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Arizona Cardinals

Cardinals Football: History and Trivia



Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians

Norm Hall / Getty Images Sport

What does the Morgan Athletic Club have in common with the NFL's Arizona Cardinals football team? The Morgan Athletic Club was started in 1898. It was the first name of what we now know to be the Arizona Cardinals. After that first moniker, they were known as the Normals, Racine Cardinals, Chicago Cardinals, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Phoenix Cardinals, and finally became the Arizona Cardinals in 1994.

More Arizona Cardinals History and Facts

  • The Arizona Cardinals football team, and its predecessor teams, is the oldest continuously run professional football franchise in the nation.
  • In 1922 the team moved to Chicago and played at Comiskey Park. The team played there for 37 years. In that same year the team joined the NFL. They called themselves the Chicago Cardinals.
  • In 1925 the NFL championship was still determined by the best record, and not by a playoff season. In that year the Cardinals were awarded their first NFL championship.
  • In 1933 a Vice President of the Chicago Bears named Charles W. Bidwill, Sr. bought the Cardinals. He paid $50,000 for the team.
  • Because of the war, the Cardinals combined with the Pittsburgh Steelers to play as one team in 1944. The team was called was called Card-Pitt.
  • The senior Mr. Bidwill died in 1947.
  • After many years of less-than-stellar performance, the Cardinals reclaimed the NFL championship title in 1947 but Mr Bidwill hadn't lived long enough to see it. This was the only time that the Cardinals won a championship by winning a championship title game. It was the NFL's 15th championship title game (it was not yet called the Super Bowl). The score was 28-21, and they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Mrs. Violet Bidwill controlled the Cardinals for the next 15 years.
  • In 1960 the Cardinals moved to St. Louis.
  • In 1962 Mrs. Bidwill died leaving the Cardinals football team to her two sons, Charles W. Bidwill, Jr. and William V. Bidwill. In 1972 William Bidwill became the sole owner, and later in 1976 the team was incorporated.
  • In 1988 the Cardinals moved to Arizona under the name Phoenix Cardinals.
  • In their first season in Arizona the Cardinals achieved two records: one for single game attendance (vs. Cowboys in their inaugural Arizona game) and one for season attendance.
  • In 1994 William "Bill" Bidwill changed the name of the team to the Arizona Cardinals.
  • In 1998 the Arizona Cardinals finally ended the team's 15-year playoff drought and achieved their first postseason victory since 1947.
  • 14 former Cardinals are in the Football Hall of Fame. They are: Charles Bidwill, Guy Chamberlin, Conzelman, Driscoll, Kiesling, Curly Lambeau, Dick "Night Train" Lane, Ollie Matson, Nevers, Jackie Smith, Jim Thorpe, Trippi, and Larry Wilson, who currently serves the Cardinals as a vice president.
  • In November 2000, voters in Maricopa County passed Proposition 302, the Tourism and Sports Initiative, to help fund a new stadium for the Cardinals, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, and future Super Bowls, in addition to providing revenue for Cactus League spring training baseball, tourism, and youth recreation. It passed with 51.89% of the vote. The new stadium is scheduled to open in 2006.
  • 2006 marked the debut of the Arizona Cardinals' new stadium in Glendale. Shortly after opening the stadium it was named the University of Phoenix Stadium. No more hot August and September nights! This stadium is an air-conditioned, state-of-the-art facility.
  • For only the third time in 20 seasons since moving to Arizona, and the first time since 1998, the Arizona Cardinals finished the 2007 season with 8 wins and 8 losses. A .500 record didn't get them to the playoffs this year.
  • 2008 proved to be a magical year for Arizona Cardinals. They finished the season 9-7, won the NFC West and beat the Carolina Panthers on their home turf for the National Division Championship. Playing in their first Super Bowl since coming to Arizona (and in decades before that) against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Tampa, they almost took the big prize but were defeated in the last few minutes. Many commentators said it was one of the most entertaining Super Bowl games in recent memory.
  • In 2009 the Arizona Cardinals again made it to the playoff season, but were handily defeated by the New Orleans Saints. Kurt Warner called it quits, and the team underwent several significant changes in the offseason.
  • The challenges in 2010 kept the Cardinals out of playoff contention. They finished the season with a dismal 5-11 record and 4th in the NFC West.
  • Their record improved a bit in 2011, going 8-8 and finishing 2nd in the NFC West. Kevin Kolb started the season as the #1 QB, but was replaced with John Skelton. No playoff berth again in 2011. Will we have a decent quarterback in 2012? Only time will tell!
  • 2012 was a dismal year for the Arizona Cardinals, finishing the season with a 5-11 record. They began the season with four straight wins, and local football fans had a some pride and more than a glimmer of playoff hope. Then there was the rest of the season. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt was fired after six seasons. Get a quarterback, please.
  • The Cardinals finished 2013 out of the playoffs. Again. The 10-6 record placed them 3rd in the NFC West. The good news was that this was only the second time they won ten games in a season since coming to Arizona.

Can we get back into the playoffs and back to the Super Bowl? Let's hope so! The next page has all the details you'll need to enjoy the games this year.

Go to the Arizona Cardinals Schedule and Ticket Information

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