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Arizona Cardinals Team History

The Arizona Cardinals built strong teams during the 1920s, 1940s, and 1970s, capturing a total of two NFL titles and four division crowns during those decades.

Unfortunately the first Super Bowl was not played until 1967, which mean the Cardinals have never won the NFL Superbowl championship.

The closest Arizona has come to winning the championship in the modern era was in 2008 during Superbowl XLIII where they lost 27 - 23 to Pittsburgh.

The team's championship lineup of 1947 starred the famed Dream Backfield of quarterback Paul Christman, fullback Pat Harder, and halfbacks Elmer Angsman and Charley Trippi. During the 1970s quarterback Jim Hart commanded one of the league's most potent offenses. The Cardinals defeated the Eagles 32-25 to advance to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. They lost Super Bowl XLIII 27-23 to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Arizona Cardinals Chronological History

1898
The Morgan Athletic Club in Chicago begins playing regular games on the south side of the city.
1901
The team adopts the name "Cardinals" after team owner Chris O'Brien buys used uniforms that have faded to the color of cardinal red.
1920
The Chicago Cardinals become charter members of the American Professional Football League.
1925
The Cardinals capture their first NFL crown.
1929
On Thanksgiving Day, Ernie Nevers scores all of the teams 40 points for a win over the Chicago Bears.
1945
World War II conscripted so many players from the Cardinals roster that they merged with the Pittsburgh Steelers to form a team called Card-Pitt. The team lost all 10 of their games.
1946
The Cardinals have the first of three consecutive winning seasons.
1947
The Cardinals win the NFL Championship Game.
1960
The Cardinals move to St. Louis and have their best season in years. Throughout the decade, the Cardinals have five winning seasons but fail to qualify for postseason play.
1974
The Cardinals qualify for the playoffs for the first time in 26 years.
1975
The Cardinals win the Division Championship.
1982
The Cardinals qualify for the postseason but fail to qualify for the Superbowl. While the team has several winning seasons over the next 2 decades, they fail to qualify for postseason play again until 1996.
1988
After a deal to build a new stadium in St. Louis fails, the team is relocated to Arizona.
1998
the Arizona Cardinals finally ended the team's 15-year playoff drought and achieved their first postseason victory since 1947.
1999
Coming off of their playoff run in 1998, the Cardinals were expected to do bigger and better things in 1999, but a tough schedule ranked in the top 5 as well as key injuries returned the team to their losing ways, getting off to a 2-6 start. However, the Cards would make another run winning 4 straight to get back into the playoff chase, but this year it was not meant to be as Arizona lost their last 4 to finish with a disappointing 6-10 record.
2004
Tragedy struck the team on April 22, 2004 when former safety Pat Tillman, a popular player who was an All-American at Arizona State, was killed in Afghanistan while serving in the United States Army.
2006
The Cardinals open the season in their new building the University of Phoenix Stadium seats 63,500 fans (expandable to 72,800) opened on August 12, 2006 when the Cardinals defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 21-13, in a preseason game. The Cardinals then hosted their first regular season opening day game since moving to the Phoenix area in 1988, defeating the San Francisco 49ers in a rematch of the 2005 blowout in Mexico City, 34-27, in front of a sellout crowd of 63,407. In 2008, the stadium will hosted Super Bowl XLII Where the Giants defeated the Patriots.
2008
The Cardinals selected cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie with their first pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.
2009
The Cardinals defeated the Eagles 32-25 to advance to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. They lost Super Bowl XLIII 27-23 to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
2012
Whisenhunt was relieved of his head coaching duties by the Cardinals after 3 straight non-playoff seasons. Rod Graves, general manager at the time, was also relieved of his duties

Arizona Cardinals Franchise Information

  • Franchise Granted: 1920
  • First Season: 1920
  • Morgan Athletic Club (1898)
  • Racine Normals (1899-1900)
  • Racine Cardinals (1901-1906, reformed 1913-1919)
  • Chicago Cardinals (1920-1943)
  • Card-Pitt (1944)
  • Chicago Cardinals (1945-1959)
  • St. Louis Cardinals (1960-1987)
  • Phoenix Cardinals (1988-1993)
  • Arizona Cardinals (1994-present)

The Cardinals originally played in Chicago as a charter member of the American Professional Football Association (APPA). The team moved to St. Louis in 1960 and then to Phoenix in 1988. Contrary to popular logic, the team was not named after the beautiful bird but instead because the team played in used maroon jerseys the original team (in pre-NFL years) had purchased from the University of Chicago. When an observer scoffed that the jerseys were faded red, team owner Chris Brien countered that they weren't faded red, they were cardinal red.

