Fitzgerald and Lord Wisenhunt seem at a loss to turn the tides. Hopefully the time comes, before it is too late.

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WSJ says it’s time to buy a house!

The media is finally starting to see what we have been seeing here in Metro Phoenix for about 6 months!

Click here to see the article!

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If You Hadn’t Heard, Canadians Like Phoenix

Timely article about something that’s been going on in the Valley for the last two years – Canadians buying real estate because of the position of our dollar.
Read Here

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Median Values Increasing in Carefree, Rio Verde, 85262

This is some good news from the Arizona Republic. It doesn’t necessarily mean that if you live in one of these areas you should be expecting the value of your home to start going up – there are still foreclosures and short sales occurring in these markets, like everywhere else – but it means people are buying more higher priced homes. I can’t agree with Bob Bullick who “warns” that, “buyers cannot be assured that prices will continue to decline”. Whether they do or do not, when prices finally start to go back up it will be by marginal increments and over a long period of time. Hopefully he’s not insinuating that people should be rushing out to buy houses today because they could be more expensive tomorrow – I don’t think anyone in the public would be foolish enough to fall for that these days. Overall good analysis of the market in the north part of the valley in this article though.

Read more:

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Steve Jobs Commencement Address at Stanford 2005

I always thought Steve Jobs was an inspirational visionary. Spend a few minutes and watch this speech. It’s the best commencement speech I’ve ever experienced. It’s a wonderful message for us all…and a look at the philosophy that made the man.

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I Back, You Back, We Back

Sneak peek at this months The MAN (by Robert Adler) article (ok its actually the whole article. But it’s timely and probably won’t be by the time the newsletter gets delivered to your door, so read it here first!) Enjoy.

If you’ve only seen Chase Field on television you may not understand the ballpark’s massiveness. It’s been described as having the characteristics of a warehouse or an airplane hangar. It may not be the most elegant ballpark or the most historic, but to the Arizona Diamondbacks and their fans it is home. And has been for fourteen years.
High in the outfield, a straight shot ahead of home plate, hangs an enormous digital scoreboard that packs in more statistics than a Headline News broadcast. To either side of the giant screen hang signs that tell the story of the team’s successes since their 1998 inaugural season. Looking to the right, from any seat in the stands, hangs a lone, proud, giant A commemorating the team’s 2001 World Series Championship. To the left hang more As marking their National League Championship from the same year as well as NL West Division Championships from ‘99, ‘01, ‘02, ‘07. A new banner marks this year’s achievement, awaiting completion of its own A, sure to be unveiled on opening day 2012.
The Diamondbacks, or at least their fan base, did not enter the 2011 season expecting to see a new banner raised on the right side of the scoreboard. While we all dream, few would have predicted the team would even contend for a wild card position in the playoffs this year. Yet there we were, 45,000 strong, packed in to Chase Field to watch the Diamondbacks grasp for a win in the third game of the National League division series.
As they did so many times this season, the Diamondbacks find themselves in a position where they must come from behind to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Down 2-0 in a best of 5 series, it’s a simple case of win or go home for the Dbacks now. Anyone who watched Ryan Roberts hit a walk-off grand slam to win a game where the Dbacks trailed by six runs with one out remaining knows better than to count them out yet.
I listened to former baseball manager Bobby Valentine on the radio yesterday. He was asked what you say to a team facing elimination. “Do you need to tell them this could be the last game?” the interviewer asked. To which Valentine responded, that no, you really just need to tell everyone to be prepared.
I tried to imagine Kirk Gibson’s speech to his young team, most of whom have never experienced a post-season. Gibby, as he’s known around town, has made overachievers out of a team that, many national reporters will remind you, is made up of players few people outside of Arizona can name.
I imagine he told them, in the same soft, firm delivery that he approaches his post-game press conferences with, that they’ve done so much and come so far and can still continue to overachieve. They’ve beaten opponents of all calibers this season, knocked off the World Champion Giants in their own division, and dug themselves out of seemingly impossible holes. And he probably told them to relax, and have fun. If you saw rookie pitcher Josh Collmenter hold the Brewers to one run over seven innings, or rookie first baseman Paul Goldschmidt hammer a grand slam over the right field wall last night, as they went on to win 8-1, that team was having fun.
When the Diamondbacks season’s last out is made, (and by the time you read this article that very well could have taken place) the fans in Arizona will be nothing but proud of their team. And hopeful for next year, something they haven’t had good reason to be in a long time.

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Parents and Grandparents Helping with Home Ownership

Here’s an interesting article from USA Today about how parents and grandparents are helping their family members and also helping themselves earn higher returns on their money. Everybody wins in this scenario!

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Hear Sandy interviewed on the radio!

I was recently interviewed on a local radio show…it was an interesting experience and I was happy to tell people a little bit about what’s going on in Metro Phoenix real estate!

Click here to hear the interview!

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McDowell Sonoran Conservancy

If you love hiking the trails in the McDowell Mountains as we do, you’ll be interested to know that they and all of the Preserve are monitored and cared for by the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy.  When all the Preserve is purchased, one third of Scottsdale’s land will be preserved. It will be the largest preserve in any major metropolitan area of the United States. Hundreds of people volunteer to help the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy accomplish it’s goals of caring for the Preserve.  They are always looking for more volunteers.  Help take care of one of the gems of Scottsdale by volunteering!

McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Website

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Buying a Home is Better Investment Than Buying Gold

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