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Arizona Cardinals History

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Cardinals franchise is the oldest continuously run franchise in American Football in the United States, originally founded in 1898 as the Morgan Athletic Club in Chicago, Illinois. And so they were one of the original founding members of the National Football League, which began in 1920, and saw the team change its name to the Chicago Cardinals.

The Early Years Of The NFL

The Cardinals enjoyed relative success, including winning the NFL Championship in 1925, but following their title winning season, they disappeared into the wilderness, achieving the odd winning season, but never really challenging for the title.

The Cardinals second period of glory came in the late 1940s, as they reached the NFL Championship game two years in a row, thanks to the efforts of two Hall of Famers; Fullback and Kicker Pat Harder, who led the league in points three years running, and former NFL Quarterback, then Cardinals Head Coach, and later Owner, Jimmy Conzelman. They won the first NFL Championship game in 1947, and then lost in 1948, both occasions playing the Philadelphia Eagles.

St Louis Cardinals

But much like the 1920s, after their success they returned to obscurity, and a move of the team to St Louis, Missouri in 1960 did little to help their cause, and originally, neither did the merger with the American Football League, which led to the NFL we know today.

Although, from the mid 60's to the early 80's, there were signs of the Cardinals potential, which were led by their star Quarterback Jim Hart, who spent 18 years at St Louis, reaching 4 Pro Bowls, winning two NFC East Division titles, and getting the Cardinals to the Postseason on three occasions, but on all three occasions, they failed to achieve a playoff win.

Cardinals' Move To The Desert

The Cardinals moved again just before the 1988 season to Phoenix, Arizona as the Phoenix Cardinals, and then the Arizona Cardinals in 1994. Again they achieved minimal success, with one playoff berth in the late 90's, but their luck turned again a few years ago, as they signed Super Bowl winner and future Hall of Fame Quarterback Kurt Warner in 2005. Since then, their season records have improved significantly, and after years as the worst team in the NFC West, they won their first Division title in over 30 years in 2008.

Seen as overwhelming underdogs in the 2008 playoffs, no one expected much from them, but they disposed of the Atlanta Falcons, and then shocked the second seed Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, and returned home to face the Philadelphia Eagles for a place in their first Super Bowl, which they won with a late touchdown. They could also have won the Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Tampa, but like the Eagles before them, they conceded a last minute touchdown and lost the game, but they could be extremely proud of their season, with many Pro Bowl picks, and Kurt Warner winning the Man of the Year Award.

The following season, Arizona continued their dominance in their division, but were eliminated in the playoffs by the eventual Super Bowl winners the New Orleans Saints. The Cardinals side looks as though it can remain a contender for their division, but with Kurt Warner announcing his retirement at the end of the season, people are unsure if the side will be as powerful without their star playmaker taking control.



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