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Cards Now All In, All the Time

Regardless of what happens in the fall, at least the Cardinals can say they have a catchy slogan. “All In, All the Time” will be the phrase du jour for the Fighting Football Cardinals in the 2010 season, signifying discipline, effort and toughness (the “all in” part) presumably from spring practice on through the Bowl season (the “all the time” piece). Fancy graphic? Otis Brown has that covered….

It’s certainly a nice step in the right direction for the Cardinals, breaking huddles and team meetings with “All In”, since effort and discipline were the hallmarks of some of the more successful teams in recent memory. *cough* 12-0 and led the nation in fewest penalties in 2008 *cough*.

Will it resonate with the players? Hard to say. I can’t even begin to imagine what would motivate and inspire an 18-year-old to give maximum effort. At least when the HokeManBeast was here there was always the underlying worry that failure to execute would be a reason to execute… the player who screwed up.

At bare minimum, this seems like something grassroots and player-driven rather than an inspiration edict from atop Mt. Parrish. Those sorts of motivational tools, when implemented and created, and subsequently enforced by the players themselves usually creates a buy in and a commitment that’s more authentic. Something that old players create that young players buy in to. Ultimately, in these type of situations, assuming the buy in is there from the team, the coaching staff ultimately just needs to get out-of-the-way and let someone take the lead that is wearing a set of shoulder pads and a jersey rather than a polo shirt and a headset.

To me, although this is a simple slogan and mantra, one that was already used at Michigan last season, it speaks volumes to the shift in this Cardinal football team just over a few short months. Last fall, as the losses piled higher and higher and the Cards found new and creative ways to lose, fans began to question the character and integrity of that team and whether anyone would step up and take the reigns of leadership and demand better from those around them. When a team is comprised of mostly sophomores and freshmen, that’s a request that often falls on deaf ears. Apparently, that isn’t the case for the 2010 Cardinals.

Granted, it’s early. It’s not even summer workouts yet and spring drills only wrapped a couple of weeks ago. But at bare minimum this should provide yet another small glimmer of hope going forward. Take a look back at 2008. Aside from the massive amount of talent that team had, it had leadership in spades. From the offensive line to the skill positions, it was a team made up of players who had grown not only into their roles on the field, but also their roles off it as well. You had a collective group of individuals who willed that team to victory. Had that been the case last year, perhaps the results would have been a bit different.

So the Cards are now All In, All the Time. Let’s hope they don’t get sucked out on to a two outer on the river and get their aces cracked by two rags. I could explain that metaphor further, but if you don’t get it now, it’s pointless. Buffalo = rags for the record. Draw your own conclusions from there.

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