Arizona Cardinals - Stadium

Arizona Cardinals Stadium

University of Phoenix Stadium

One Cardinals Drive
Glendale, Arizona 85305
Capacity: 63,500
Surface: Natural Grass
Cost: 455 Million
Type: Retractable Roof
Tenants:
Arizona Cardials
Arizona State Sun Devils

Previous Stadiums

Normal Park (1920-1921), (1926-1928)
Comiskey Park (1922-1925), (1929-1958)
Soldier Field (4 games 1959)
Metropolitan Stadium (Bloomington, MN) (2 games 1959)
Busch Stadium (1960-1965)
Busch Memorial Stadium (1966-1987)
Sun Devil Stadium (1988-2005)
University of Phoenix Stadium (2006-present)

League Championships

1925 (NFL), 1947 (NFL)

Conference Championships

2008 (NFC)

Division Championships

1947 (NFL West), 1948 (NFL West), 2008 (NFC West)

Wild Card Wins

1998 (NFC West), 2008 (NFC West), 2009 (NFC West)

Years in Playoffs

1947, 1948, 1974, 1975, 1982, 1998, 2008, 2009

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals history

Coaches

Bruce Arians
2013
Ken Whisenhunt
2007 - 2012
Dennis Green
2004 - 2006
Dave McGinnis
2000 - 2003
Vince Tobin
1996 - 2000
Buddy Ryan
1994 - 1995
Joe Bugel
1990 - 1993
Hank Kuhlmann
1989
Gene Stallings
1986 - 1989
Jim Hanifan
1980 - 1985
Larry Wilson
1979
Bud Wilkinson
1978 - 1979
Don Coryell
1973 - 1977
Bob Hollway
1971 - 1972
Charley Winner
1966 - 1970
Wally Lemm
1962 - 1965
Ray Willsey
1961
Ray Prochaska
1961
Chuck Drulis
1961
Frank Ivy
1958 - 1961
Ray Richards
1955 - 1957
Joe Stydahar
1953 - 1954
Joe Kuharich
1952
Curly Lambeau
1950 - 1951
Buddy Parker
1949
Phil Handler
1949
Jimmy Conzelman
1946 - 1948
Phil Handler
1944 - 1945
Walt Kiesling
1944
Phil Handler
1943
Jimmy Conzelman
1940 - 1942
Ernie Nevers
1939
Milan Creighton
1935 - 1938
Paul Schissler
1933 - 1934
Jack Chevigny
1932
Roy Andrews
1931
Ernie Nevers
1930 - 1931
Dewey Scanlon
1929
Fred Gillies
1928
Guy Chamberlin
1927
Norm Barry
1925 - 1926
Arnie Horween
1923 - 1924
Paddy Driscoll
1920 - 1922

Retired Numbers

#8 Larry Wilson #40 Pat Tillman #77 Stan Mauldin #88 J. V. Cain #99 Marshall Goldberg

Hall of Fame Members

John "Paddy" Driscoll
1925, 1926
Walter Kiesling
1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933
Guy Chamberlin
1927, 1928
Charles W. Bidwill Sr.
1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947
Jimmy Conzelman
1940, 1941, 1942, 1946, 1947, 1948
Dan Dierdorf
1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983
Paddy Driscoll
1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925
Dick "Night Train" Lane
1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959
Ollie Matson
1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958
Ernie Nevers
1929, 1930, 1931
Jackie Smith
1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977
Charley Trippi
1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955
Larry Wilson
1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972
Don Maynard
1973
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