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Despite Loss, Cardinals Enjoyed Magic of Estadio Azteca

The Arizona Cardinals didn't quite accomplish what they wanted in their 38-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, but they did enjoy the unique atmosphere of Mexico City and Estadio Azteca.

The Arizona Cardinals were the designated home team for the NFL's final installment of their international series in Mexico City in what was a losing effort on Monday Night Football against the San Francisco 49ers. 

It wasn't the first time Arizona took the field in the legendary ground of Estadio Azteca - they played the 49ers there back in 2005. 

Yet it was the first time there for most of the organization, which included head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

"The atmosphere was incredible. They put on a great game and the entire weekend was spectacular. I wish we could have performed better, but that was a great atmosphere for football," said Kingsbury following the game. 

It was a rowdy environment from start to finish, which shouldn't be a surprise if you know how passionate fans on the other side of the border are. Sports are as important to life as here in the States, they just happen to follow the other football more. 

Thanks to their proximity to Mexico, the Arizona Cardinals are a popular pick among fans south of the border. 

Thanks to their proximity to Mexico, the Arizona Cardinals are a popular pick among fans south of the border. 

Yet that's changing as the NFL continues to grow itself on the international scale. Games in England have been played regularly for years. Ground was broken in Germany for the first time this season.

Mexico? Not quite annually, but the reviews for the environment suggest the league should venture there more often.

"Yeah, I thought the atmosphere was awesome," said Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy.

"What a wonderful place to be able to play. We've been here for two days. The people have been super nice. It's just a bummer we didn't find a way to win that game. But San Francisco played hard. They're a good football team. And we just didn't make enough plays. 

"But for the crowd, for the atmosphere, being able to play internationally in Mexico City, I thought it was fantastic."

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Although the Cardinals were the "home" team, the stadium was majority 49ers fans. Vivid Seats initially projected 82% of fans to support San Francisco, and it surely felt accurate. 

Each time the Cardinals took the field offensively, whistles and boo's met them almost the entire time, almost as if they were the visiting team. Perhaps they played the role of Guadalajara to the 49ers' Club America.

"No, I know the 49ers fans travel well. They were pretty loud. We went on the silent count most of the night. But it was a really cool stadium, a really cool experience," said McCoy.

"Honestly, I didn't really know what to expect. I thought they were great. A lot of 49ers fans there. It was pretty loud. The environment was fun. Walking down through, basically through the stadium down to the field, that's a really unique experience. So I thought it was a great atmosphere and fans were great."

The Cardinals don't yet know when they'll return next, but the experience in Mexico City, regardless of result, was nothing short of special. 

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