There was a lot of talk over the weekend about what the bigger surprise is, the Rays reaching the World Series or the Cardinals reaching the Super Bowl. ESPN.com had a poll on the issue and the Cardinals won in a landslide, 62% to 38%. The state of Florida was the only one to vote for the Rays, and even that was pretty close(54% to 46%).
Frankly I think that's ridiculous.
-The Cardinals are a good story, but it's not like they were the Detroit Lions. The Rays were a laughing stock every year of their existence prior to 2008.
-The Cardinals played in the worst division in football last season, with no other team finishing with a winning record. The Rays won the toughest division in baseball last season.
-It's much tougher to win a five, and then a seven game series, then it is to win three straight playoff games.
-The Cardinals finished 8-8 last season and returned this season with stars like Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Kurt Warner and Adrian Wilson. The Rays had to rely on young and/or unproven talent.
I'm betting that if the seasons were flipped and the Cardinals made the Super Bowl in October and the Rays made the World Series right now the poll results would also be flipped around. Bottom line is the Cardinals had a surprising season, but the 2008 Rays had one of the most remarkable seasons of all time.