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The Arizona Cardinals have lost seven straight games, the Suns and Diamondbacks have struggled, and the NHL lockout is preventing the Phoenix Coyotes from even playing.

Other than Arizona State University beating the University of Arizona in football last week, Valley sports fans have had little reason to cheer.

Fans on the patio of Marcel's Sports Grill in north Phoenix are frustrated with local sports scene.

"Especially with the Cardinals, it's a little tough," said Dan Kingsbury, adding that he'll keep supporting the local teams. "Sooner or later, you hope that they're going to turn it around."

Which team is coming out of the funk first? George Shatoo thinks it'll be ASU football.

"Their best players right now are sophomores and freshmen. I like them," he said. "I was up until 11 o'clock at night watching ASU beat the U of A last week. My neighbors next door were screaming."

Shatoo likes the Suns as well.

"They're trying to mesh together," he said. "It's not happening yet, but I always like them. I always have hope for them."

However, Shatoo was critical of the Diamondbacks.

"It's a long way before they're going to get up there again," he said. "We love Kirk Gibson, but maybe he's just too aggressive and thinks his players can do the same things that he did, like running the bases and being very devoted. They can't."

As for the Coyotes, customers said they root for them except when they're playing their favorite team from back home. Shatoo and his brother are Detroit Red Wings fans.

As for the Cardinals, Kingsbury thinks they may be among many NFL teams that soon will be making a head coaching change.

"I saw a recent sports report that said eight coaches will be without a job," he said. When asked if Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt is among those who could be fired, Kingsbury said "Sure he is and he should be."

Whisenhunt knows there are people who have that opinion.

"It's part of the job," Whisenhunt said after Sunday's loss to the St. Louis Rams. "There's a lot of speculation about everything. I think you've got to have thick skin."

Bob McClay, Reporter

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