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Sunday, January 11, 2009
Blackout watch: Cards sell out in minutes

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

We won't be running a "blackout watch" heading into the Cardinals' next home playoff game. The team sold the remaining 20,000 or so tickets in 6 minutes, according to the Arizona Republic.

Getting the NFC title game at home stands as one of the most significant developments in recent franchise history.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt and staff have been close to winning over skeptics. Beating the Falcons at home was a big step forward. Beating the Panthers in the divisional round was another step forward. Getting the title game at home will give the organization unprecedented momentum.

The atmosphere for the wild-card game against the Falcons was sensational. The experience trumped anything the organization could have accomplished through marketing or anything else unrelated to results on the field. The NFC title game could multiply the wild-card effect.

I would compare the team's struggles in selling out the wild-card round to its struggles on the field late in the season. Neither is relevant any longer.