Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Ralphie is a Cardinals fan

Northport Hardware tries to get a leg up

Northport Hardware tries to get a leg up on the competition with a lamp like the one from "A Christmas Story." (Dec. 3, 2011) (Credit: Heather Walsh)

Why would I ask Peter Billingsley, best known as the original Ralphie from the 1983 movie “A Christmas Story,’’ what life as an avid Arizona Cardinals fan is like?

Firstly, because I could. Secondly, because it would give the Sunday editor reason to use a nostalgic picture of him in the newspaper.

“What do you think it’s like? It’s like a heart attack every week,’’ Billingsley said Monday at an event to promote the Broadway musical version of the movie that opens next month.

“You start 4-0 after being predicted to pretty much go 0-16 and you wake up at 4-3. That’s life as a Cardinals fan.’’

Billingsley, 41, grew up in both Phoenix and in New York, where Cardinals fans are an exotic species.

“They’re sort of a feathered fish, if you will,’’ he said. “I tell people I’m a Cardinals fan and I get that look that you gave me. Like, what does that mean?

’’You mean like baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals? No, no, no, no, no. We’re talking football. 'Oh, are you guys still in the league?' We endure a lot of that punishment."

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