When ESPN’s First Take had Kyler Murray on as a guest last week, a lot of us wondered, “Did they even watch his press conferences last year?” Murray is known as a quiet assassin, and his television appearances have lived up to that description. Plus, Arizona players are generally blacklisted from national TV shows based on the small slice of audience they carry with them.
I theorized on my radio show that ESPN must have happened upon market research telling them that Kyler Murray is the exception. After going 43-0 as a Texas high school player, winning the Heisman at Oklahoma, and winning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Murray must have developed a cult audience, otherwise First Take wouldn't have booked him.
Now, that theory has been validated.
The Athletic conducted a poll asking fans what team - other than their favorite team - they would most like to root for over the next decade.
The Cardinals weighed in at 3rd place with 5.94% of the vote, even though they came in at just 27th in overall fandom with a tiny 0.94% of the vote. Kyler Murray also received 2% of the vote for "Which young quarterback would you choose for the next decade?" - placing between Deshaun Watson and Baker Mayfield.
I doubt the Cardinals placed 3rd in "side-team" rankings because of Chandler Jones or Isaiah Simmons, especially considering the two teams placed above the Cardinals are led by former MVP's Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson.
After three high school state championships, a Heisman Trophy, an Offensive Rookie of the Year award, a First Take appearance, and a fan poll, Kyler could be the most buzz-worthy Arizona sports figure since Charles Barkley