I see Cardinals in my backyard every spring.
I see Cardinals in my backyard every spring.
As a recently enlisted 'boot' I have picked this topic to add my two cents worth. Over time I have noticed this topic reappear from time-to-time, like it's been declared 'undead.' Here's what Arizona fans need to remember. First, the Bidwill ownership is traditional if nothing else. Your team is,by the strictest definition, the oldest still operating professional football team going. As a founding NFL franchise they have not only been there from the beginning, but the Cardinal identity was already established. It predates Chicago's other team name for they entered the league as the Chicago Staleys, not becoming the Bears til George Halas renamed the team to becaue he began play where the baseball Cubs played their games.That fact means everything to the Bidwill family.
With the NFL centenary just a few years ahead your team will be in the thick of conversation concerning that milestone. That's an honor well-earned and well-deserved. Embrace it! The Cardinal franchise is nothing if not a survivor. And, they are pioneers,too. Aren't those two accomplishments the essence of the Arizona 'brand?'
I have been a loyal fan of the team since my father took me to my first game at Soldier Field in 1959 and continued following the team thru the Larry Wilson-Charley Johnson-Bobby Joe Conrad years in St.Louis.Those entertaining teams pushed me to,along with my father, become season-ticket holders after I returned home from the war and we were rewarded with the Don Coryell-era. Those teams were so good that the innovative coach himself could join three of his players in Canton very soon.
St.Louis did not embrace the team for a variety of reasons, the most likely because it is a baseball town. Bill Bidwill didn't give up so much on St.Louis as much as they gave up on him and the team. If they were going to move anywhere I was excited about them moving to Arizona. If your team has accomplished anything it is that it meets adversity head-on, is a scrappy survivor and with the building of your stadium has come to stay and re-invent itself.
Historically, the Cardinals have always been an entertaining team, a worthy opponent to the league's well-heeled franchises, and capable of developing quite a few HOF'ers and near-stars. They do not take a backseat to any other team. They're not arrogant like the Bears or blowhard Cowpokes or like the daffy Eagles or neurotic Packers. Your team has always faced-up to those teams, and the others, and given as much as they've had to take. And that legacy will hold the Cardinals in good stead in the division rivalries they now have to deal with. What more do you fans want?
Thanks,'Crazy.' As an aside, today, January 28th, is the day in 1922 when George Halas and his partners officially changed the name of their team from the Chicago Staley's to the Chicago Bears. They had been playing their games where the baseball Cubs played and figured they'd name their team along the same line. They just piggybacked their brand publiciy off the established Cubs.
But, it does' show to go you' the uniqueness of our Cardinal franchise. We were the 'Cardinals' for two full seasons and hold the label as oldest NFL franchise brand. I am sure it means everything to the Bidwill family.
And another thing, the Cardinals can say they hold not only the oldest but the two oldest competitions in league history. They,of course,played the 'Staley's' in '20 and '21' and,also, played the league's newest team,the Packers, before the newly renamed Bears did!
......correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that our name did not come from the "Cardinal" bird, but from the color of the hand me down jerseys they received waaaay back in the day, that were the color "Cardinal" Red.
That's historic enough to make sure we ALWAYS keep the Cardinal name.
Hello, 'jfig,' yes,you are correct. The team name does not refer to the Cardinal bird. According to,Joe Ziemba,author of,"When Football Was Football,The Chicago Cardinals and the Birth of the NFL," the team name can be traced back to 1901 and a sale of used football jerseys. It seems coach,Amos Alonzo Stagg,of the University of Chicago "Maroons," sold these to owner Chris O'Brien,the original owner of our team. The jersey's original color corresponded to the team's name.But,when O'Brien saw the jerseys' faded color he is said to have called it "Cardinal Red."
Whether this story is one of lore or a reporter's wit it is a fact that the team name,Cardinals, first appears in print and various places in 1901. It stuck because people liked it. The team remained in operation for the next two decades in the same Chicago location of Racine Park on the"sou'side" of the city. Originally,the neighborhood was predominately Irish but it had good citizens of Polish,Slovak and Ukranian immigration. Most of the men of these backgrounds were employed in heavy manual labor occupations at the famous stockyards or industry. My grandfather,for instance,was a teamster,in its original definition. They were the ones who supported the team all those years by being its players or buying the tickets. As an aside, this fan background is the reason why later on the Cardinals and the Northside Bears developed such animosity. You see,George Halas and his fellow owners marketed their team to the snobbish gentry of the Northside neighborhoods.The men of these two Chicago areas could not have been more different and formed the basis of how the Bears were better able to finance themselves compared to the Cardinals in the early years of the rivalry.
Anoher aside is that Wm.and Stormy Bidwill's father, Charles "Blueshirt"Bidwill was a fellow owner of the Bears helping to keep the team afloat in the '20's and '30'.He was heavily "invested" in 'the horses' and the league,i.e.Halas,asked him to buy the Cardinals team because their owners were having too much trouble financing the team. Bidwill loved the game and agree which also further fuelled the Cardinals-Bears rivalry and brought Halas one step closer to his dream of being sole-owner of the Bears.
These history posts are awesome. Things I never knew about the team. Thank you Mr. Slick.