Who Are ... The Arizona Cardinals?
Coach Jimmy Conzelman musses the hair of Charley Trippi, right, and Elmer Angsman after the 1947 title game.
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1920: Faced with a challenge for territorial rights to Chicago, the Cardinals play the "Tigers" in a challenge game, with the loser to leave town. The Cardinals win, 6-0, on the strength of a Paddy Driscoll touchdown.
1925: The Cardinals (11-2-1) are named NFL champions based on record in a controversial decision. The Pottsville Maroons likely should have been champions, but league president Joseph Carr had suspended the team for playing an unauthorized exhibition. Pottsville had defeated Chicago, 21-7, just weeks earlier.
1929: Ernie Nevers scores all 40 points in a 40-6 victory vs. the Chicago Bears -- an NFL record that still stands.
1932: Charles W. Bidwill purchases the franchise.
1942: A loss to the Cleveland Rams begins a 29-game losing streak that will not end until 1945 and encompasses a 1944 season in which they merge with the Steelers and go 0-10.
1947: Sporting "The Million Dollar Backfield" of Paul Christman, Charley Trippi, Elmer Angsman and Pat Harder, they win their first NFL title on the field, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles, 28-21. It would be their last league title for 62 years.
1948: They lose to the Philadelphia Eagles, 7-0, in a heavy snowstorm -- their final appearance in any championship game until 2009.
1956: Typifying the '50s, their 7-5 record is the high watermark of a decade in which they win just 33 games and puts them on a path to move to St. Louis.
1958: Looking for a jolt to their doldrums, they pull one of the largest trades in NFL history, sending Ollie Matson to the Los Angeles Rams for nine players.
1960: Faced with losing teams and declining attendance, the franchise relocates to St. Louis.
1962: The death of Violet Bidwill Wolfner places the team in the hands of sons Bill and Charles Jr.
1972: Bill Bidwill becomes the sole owner.
1974-75: With new coach Don Coryell injecting excitement into the offense, they win their only two division titles while in St. Louis but lose in the first game of the playoffs both years.
1988: The franchise moves from St. Louis to Arizona.
1996: The Tom Cruise-Cuba Gooding Jr. movie "Jerry Maguire" throws a spotlight on the Cardinals. It has little to do with winning.
1998: They win their final three games to make the playoffs behind Jake Plummer, pictured below, then defeat the heavily favored Dallas Cowboys, 20-7, for their first postseason victory since 1947. They lose the following week to Minnesota and the franchise would not have another winning season until 2008.
Those members of the hall who made their primary contributions to the game as members of the Cardinals:
• Charles Bidwill, owner, 1933-47
• Jimmy Conzelman, coach, 1940-42, 1946-48
• Dan Dierdorf, 1971-83
• Paddy Driscoll, 1920-25
• "Night Train" Lane, 1954-59
• Ollie Matson, 1952, 1954-58
• Ernie Nevers, 1929-31
• Jackie Smith, 1963-77
• Charley Trippi, 1947-55
• Roger Wehrli, 1969-82
• Larry Wilson, 1960-72
First Published February 1, 2009 12:00 am