GLENDALE, Ariz. - We've been waiting all year for the home opener, but the Cardinals just didn't get off on the right foot on Sunday afternoon. That didn't phase the fans, though. They were at State Farm Stadium in force to show support to rookie quarterback Kylar Murray and the rest of the team.
A lot of fans started their day preparing for the game on the Great Lawn. We spoke to tailgaters about finally getting back to State Farm Stadium.
All Johnny Rodriguez needs is his Cardinals canopy and a smartphone. His tailgating experience doesn't end at kick-off, it continues.
"It was live," Rodriguez said. "Obviously real-live feels like it's more live right here as a tailgater than it does inside."
It's the first season the Cardinals are using a digital ticketing system. Some fans had technical difficulties.
"I tried it, but like I said, [when your] phone is dead, you can't use digital nothing if it's dead," Bry Gezie said.
And then there's the cleanup process. Tim Hook says it takes time to gather all of his equipment before the ride home.
"I start the day around 5:30 a.m., I get in line and I'm sitting in line until like 9 or 9:30, whenever they open the gates," Hook said. "I come in here, I set up, and do my thing. I grill, I cook — everything's good."
But he wouldn't trade in his tailgate environment for a living room or bar. He says he'll be back when the Cards play at home again.
"It is a lot of work, but I enjoy the company," Hook said.