The Arizona Cardinals are one of the 32 teams in the National Football League (NFL), and while you may cheer them on each week, you may not know much about their history. Here are seven interesting facts about the Arizona Cardinals to make it even more fun to cheer the team on each week.
1. Old School
Founded in 1898, the Arizona Cardinals are one of the oldest teams in the NFL. In fact, the Cardinals are one of only two remaining original teams from the American Professional Football Association (APFA). The popularity of American football in the mid-19th century led to the creation of the APFA, which later became the NFL in 1922. Only two teams from the original APFA are active today: the Chicago Cardinals (Arizona Cardinals) and the Decatur Staleys (Chicago Bears).
2. Migrating Birds
The Cardinals played in Chicago from 1898 to 1960, when they migrated to St. Louis to play for 28 years. The team has called Arizona home since 1987 after years of lackluster play led to low attendance, and the age of the 21-year-old St. Louis stadium caused the owner, Bill Bidwill, to move the team. The Cardinals were initially known as the Phoenix Cardinals when they migrated to Arizona. It wasn’t until 1994 that the team became known as the Arizona Cardinals.
3. Stadium Play
Although the team was initially known as the Phoenix Cardinals when the team came to Arizona, the Cardinals have never actually played in Phoenix. The original stadium they played in, Sun Devil Stadium, was in Tempe. Their current stadium, State Farm Stadium, is located in Glendale.
4. Team Colors
The original owner, Chris O’Brien, purchased used football jerseys from the University of Chicago in the color red. O’Brien described the red hue as “Cardinal Red,” thus naming the team based on the color of their jerseys.
5. A Family of Owners
The Bidwell family has owned the Arizona Cardinals since 1932 when Charles Bidwell became the owner. In 1947, Violet Bidwell Wolfner took over as owner until 1961, when Bill Bidwell and Charles Bidwell became the third and fourth Bidwells to own the Cardinals. The current owner is Michael Bidwell, who has been in charge of the team since 2020 as principal owner.
6. Big Red
Big Red is the 6-foot-4-inch mascot for the Arizona Cardinals that hatched on October 4, 1998. The mascot has a 7-foot wingspan and is easily one of the most recognizable mascots in the NFL. You can find Big Red at every home game at State Farm Stadium.
7. Lack of Success
Although the Cardinals have been around for over 120 years, they only have two NFL championships: 1925 and 1947. As the Arizona Cardinals, the team has only been to one Super Bowl, where they were defeated 23-27 by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Cardinals won the NFL Western Conference Championship in 1947 and 1948, the NFL Eastern Division Championship in 1974 and 1975, and the NFC Championship in 2008.
The next time you watch the Arizona Cardinals play, amaze your friends and family with these seven interesting facts. They’re sure to enjoy the added knowledge about the Cards.