Cardinals end week at ‘haunted’ Greenbrier Resort
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — The Arizona Cardinals packed up and checked out of the Greenbrier Resort on Friday and some players no doubt are more than happy to leave.
Some of them are convinced there are ghosts about.
"You hear a lot of guys talk, ‘Ah, the hotel’s haunted,’" cornerback Patrick Peterson said Thursday, "so now guys are traveling around in groups. … I haven’t seen anything, but I do hear some weird noises at night, but I don’t pay no mind to it. I fall right to sleep."
Not so safety Tony Jefferson.
"I’m scared," he said.
Jefferson said he was alone in his room the first night at the Greenbrier when he heard "a little voice, it was like a little girl’s voice."
"The lights have not been off since," Jefferson said. "I’m not taking any chances. … I’ve got the TV on, and the lights."
Cornerback Jerraud Powers said his wife looked on the Internet and saw that some people who stayed at the Greenbrier "complained about ghosts and stuff." A resort worker, Powers said, told him he’d seen a ghost in the parking lot.
"After that, I was like `It must be real,’" Powers said. "I keep the bathroom light on."
But now it’s on to Pittsburgh, a 30-minute flight, where the Cardinals (4-1) face the Steelers (3-2) on Sunday.
"It was fun. It was beneficial," defensive lineman Calais Campbell said after Friday’s final workout. "Everybody likes being at home more than on the road. But if you’re on the road this place treated us very well. The people were nice. The food was good. We had a chance to bond again, a training camp kind of feel."
Did Campbell have any ghosts in his room?
"If I did, I tried to ignore them. I don’t know," he said. "I blocked it out, watched a lot of TV and went to sleep when I was tired."
Other than worrying about the chance of uninvited spirits popping up, the Cardinals were satisfied with their three days of practice at the facility used by the New Orleans Saints for training camp.
"Very business-like and nothing out of the ordinary," quarterback Carson Palmer said, "other than the beautiful leaves and the mountains in the background and the breeze and all that."
All three practices at the Greenbrier took place in sparkling clear, crisp weather with the colorful trees of autumn surrounding the workout field, across the highway from the resort.
"It’s awesome," coach Bruce Arians. "It’s perfect weather to go into Pittsburgh and play, with the breeze every day and the grass is the same."
This is the third time since 2008 that the team has stayed back east between games to avoid a pair of long flights to Phoenix.
In 2008, the Cardinals stayed in suburban Washington, D.C., and practiced at Catholic University, team President Michael Bidwill’s alma mater. The results weren’t good. Arizona lost both games, the first 24-17 at Washington, then 56-36 at the New York Jets, the game where wide receiver Anquan Boldin sustained multiple facial fractures on a hit.
In 2013, Arians’ first season in Arizona, the Cardinals lost 31-7 at New Orleans then stayed in Bradenton, Florida, at the IMG complex there. Heavy rains hampered practice, especially early in the week.
"We were practicing with standing water on the field," Larry Fitzgerald said.
The Cardinals beat Tampa Bay 13-10 the following Sunday, thanks to a pair of interceptions by Patrick Peterson in a game that was as sloppy as the weather had been.
Fitzgerald said he ranked the Greenbrier trip as the best of the three, followed by Florida, with the Catholic University stop the worst — mostly because of the results.
And no, Fitzgerald said, he didn’t see any ghosts this week.
Notes: Arians and Fitzgerald said they met Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Lee Trevino during their stay. Arians said having a drink with Palmer was on his bucket list. Asked if he thought about ordering an Arnold Palmer, Arians said, "not without something in it." … The golfing greats were at the Greenbrier for the groundbreaking for a new golf course they designed. … Peterson said the Steelers have the best screen pass game he’s seen "since we’ve been here."
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