The Arizona Cardinals compete in the NFC West Division of the National Football League and are the oldest team in American Football. They have been known as the Arizona Cardinals since March 1994, but can trace their history back to 1898 when they were formed in Chicago by Chris O’Brien as the Morgan Athletic Club. A few years later, they changed names again becoming the Racine Street Cardinals a name derived from the fact they played at 61st and Racine Streets and the Cardinals part from the colour of their newly acquired shirts which resembled Cardinal Red.
They joined the American Professional Football Association, the direct predecessor of the NFL in 1920 and continued to play in Chicago for the next 40 years thanks to winning a game against another team with aspirations of playing in Chicago the Tigers. However after a 6-0 victory in a loser leaves town match The Chicago Cardinals were born.
During their stay in Chicago they managed a few notable successes, winning the 1925 NFL championship and under the auspices of the Bidwill family they managed some success in the late 1940s including the NFL championship in 1947 and the NFL Western division title in 1948.
One still standing record produced during this time was gained in the Thanksgiving Day game 1929 when the Cardinals’ Hall of Fame running back, Ernie Nevers, scored all 40 points in a 40-6 victory over local rivals the Chicago Bears. This is still an NFL record and is unlikely to be broken given the more balanced style of play prevalent in the NFL today.
In 1960 they left Chicago and moved to St. Louis again managing moderate success including challenging the Cleveland Browns for divisional honours in both 1964 and 1968, and winning the NFC Eastern Divisional championship in 1974 and 1975. However in both 74 &75 they were to lose in the first round of the post season.
In 1988 the Cardinals moved again this time to Phoenix Arizona where they continue to play to this day, originally named the Phoenix Cardinals they played at the Sun Devil Stadium before moving to the University of Phoenix Stadium in 2006. They have again enjoyed moderate success, making the playoffs in 1998 where they finally managed a post season victory beating the Philadelphia Eagles, and more recently under the leadership of veteran Quarter Back Kurt Warner they won the 2008 NFC West Division and were unlucky losers in that years Super Bowl. They again won the NFC West in 2009 but after winning a thrilling Wild Card game against the Green Bay Packers in overtime 51-45 they were well beaten by eventual Super Bowl winners The New Orleans Saints in the Divisional Game.
Arizona Cardinals Honours
Runners Up 2008
NFL West: 1947, 1948
NFC East: 1974, 1975
NFC West: 2008, 2009
Playoff appearances (8)
NFL: 1947, 1948, 1974, 1975, 1982, 1998, 2008, 2009