Cardinals' Boldin Lives Up to Promise Despite Gripe With Management
Monday, January 19, 2009
GLENDALE, Ariz., Jan. 18 -- When he let loose his tirade against Arizona Cardinals management during training camp, wide receiver Anquan Boldin vowed his unhappiness would not be reflected on the field. He has lived up to his promise and basked in the triumph that sent his team to the Super Bowl.
"Like I told you guys at the beginning of the season, my main goal was to do this," Boldin said during the celebration on the field. "I've come through on my promises. I gave my heart to this organization."
Boldin said in training camp he would never re-sign with the Cardinals because he felt management lied to him when it promised him a new contract last year and didn't follow through. He has two years left on his current deal.
After missing the second-round win at Carolina with a strained left hamstring, Boldin played in Sunday's NFC championship victory over Philadelphia, catching four passes for 34 yards.
"I've been through a lot in six years here," he said. "To finally get to this point, to the Super Bowl, when a lot of people didn't give us a chance -- I think we've been an underdog every game that we played -- for us to overcome that means a lot."
Eagles place kicker David Akers had a tough day despite hitting field goals of 45 and 33 yards.
He missed a 47-yard field goal early in the second quarter, snapping an NFL-record string of 19 straight field goals in the postseason.
Later, Akers shanked an extra point, his first miss in 156 tries since Dec. 19, 2004, a franchise record.
"I'll be the first to look at myself and say 'I wish I had a couple of those kicks back,' that's for sure," Akers said.
Those misses turned out to be important, because they forced the Eagles to go for a touchdown instead of a field goal on their final drive.
The Eagles caught a break on a strange play late in the first half. Leading 21-6, Arizona place kicker Neil Rackers lofted a short kickoff to the Eagles 27-yard line, where defensive end Victor Abiamiri tried to make a play on it.
The ball squirted away and the Cardinals fell on it. But the officials ruled the ball was out of bounds, though replays appeared to show the ball never touched the sideline.
Officials rejected Arizona Coach Ken Whisenhunt's attempted challenge.
"Once we ruled that the kick touched out of bounds, the play is dead," referee Walt Anderson said. "It is not reviewable."