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Back From A Road Trip That Didn't (Fully) Happen

With Saints preseason game canceled, Cards make flight from Phoenix to Phoenix

Well, that was one of the weirdest road "trips" ever.

As the Cardinals – and yes, I was on board – got ready to take off Friday to fly out to New Orleans, I saw the report on Twitter that the New Orleans mayor had begun mandatory evacuations for parts of the city, where the levees might not be able to handle incoming Hurricane Ida. The game, of course, had at that point been moved up seven hours so the Saints-Cardinals preseason finale could be played ahead of any weather.

In the back of the seats on the charter plane, there is an option of having a map up, showing altitude and speed and where you are in the flight. Producer extraordinaire Jim Omohundro seated next to me, pointed out his map almost two hours into the flight. Why, he wondered, was the little plane icon on the map now facing back toward Arizona?

The plane the team travels on does not have internet. At that point, the game cancelation hadn't been announced (it came a few minutes later.) Crazy.

The first thing Cardinals-related I thought about was wide receiver Andy Isabella, who lost 15 days of training camp and two preseason games because of Covid, and loses his final chance to play – which would've been a lot – because of a hurricane.

Eno Benjamin and Jonathan Ward miss out on the chance for heavy work in a game situation at running back. We won't see any more work for the right guard battle. And the whole talking point about whether Kyler Murray should play was moot.

I think of all the work VP of Broadcast Tim DeLaney and his large crew did to prepare for the telecast, which is not a small lift. (Rob Fredrickson's first-ever chance to do radio color, gone too.) Or all the Cardinals staffers, from logistics to equipment and beyond, prepping for a road trip that didn't happen.

But we are all home now. Safe. And that's what you think of in the end, the people of New Orleans, preparing for another hurricane two days away from the 16-year anniversary of infamous Hurricane Katrina. The game didn't matter. The people do, and I hope they are safe too.

Screenshot 1 of U-turn flight to New Orleans
Screenshot 2 of U-turn flight to New Orleans