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Card's mascot succumbs to bird flu

Team likely to continue losing

 published on Thursday, December 8, 2005


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In case you haven't figured this out, Stale Mess is just a bunch of made up stories. It's as fake as your "Kate Spade" purse that's "hecho en Mexico." As fake as the breasts on the Playboy playmates, our USG president wants to ban. It's possibly even faker. It's content is not to be taken seriously. Stale Mess is fake, fake, fake. Any resemblance to actual people (unless, of course, those actual people are public figures, in which case their quotes are still fake) is purely accidental. Enjoy. And remember: it's fake.

The Arizona Cardinals lost more than the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday.

Big Red, 28, the Cardinals mascot for seven years, collapsed in the stands during the fourth quarter of the 24-17 loss at Sun Devil Stadium.

The feathery mascot fell to the ground as he was signing autographs for children attending the game. Red was taken to a local hospital by helicopter where he later fell into a coma. After a week in the Intensive Care Unit, Red died on Dec. 6.

Doctors at Arizona Memorial Hospital concluded that Red died of a lethal strain of bird flu known as H5N1. This particular strain is blamed for more than 65 deaths in Asia since 2003.

While it is not immediately known how Red contracted the deadly virus, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the validity of reports that Red became infected during a recent trip to Japan.

According to the Arizona Cardinals, Big Red traveled to Japan to visit with family over the summer before the season began. Red Herring, Big Red's brother, is the mascot for the Japanese baseball team, the Tokyo Red Roosters, and said he is devastated by the news of his brother's death.

"His death hit our family pretty hard," Herring said in a telephone interview. "We've heard about how bad bird flu is but we never thought it would affect us."

The investigation into Red's death is ongoing. The Arizona Cardinals have dedicated the rest of their season to Big Red and will spread his ashes across the field in the new Glendale Stadium. The new home for the Cardinals is set to open for the 2006 season.



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