The Almost All-Time Arizona Cardinals Offense

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The Almost All-Time Arizona Cardinals Offense

The Cardinals' history is the longest in pro football, and an intriguing one that has seen the team change their name eight time either by moving to another city or merging with another team.

They started out as the Morgan Athletic Club in 1898, then became the Racine Normals the next two seasons. They then changed their name to the Cardinals in 1901.

After going out of business following the 1906 season, they reformed in 1913 and moved out of Racine to Chicago after the 1919 season. They joined the American Professional Football Association in 1920, which became the National Football League in 1922.

They are involved in one of the biggest controversies in league history, which took place in 1925. The Pottsville Maroons won the NFL Championship that year after defeating the Cardinals 21-7 in Chicago.

The Maroons then decided to play an exhibition game against Notre Dame University on the field of the Frankford Yellow Jackets. The Yellow Jackets would eventually become the Philadelphia Eagles in 1933.

NFL commissioner Joe Carr told the team initially they would face suspension if they played a game that would give players a huge payday. The Maroons then played because they claimed Carr had approved the game, and won.

It was the game that put the NFL on the map of respectability, but Carr then took the title and handed it to the Cardinals.

The Cardinals went years without wanting any part of the title, but the years of futility that have followed the franchise since have the current ownership claiming it as part of their history.

They played in the first night game in pro football versus the Providence Steamroller in 1929.

Charles Bidwell bought the team in 1933, a year after he helped the Chicago Bears from going defunct by loaning them money. He oversaw the team merge with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1944 because both teams' rosters were depleted from World War II.

They were called the "Car-Pitts" by many.

He then pulled a major move in 1947 by signing future Hall of Famer Charley Trippi to an unheard of $100,000 salary. His plan was to have Trippi and Marshall Goldberg bring the team a championship.

The move worked, as the Cardinals ended up winning it all. Bidwell passed away not long after signing Trippi, so he was not able to witness the event.

The Bidwell family has owned the team for 47 of the Cardinals' 112 years of play. It is the third longest ownership in NFL history.

The Cardinals returned to the championship the next year but lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 7-0 in a driving blizzard. It would be the team's last postseason play until 1974.

This long stretch of mediocrity saw the Bears become the most popular team in Chicago, so the Cardinals moved to Saint Louis in 1960.

What makes the Cardinals' 1961 season unique is that they had three co-coaches for the last two games of the season.

One was defensive coach Chuck Drulis, who invented the safety blitz in the NFL. His wife was an artist who used her husband and two sons as models to create the emblem that is used by the Pro Football Hall of Fame as their insignia.

The Cardinals stayed in Saint Louis until 1987, putting together some very exciting teams. They were still unable to get over the postseason hump, with only three appearances in their 28 years. They then decided to move to Phoenix.

They lasted six years under the Phoenix banner, and failed to make the postseason yet again. They were playing their games in Tempe, so they decided to call themselves the Arizona Cardinals in 1994. They now play in Glendale.

The Arizona version has made the postseason three times thus far, and made it all the way to Super Bowl XLIII in 2008 before losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-23 in the last two minutes of the game.

It is a history that has had three players die in the prime of their careers. J.V. Cain, Stan Mauldin, and Pat Tillman have all had their jerseys retired by the team. They also have 13 members of the franchise inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.

Remember: This is a team of legends who are not, and maybe never will be, members of the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.

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