Originally Published: January 31, 2009 10:51 p.m.
PRESCOTT - Professional football commentators and writers reach a broad audience when dispensing their Super Bowl prognostications.
And while they break down all of the key on-field match-ups to formulate an unbiased opinion about the contest's final score, the average fan sure does not mind offering his or her own partisan view.
Today at 4:28 p.m. in Tampa Bay, Fla., the Arizona Cardinals battle the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII. The Big Red will make its first-ever appearance in the big game.
In a random poll at Gateway Mall early Saturday afternoon, 19 Arizona residents predicted the score and chimed in with a reason or two for their picks.
If their answers are any indication, the Vince Lombardi Trophy goes to (drum roll, please)... the Cardinals.
Cardinals 24, Steelers 9
"I'm for Pittsburgh, but I know their quarterback (Ben Roethlisberger) kind of got hurt the last game. I figure if (the Cardinals) hit him, the Steelers are not going to be able to make it."
Cardinals 24, Steelers 17
"It's going to be a close, defensive game. I'd like to see the Cardinals make a few picks, or at least one."
Cardinals 21, Steelers 17
"I've always stuck with the Cardinals when they were losing, so sooner or later they're going to have to win."
Cardinals 24, Steelers 10
"The Cardinals will win because they're a good team this year, and they're playing pretty well."
Cardinals 31, Steelers 17
"I hope the Cardinals come out ready to play and hyped up. They'll be ready from the get-go. It will be pretty close in the first half, but they'll pull away in the second half."
Cardinals 27, Steelers 17
"The Cardinals have had an excellent year, and this is their time."
Steelers 42, Cardinals 17
"I like the Steelers, and I think they're a way better team."
Cardinals 35, Steelers 20
"The Cardinals are going to win because they have a stronger team this year."
Cardinals 28, Steelers 21
"It will be close because the Steelers have a very tough defense, but I have to put the Cardinals in front."
Cardinals 34, Steelers 17
"The Cardinals are going to whoop them. Pittsburgh doesn't have much of a catch-up offense. If the Cardinals run at them like they did against Philadelphia (in the NFC Championship game), Pittsburgh will never catch them."
Steelers 34, Cardinals 17
"The Cardinals are going to score at least twice in the first half, and they're not going to do anything in the third or fourth quarter."
Cardinals 31, Steelers 24
"The Cardinals are going to pick apart the Steelers' defense and our defense is going to rattle Roethlisberger and get turnovers."
Steelers 22, Cardinals 16
"The Cardinals have been playing pretty good this year, but Pittsburgh's going to take them out. The Cardinals haven't been to the Super Bowl before."
Steelers 47, Cardinals 24
"As much as I like Arizona to win, the Steelers have more experience and a better track record and better odds."
Cardinals 32, Steelers 30
"The Steelers are a tough defensive team, but the Cardinals' offense is going to air it out quite a bit more. The Cardinals are going to take the Steelers out of their game and Roethlisberger is going to be forced to make plays that he's not able to make."
Cardinals 34, Steelers 14
"The Cardinals are going to kick butt. I don't think the Steelers have a chance. Of course, the Cards have (receiver) Larry Fitzgerald, which is awesome. (Arizona quarterback) Kurt Warner is going to outnumber Ben Roethlisberger."
Cardinals 32, Steelers 26
"They're both equal. The bottom line is that if the Cardinals play both halves like they played the first half of the Eagles game, then they'll win. But they have to be consistent and put the quarterback on his back."
Cardinals 24, Steelers 18
"The Pittsburgh offense isn't any match for the Cardinals' defense."
Cardinals 42, Steelers 37
"It's going to be close because of the way the Cardinals have played this year. I like the Cardinals. I didn't think they were going to make the Super Bowl, but that's cool. You never know what's going to happen."
Final Tally: Cardinals receive 15 votes to the Steelers' four.