In a fun question today, you may wonder why Tarja Titan supports the Arizona Cardinals and not, well, the Tennessee Titans? Let’s explore.
In Tarja Titan, our main protagonist is seen wearing a Kurt Warner shirt (Cardinals version) in her astral state. This indicates she takes after her godbrother, Braden Hawk, who is a Cardinals fanatic. But with a team like the Tennessee Titans out there, it is fair to wonder why she isn’t supporting an NFL franchise that is her namesake.
Tarja Titan grew up abused and neglected. So when Braden Hawk came to collect her, she saw what an older sibling looked like for the first time. Therefore, Tarja immediately started taking after Braden. She even went as far as to interweave his sporty style into her gothic preferences.
Of course, there are more reasons that Tarja Titan prefers the Cardinals. Braden was definitely an asset, but Tarja’s personality also shows why she would support Arizona over other sports teams. Even if sports aren’t 100% on her radar.
Tarja Titan was born to be an Arizona Cardinals fan
I know many fantasy readers aren’t well-versed in NFL history. So I will give you a rather supernatural rundown of the Arizona Cardinals and why Tarja would like them anyway. In 1925, there were two dominant teams in the NFL – the Pottsville Maroons and the Chicago Cardinals. The Maroons defeated the Cardinals in a head-to-head matchup, and they all but claimed the 1925 NFL Championship.
But, the NFL disqualified them following an exhibition game against former All-Stars from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The NFL’s reasoning? The Maroons played the game in Philadelphia, whose rights laid with the Frankford Yellow Jackets. The NFL warned the Maroons, yet they played the game anyway.
Meanwhile, in the Windy City, the Cardinals played two games against patchwork teams that disbanded earlier in the season. However, the disbanded teams did not have enough players, so the Cardinals convinced local high school kids to fill the rosters. Of course, the Cardinals won and therefore, could claim the 1925 Championship.
However, they did not. Not until the Bidwill Family bought the team in 1933. That year, the Bidwills claimed the 1925 Championship, and the Cardinals have had quite the misfortune since. Here is a rundown:
Arizona Cardinals Misfortunes Since 1933
- One NFL Championship (1947)
- Zero playoff wins between 1948 and 1997
- Two relocations – St. Louis (1960-1987), Phoenix (1988-Present)
- One Conference Championship (2008)
- Seven Division Championships as of 2022
- 11 playoff appearances between 1947 and 2021
Tarja Titan’s Sympathetic Personality
If you know little about NFL history, there are a few teams who are absolutely snakebitten. The most notable of these teams are:
- Arizona Cardinals
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Minnesota Vikings
- Cleveland Browns
- Atlanta Falcons
- Detroit Lions
- Buffalo Bills
Between them, they have zero Super Bowl rings as of 2021, and 14 Super Bowl appearances. There are other teams, but if you strolled down the NFL Walk of Shame, these seven franchises will epitomize that. Tarja Titan knows little about sports, but she’s also a fast learner. And as the subheading states, she is also a sympathetic person.
She loves to conduct research on all things history, and sports are no exception. She’d be able to tell you the history of all 32 NFL franchises before she could tell you what a first down is. She’s no stats keeper for the current year, but she may be able to tell you who led the league in touchdown passes back in 1970.
And she would definitely know about The Curse of the Pottsville Maroons (Cardinals), The Curse of Bobby Layne (Lions), The Cleveland Sports Curse (Browns), and 28 to 3 (Falcons). Again, this is a paranormal fantasy universe where conspiracies and yes, curses, exist.
The Snakebitten Franchise Lost to History
Let’s shift gears to the Tennessee Titans, who are the spiritual successor to a team known as the Houston Oilers. The Oilers were snakebitten in their own right. At least after they won the 1960 and 1961 AFL Championship. But when the AFL and NFL merged in 1970, the Oilers faced 27 seasons of pain and misery.
Just some of the more miserable moments included their inability to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Playoffs, their 16-57 record between 1982 and 1986, and a 3-7 record in the playoffs when they did start contending again between 1987 and 1993.
The most notorious of these heartbreaking seasons was 1993. The NFL Network once conducted a special called Houston ’93, it was so heartbreaking, given the overall dysfunction regarding the following:
- Jeff Alm’s suicide
- Buddy Ryan/Kevin Gilbride Rivalry
The third item on this list is most likely what sunk the Oilers season. After finishing 12-4 and winning the AFC Central for just the second time since 1970, the Oilers once again collapsed in the playoffs, losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, 28-20. Want more fun? The Oilers beat the Chiefs 30-0 in Week Two of that season.
Does Tarja Know About This?
Tarja is a historian in just about anything she (or Braden Hawk) finds interesting. The answer is yes, Tarja Titan knows all about Houston ’93. She also knows that team owner Bud Adams tore down the team following the ill-fated 1993 campaign. In 1994, the Oilers finished the season 2-14, and Adams was in talks with moving the team to Nashville, which eventually occurred in 1999 after the Oilers played two seasons in Memphis.
In Tarja’s eyes, she wouldn’t be too fond of the Titans. Let’s point to the first defining moment in the history of the team’s stint in Nashville – The Music City Miracle. Down 16-15 with seconds to go, the Titans took an ensuing kickoff all the way home for a touchdown. Problem was, the “lateral” from Frank Wycheck to Kevin Dyson may have been an illegal forward pass. But, it was not called back at the time, and it gave the Titans the win.
Three weeks later, they played in their first Super Bowl in franchise history, losing to the St. Louis Rams. Who also happened to be the Cardinals successors in the Gateway to the West. It’s probably safe to say what remained of the St. Louis Football Cardinals fan base evaporated after that one.
A Cardinals Fan Anyway
With all that said, Tarja would have looked at the histories of each NFL franchise and located the most snakebitten. It would have ultimately come down to three teams: Arizona, Cleveland, and Detroit. Arguably the three least successful franchises since the 1970 AFL-NFL Merger.
But before the merger, the Browns were the NFL’s most dominant franchise. Between 1946 and 1955, Cleveland won eight championships. Four in the NFL, and four in the NFL’s biggest rival of the day, the All-America Football Conference (AAFC).
Under quarterback Bobby Layne, the Lions also had their fair share of success. In fact, the Lions ruled the NFL alongside the Browns in the 1950s. So who cares if both NFL franchises were the only two to finish a season 0-16? They had their heyday. The Cardinals had too few and far in between.
Meanwhile the Bills and Vikings at least played in a combined eight Super Bowls. The Falcons would have a ring if they weren’t playing against A Man Named Brady. And the Bengals would have left the list entirely had they not forgotten to play defense during the latter portion of the fourth quarter in February 2022.
Wait, didn’t the Cardinals come within 35 seconds of winning Super Bowl XLIII? In what was one of the greatest Super Bowls of all-time, they did. But they also gave Ben Roethlisberger the ball back with enough time to string together a last-minute drive. And as a guy who grew up in the Pittsburgh area and saw his fair share of Steeler games, I didn’t need to be Nostradamus to accurately predict what was about to happen.
Braden Hawk influenced his godsister, Tarja Titan, no doubt. But ultimately, Tarja would have chosen the Cardinals anyway. Their history was just too meager for her to follow another team. So now it bodes the question: Will Tarja use her Influence ability to convince Michael Bidwill to give the City of Pottsville (population 13,000) the 1925 NFL Championship? Maybe she will. And maybe it will, in turn, break the curse.