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Thursday, July 25, 2013
Cards under radar, but not Dockett's circus

By Mike Sando

The one and only Darnell Dockett has dived into the exotic pets market with both paws.

"My tiger ate Ruth's Chris yesterday," the Arizona Cardinals' defensive lineman told Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910 Phoenix .

Darnell Dockett
Darnell Dockett already has a pet tiger -- could a monkey be next?
Dockett has no plans to race his tiger and he certainly won't be joining the Tennessee Titans' Chris Johnson against a cheetah.

"I don't care who wants to race a cheetah," Dockett said. "There is no human on this earth that is faster than a cheetah. I'm not buying it."

Neither is the cheetah expert AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky consulted on the subject.

Dockett said his young tiger weighs about 60 pounds and is playful.

What would drive someone to purchase a tiger, lion or similarly exotic beast? Peter Laufer, the James Wallace Chair in Journalism at the Univerisity of Oregon, researched the subject for a book he wrote.

"It seems to come down to people who want to either draw attention to themselves or want to make a statement of how consequential they are," Laufer told NPR in 2010. "The types include the extraordinarily wealthy, the powerful (in an underground world) like drug dealers -- those who want attention in public, like the muscle men walking down South Beach in Miami with the Burmese python around their neck along with the gold chain and the tattoos. These sound like stereotypes and they aren't. They're what I found as I looked to answer [who the people are.]"

Dockett called his tiger "the coolest thing ever" and joked (we think) about taking the tiger to training camp. He also said he offered $30,000 to purchase a monkey, but could not close the deal.

"Can you picture this?" Dockett said. "Game day, I'm coming to the game, I have my monkey with me, he has my jersey on. Then, after the game, the fans see me with the monkey. Ticket sales go up. Dockett jersey sales go up. Why? Because everybody wants to see the monkey."

Dockett also discussed football-related subjects during this interview, including where the Cardinals stand in an NFC West featuring Super Bowl favorites San Francisco and Seattle. Arizona has slid under the radar for the most part following a 5-11 season.

"Perfect," Dockett said. "We've been in this situation before. I never forget the year we made our playoff run and went to the Super Bowl. At this point, San Francisco is the best team in the division. They won the title and won the whole NFC title. Seattle is next in line. At the end of the day, you can't take away from what these teams have done. But it's perfect for us."