The Cardinals faced some major challenges in the wake of their relocation, but it turns out they were able to overcome them all. What was so difficult about leaving St. Louis for Arizona?
The “arizona cardinals depth chart” is a question that has been asked for 15 years now. The Cardinals have stayed in the NFC East because of its geographical location and their large fan base.
The Arizona Cardinals, like many other long-running professional sports clubs, have gone through a number of style changes throughout the years. Remember, this is a team that started out as the Racine Street Cardinals in 1920.
Even younger Cardinals fans may be aware that the team spent over 30 years in St. Louis. The team’s arrival in Arizona in 1988, however, did not result in a shift to the NFC West until Tom Brady had already established himself as a starter quarterback in the league. I’m not sure how that’s feasible. The solution is significantly more fascinating than you may expect.
In 2002, the Arizona Cardinals relocated to the NFC West after almost 15 years in St. Louis.
In 2002, Marcel Shipp and the Arizona Cardinals started facing NFC West clubs twice a year, including the then-St. Louis Rams | Getty Images/Elsa
Each league had three divisions when the NFL and AFL formally joined in 1970: East, Central, and West. The North and South did not replace the Central until 2002, when the Houston Texans entered the league.
You’re probably aware of some of the divisional changes that have resulted from realignment. The Indianapolis Colts joined the new AFC South after leaving the AFC East. The Seattle Seahawks switched to the NFC West after 25 seasons in the AFC West.
In retrospect, the Cardinals, who followed the Seahawks to the NFC West, were perhaps the most fascinating move. Despite having played in Arizona for well over a decade, the team has remained in the NFC East, their home division since 1970.
The fact that the St. Louis Cardinals would play in the Eastern Division made sense. From 1969 through 1993, the other St. Louis Cardinals, best known as the club with 11 World Series championships through the 2021 season, competed in the National League East. But an Arizona-based team?
Despite the increased travel costs associated with traveling cross-country so often, the Cardinals were not enthusiastic about moving up a level, and it had nothing to do with the competition.
Because of the Dallas Cowboys, the franchise was adamant about not shifting divisions.
The annual NFC East matches between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals stopped in 2001 | Ronald Martinez/Allsport via Getty Images
The bottom line, particularly for habitual losers like the Cardinals, screams loudly.
Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill did not want to leave the NFC East because of his home-and-home rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and Washington Football Team, according to the Hartford Courant. Despite having a rookie quarterback in Donovan McNabb, the Philadelphia Eagles were the steak to the opposing team’s chopped liver.
Fans were plainly in agreement. According to the Arizona Daily Sun, the Cowboys drew 10 of the Cardinals’ 14 biggest audiences at Sun Devil Stadium. On Dec. 23, 2001, a total of 48,883 fans packed the stadium to watch the franchise’s final NFC East matchup against the Cowboys.
The fans of both sides were unfazed by the shift in divides. On Oct. 20, 2002, over 60,000 spectators — 59,702 to be precise — packed Sun Devil Stadium to witness Arizona beat Dallas 9-6 in overtime.
In short, we had a club from Arizona that wanted to keep an NFC East rivalry with a franchise from Texas alive. Right now, geography instructors all across the globe are grasping their heads in anguish.
Since the Cardinals swapped divisions, life in Arizona has been quite good.
The Cardinals have only reached the playoffs four times in their 32 seasons as a member of the NFC East. By the 2015 season, the franchise has attained that milestone, and it is on track to make the playoffs in 2021.
Since entering the NFC West, the Cardinals have seen no lack of exceptional players don the red and white. In the late 2000s, Kurt Warner paired up with Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald to develop one of the NFL’s most dangerous offenses. Arizona was defeated by Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl 43, 27-23.
Fitzgerald is expected to join Warner in the Hall of Fame later this decade. Warner was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017. Boldin is up for re-election in 2022, and he’ll have a compelling argument to make.
After a tough end to the decade, rookie quarterback Kyler Murray looks to have the 2008 NFC champions in good shape to make another Super Bowl appearance. DeAndre Hopkins, an All-Pro receiver who was acquired in a 2020 trade, has flourished, while Isaiah Simmons, a talented young linebacker who was selected eighth overall in 2020, leads a fearsome defense.
Given how both teams started the 2021 season, a playoff game and NFC East reunion between the Cardinals and Cowboys is a certain conclusion. Yes, we visited the location.
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The “st louis cardinals football” is a team that was originally based in St. Louis, Missouri, but moved to Arizona in 1988 after the Cardinals won their first Super Bowl. This move came as a result of the NFL’s expansion plan and led to the Cardinals playing in the NFC East for nearly 15 years after leaving St. Louis.
Frequently Asked Questions
When did the St. Louis Cardinals football team move to Arizona?
A: The Saint Louis Cardinals football team was founded in 1892 and moved to Arizona after the 1988.
Where were the Arizona Cardinals originally from?
A: The Arizona Cardinals were originally founded as the Chicago Cardinals. They began play in 1920 and moved to St. Louis, Missouri for one season before moving back to Chicago where they won their only championship under this name. In 1988, they became known as the Phoenix Cardinals and finally settled on becoming just the Arizona Cardinals in 1995 after a failed move into Florida that year.
What was the original name of the Arizona Cardinals?
A: The Arizona Cardinals are the professional American football team of Phoenix, Arizona. They were originally founded in 1898 as an amateur baseball club when a group of businessmen got together and formed the Salt River Baseball Club. Their first ever game was played on November 24th 1899 against rival Pueblos Broncos at their home field called Solider Field.
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