The Arizona Cardinals organization have been around for a very long time. It has not always been the Arizona Cardinals, as they have had several locations they considered home. Ultimately, the Cardinals have been in Arizona since the 1988 season after leaving St. Louis following the 1987 season. Let’s find out more about the Arizona Cardinals and their history:
State Farm Stadium Is the Home of the Cardinals
With several cities as the home city for the Cardinals, the organization has played 7 venues since 1920. They originally were at Normal Park in Chicago and then moved to Comiskey Park. During their time at Comiskey Park, they spent the 1931-1938 seasons at Wrigley Field before heading back to Comiskey.
They finally left Comiskey in 1958, as they went to St. Louis. The 1960-1965 seasons were at Busch Stadium before moving to the new Busch Memorial Stadium until 1987.
That brings them to 1988, when they moved to Glendale, Arizona, to play at the Sun Devil Stadium. The Cardinals and Sun Devils shared the location until the 2005 season. In 2006, the Cardinals moved to State Farm Stadium.
State Farm Stadium is a multi-purpose venue in Glendale Arizona. The venue is the home of the Fiesta Bowl and has been the host for several BCS National Championships in College Football. The first game for the Arizona Cardinals at home was on September 19th, 2006, when they beat the San Francisco 49ers.
There has been a ton of College Football, a bunch of College Basketball, Soccer, and numerous concerts at the State Farm Stadium. The first concert ever at State Farm Stadium was the Rolling Stones, with Alice Cooper as the opening act on November 8th, 2006.
State Farm Stadium holds just over 63,000 but can be expanded to 72,200 or a standing room of more than 78,000. The construction cost for the venue was estimated at more than $650M.
Why the Cardinals and Who Are They?
The original location of the Cardinals was in Chicago. The franchise played their games on Racine Street and were called the Racine Cardinals. The Cardinals name came from their founder Chris O’Brien when he got a shipment of jerseys that were a little faded maroon that was called “Cardinal Red.”
Historical Records for the Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals franchise comes into the 2023 season way under .500. The organization is 581-790 overall. Playing over 100 seasons of football, the Cardinals have played in just 17 playoff games.
Larry Fitzgerald is known as one of the best receivers of all time and definitely in Cardinals history. He caught over 1,400 passes for 17,492 yards and 121 touchdowns. Fitzgerald set a postseason record with 546 yards, 30 receptions, and 7 touchdowns.
Bruce Arians is the winningest coach in franchise history but only won 49 games in his career.
Super Bowl Titles for the Cardinals
The organization has not seen a ton of success on the field. In fact, the Arizona Cardinals have never won the Super Bowl. The only two championships in the history of the organization was before the merger of the AFL and NFL. Those two championships were in 1925 and 1947.
The Cardinals went to the Super Bowl in 2008 but fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Tampa 27-23. That is the Cardinals only conference championship.
The Cardinals have won 7 divisional titles. 5 of those came in the NFL era, with two titles in the NFC East in 1974 and 1975 and 3 in the NFC West – in 2008, 2009, and 2015. The two before the merger were back-to-back as part of the NFL Western in 1947 and 1948.
The organization has been to the postseason 11 times. 9 of those are after the merger. Arizona has never made the postseason in three straight seasons.
Famous Quarterbacks for the Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals have seen a long line of guys as the signal caller of their franchise. The guy with the most starts is Jim Hart, but he is one of many that did not finish above .500. In fact, Hart, along with Neil Lomax and Jake Plummer, are the top three in starts and all finished under .500.
The two quarterbacks in the Top 6 of games started with a record above .500 are Charley Johnson, who went 36-28 during 1961-1969, and Carson Palmer, who went 38-21.
Hart leads all quarterbacks in yards by over 12,000 yards. Lomax is second on the list with 22,771 yards, while Plummer and Palmer come in third and fourth. Kurt Warner is fifth on the list, while current quarterback Kyler Murray comes into the season with 13,848 yards. A good season for Murray would push him to third on the list by the end of the season.
When it comes to postseason success at the quarterback for the Cardinals, there isn’t much to discuss. Paul Christman got one start in 1947, and Ray Mallouf in 1948. Christman won his game. While in St. Louis, Jim Hart got a chance in both 1974 and 1975 and lost both. In 1982, Neil Lomax lost his only start.
Since being in Arizona, a few guys have had a little success. The 1998 season saw Jake Plummer go 1-1. In 2008, the Cardinals reached the Super Bowl with Kurt Warner, as he went 3-1, followed by 1-1 the next season. In 2014, Ryan Lindley took a loss. In 2015, Carson Palmer went 1-1, and Kyler Murray lost his only start in 2021.
Arizona Cardinals Hall of Famers
The Cardinals have a nice list of players and coaches that have entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We will discuss only the ones that are considered Cardinals, as there are numerous others that spent some time with the organization but went into the Hall of Fame with another team.
Jimmy Conzelman and Charles Bidwell are the two coaches and contributors from the franchise in the Hall of Fame. Conzelman was a coach from 1940-1948 and got into the Hall of Fame in 1964.
Charles Bidwell was the team owner from 1933-1947 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967.
The first player for the Cardinals inducted into the Hall of Fame was fullback Ernie Nevers. He was inducted in 1963. After that, Guy Chamberlin and John Driscoll were both inducted in 1965.
Charley Tippi, Ollie Masson, Dick Lane, and Larry Wilson were the next four inducted into the Hall of Fame. Those four were inducted between 1968 and 1978.
Jackie Smith, Dan Dierforf, Roger Wehrli, and Aeneas Williams, along with Duke Slates, were the most recent. Williams went in during the 2014 season, while Slater came in during the 2020 season.
Final Arizona Cardinals Tidbits
The Cardinals are the oldest pro-football team in the United States. The Cardinals have five uniform numbers retired; 8, 40, 77, 88, and 99. During the 1944 season, the Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers combined to form the “Card-Pitt”, which was the final year of World War II.
In 1929 – the Cardinals played on Thanksgiving Day against the Chicago Bears. The Cardinals won 40-6, but that was not the story. Ernie Nevers scored all 40 points. That’s an NFL record that still stands.
The Cardinals have a mascot known as “Big Red.” He is 6’4 and has a 7’ wingspan. He is one of the most recognizable mascots in all of sports. He became the official mascot and has been at every home game since the 1998 season.
Pat Tillman is known as one of the most famous Arizona Cardinals players, but not all for his play on the field. Tillman left the National Football League after the terrorist attacks of 2011 to enlist in the United States Army. Tillman was killed in a friendly fire accident during his time in Afghanistan. Tillman played his college football at Arizona State, so his allegiance in the city was pretty strong.