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Howard Balzer

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Howard Balzer is in his 47th year covering professional football as a writer, editor and broadcaster and has covered 41 Super Bowls. His connection with pro football began in 1976 with College and Pro Football Newsweekly, and since then he has been a featured columnist for The Sporting News, Pro Football Weekly, USA Today Sports Weekly and The Sports Xchange. Balzer moved to St. Louis in 1978 to work for The Sporting News, where he became Pro Football Editor in 1979. He was an analyst on ESPN's initial broadcast of the NFL Draft in 1980 and continued in that role through 1988. He has won seven writing awards in the Professional Football Writers of America competition, won an Emmy for commentaries on KPLR-TV in St. Louis in 1986 and was nominated for an Emmy in 1988 and 1990. He was named the 2016 winner of the Bob Broeg Media Award presented by the St. Louis/Tom Lombardo Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. The award is for enthusiasm, integrity, professionalism and devotion to the game of football and is reserved for individuals whose contributions to football in the St. Louis area have made a significant difference. Balzer was an officer (secretary and secretary/treasurer) for the Professional Football Writers of America for 33 years and was inducted into the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. Balzer relocated to the Phoenix area in 2020 as the publisher of the FanNation AllCardinals site and is now the Cardinals reporter for PHNX. He is entering his 19th year as one of 49 voting members on the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee and is also on the Hall's Seniors Committee. He is the co-host of the weekly Pro Football Hall of Fame radio show on SiriusXM NFL Radio and is a part-time host at ArizonaSports 98.7 FM.

I hope … That people realize the “regression” in Kyler Murray everyone likes to talk about had actually started to reverse itself after the return of DeAndre Hopkins in Week 7. Shocking, huh? In three games before Murray missed the last two because of a hamstring injury, he compiled these numbers: New Orleans 20-for-29, 204 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions,…...

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It would be an understatement to say Mexico City wasn’t kind to the Cardinals Leos. The relationship between coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray was recently chronicled here because both are Leos and Kingsbury has admitted they “butt heads.” On episode 1 of Hard Knocks, Kingsbury explained that a large picture of a lion on a wall in his house is because he’s a Leo. Well, after yet another difficult to grasp incident involving what is fast becoming a dysfunctional organization, it could be argued that rock-bottom has been reached. Tuesday, after Kingsbury denied in a press conference that he had to make any coaching staff changes, he then confirmed to Arizona Republic reporter Bob McManaman that offensive line…

The fairest point to make after the Cardinals were outscored 21-0 in the second half Monday night after fighting gamely in the first two quarters but lost 38-10 is that the numbers don’t lie. The other is that the 49ers are currently an infinitely more talented team than the Cardinals and they have gotten healthier after three of their losses in the first seven games came against the Bears, Broncos and Falcons, three teams that have a combined record of 11-21. The other loss was to the 8-2 Chiefs. It’s a flight of fancy to wonder where the 49ers would be now had quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo not needed shoulder surgery last March, which would have resulted in an offseason trade.…

After all the talk about altitude, preparation and injuries to key personnel, a football game will finally be played Monday night in Mexico City as the Cardinals seek to remain relevant in the NFC West. With a victory, the 49ers would move their record to 6-4 and tie the Seahawks, idle in Week 11, for first place in the division. Technically, San Francisco would be ahead thanks to its 27-7 victory in Week 2. A Cardinals win to make their record 5-6 record would result in them being one-half game behind the 49ers and keep them even with Atlanta in the NFC. Currently, there are seven NFC teams that have winning records including all four teams in the NFC East:…

“It’s these changes in ‘altitudes,’ changes in attitudesNothing remains quite the sameWith all of our running and all of our cunningIf we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane” ——————————————————–Jimmy Buffett OK, I took a bit of literary license changing the word latitudes to altitudes in one of Jimmy Buffett’s iconic songs. Somehow, it just seemed apropos. The Cardinals departed for Mexico City and it’s 7,200-feet altitude Saturday, one day earlier than normal for a road game. Meanwhile, the 49ers were in Colorado Springs during the week practicing at the Air Force Academy, but they had to deal with colder than usual temperatures (29 degrees on Thursday) and then ended up working inside Friday because of snow. The Cardinals were…

Kliff Kingsbury provided some legs for the Colt McCoy future coaching possibility this week when he was talking about his team’s backup quarterback who is now 3-1 as starter with the Cardinals. “He’d be a phenomenal coach if he wanted to,” Kingsbury said of the former Longhorn. “Or he could run for governor of Texas and be just as good. He’s kind of got the gamut covered there, but I think he’s a man’s man. He’s an every-day type of person and he cares in that way. He just wants to help people and help the team be better. “He can relate to anybody. He carries himself in a very humble manner. He loves the game as much as anybody…

Google Jim Mora quotes and it’s possible to have a lot of fun with some of the classics he uttered while the head coach of the Saints and Colts. The most famous, of course, is when his team was 4-6 and a reporter said the team would have to win out to make the playoffs. Mora responded, “Playoffs?! Don’t talk about playoffs! Are you kidding me? Playoffs?! I’m just hoping we can win a game, another game!” However, one of my favorites came to mind this week reading and listening to the apoplexy in these parts after Monday’s release of backup running back Eno Benjamin. There have been multiple reports that Benjamin, upset with his playing time (one offensive snap)…

I hope … That a certain continuity is present on the offensive line as the Cardinals prepare to play the 49ers talented front on Monday night. The Cardinals are tied with the Rams for having the most different line starters in the league at 12. Overall, the Cardinals have had 76 different players appear in at least one game, which is also tops in the NFL. Thankfully, there were no new O-line injuries Sunday (at least we don’t think there were), which means the group will likely be close to the same Monday, whether it’s D.J. Humphries or Josh Jones at left tackle, a healthy Cody Ford at left guard and rookie Lecitus Smith at right guard. Ford, coming back…

The No. 1 stood out like a sore thumb in the snap counts from the Cardinals game against the Rams Sunday on the line that credited running back Eno Benjamin with one offensive snap in the game. His lack of use was apparently made clear when Benjamin was shockingly placed on waivers Monday with national reports of the decision occurring mere minutes after coach Kliff Kingsbury had his weekly conference with local media that is followed by his appearance on the team’s radio flagship, Arizona Sports 98.7. Once again, the local media that is present every day at the team’s Tempe training facility was hung out to dry with not only there being no mention by Kingsbury of the impending…

Ask any NFL player or coach and to a man they will insist there is no such thing as an ugly win. Many will disagree, and that’s understandable. However, the reality is those same coaches and players will always talk about how hard it is to win a game in a league that prides itself because of the number of one-score games there are. Prior to this week’s Monday night games, seven of the 12 played were one-score games with three decided by a field goal or less. We that watch should realize the fine line that exists between winning and losing. It’s why, no matter how a game unfolds, a win is a win is a win. That was…

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