Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury Makes Admission about Viral Draft Day Photo


Abbie Parr/Getty Images Kliff Kingsbury, head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.

Kliff Kingsbury and the Arizona Cardinals won the 2020 NFL Draft. Naturally, it will be years before we know whether the Cardinals chose wisely from among the available draft prospects. But if there’s one thing that football fans will remember about the 2020 draft, it will be the already iconic photo of Kingsbury kicking back in his home ‘war room’—with a view out to his resort-style yard, with palm trees and Camelback Mountain in the distance.

It’s a picture that could have been published in any slick, glossy real-estate magazine.

But in an appearance today on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, Kingsbury admitted that the picture was staged—that he “wanted to make it as ‘extra’ as possible.”

“Going into it I knew I was going to be super extra in the picture,” Kingsbury said. “I do think the fire—it was 100 degrees and sunny—was a bit much, but I laid four phones on the table because the NFL gave us a couple…. It turned out good, it made for fun.”

Yet the picture could have been even more over-the-top, according to Kingsbury.

Next Year: Float Swans? A DJ?

“The NFL only allowed us to have one person at the house or I might’ve had some people on the float swans in the back, or a DJ, really doing it big. There’s always next year,” said Kingsbury, hopefully.

To be sure, the Cardinals head coach has plenty of square-footage to work with.

According to, Kingsbury’s house is in Paradise Valley, a wealthy enclave tucked between the city of Phoenix and the suburb of Scottsdale, one which is known for luxury resorts and multi-million dollar estates. He purchased the home for $4.45 million in March of last year, not long after the Arizona Cardinals hired him.

The 7,000 square-foot house was built in 2017 and has four bedrooms and five-and-half bathrooms, with the real-estate listing describing the home as having a “palatial master suite” with his-and-hers walk-in closets and “an over-the-top master bathroom.”

NFL fans were impressed when they got a look at Kingsbury’s house on draft night, with one saying, “I want to quarantine at Kliff Kingsbury’s house.”

Another took care to contrast Kingsbury’s war room with that of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who showcased a more austere look.

If nothing else, Kingsbury’s estate showcases the possibilities afforded by high-end Phoenix-area real estate, and in particular Paradise Valley, a town of close to 13,000 people that is “predominantly zoned single-family housing but is also home to nine resorts,” among other things.

About Paradise Valley, Arizona

According to, Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwell—who was hospitalized with COVID-19 last month—also lives in Paradise Valley. The community is home to rocker Alice Cooper, a Paradise Valley native, as well as Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Arizona Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall, and Arizona governor Doug Ducey.

The Cardinals posted a record of 5-10-1 in Kingsbury’s first season as head coach, but are expected to improve in 2020, even in a very competitive NFC West Division.