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Remembering The Impact Of Clark Haggans

Former linebacker was part of Super Bowl team

It was Super Bowl eve before the Cardinals were to play the Steelers, and I was in a Tampa bar.

I wasn't the only one. It was packed -- I mean, it was Super Bowl Saturday night -- and there were both Cardinals and Steelers fans, along with a bunch of us who worked for the team (and our significant others and family members.) It was that last great moment of celebration before the game itself.

Clark Haggans was there. Unfortunately for the Cardinals linebacker, he had gotten hurt that season and landed on season-ending injured reserve, but he was still there to support his team. He came over to us, at one point shaking my wife's hand. But the biggest thing I remember from that night was when Steelers fans wanted to love on their former star and Haggans instead arguing hard -- good-naturedly of course -- how the Cardinals were going to beat the Steelers the next day.

That's what I was thinking about Wednesday morning when the news Haggans, only 46 years old, had passed away.

Haggans spent four of his 13-year career in Arizona, one of many ex-Steelers then-coach Ken Whisenhunt brought in to supplement his Cardinals' rosters. He was a solid player on the field and he was definitely a key factor in the locker room. For all the young talent that team had at that time -- Dockett, Dansby, Rolle, Campbell -- Haggans was one of the vets with prior Super Bowl experience to help bring the rest of them along.

Rest in peace.