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Desert has been no paradise for Cards

The Cardinals' time in Arizona has been marked by missteps and poor decisions -- until this season, writes Pat Yasinskas.

Originally Published: January 28, 2009
By Pat Yasinskas | ESPN.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- You can reach into the memory bag of 21 mostly dismal seasons in the desert and pick plenty of moments that summarize the Arizona Cardinals.

But let's start with Oct. 20, 1996, and a game that should be forgotten. The Cardinals were playing host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and neither team had posted a winning season in more than a decade. In front of an announced crowd of 27,738, the Cardinals defeated the Bucs 13-9.

But the nutshell of it all came about three hours ...

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