Arizona Cardinals Founding and History
The Arizona Cardinals were originally founded in 1898 and are the oldest pro football team still in existence. The franchise was previously known as the Morgan Athletic Club (1898-1919), Chicago Cardinals (1920-1949), St. Louis Cardinals (1960-1987), and Phoenix Cardinals (1988-1993). It was one of two charter NFL franchises in 1920, with the Chicago Bears being the only other remaining team. The team is currently located in Glendale, Arizona, nine miles from downtown Phoenix.
The franchise won two league championships prior to the modern era, but has never won a Super Bowl. The Cardinals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in their lone Super Bowl appearance in the 2008 season. The Cardinals were a member of the NFC East from 1970 to 2002 before moving to the NFC West in the 2002 division realignment.
Arizona Cardinals Ownership
Bill Bidwell has been the owner of the Arizona Cardinals since 1972. The team has been in the Bidwell family since Bill’s father Charles purchases the franchise in 1932. Bidwell made the decision to move the team from St. Louis to Phoenix following stadium issues in 1987. Bidwell has received criticism for an unwillingness to spend money on players, and the team has only made the playoffs five times during his tenure as owner.
Arizona Cardinals Stadium
The Cardinals moved to the newly constructed University of Phoenix Stadium in 2006, one of the league’s most architecturally impressive facilities. The $455 million structure has a retractable roof. It has a natural grass surface that sits atop a roll-away field. The field is able to be easily moved in and out of the stadium. University of Phoenix Stadium has a seating capacity of 63,400, but can be expanded to seat as many as 85,000. The stadium hosted XLII and is scheduled to host Super Bowl XLIX. Because of its geographic location, University of Phoenix Stadium hosts some of the hottest NFL games.
Arizona Cardinals Fan Base
While the Cardinals have not retained many St. Louis or Chicago fans after their moves, they do have a strong following in America’s South West. The Cardinals have a dominant share of fans in Arizona, as well as a healthy following in New Mexico. Despite a lack of success, the team has a steady following and solid fan support.
Arizona Cardinals Coaching
Ken Whisenhunt was hired as the franchises 36th head coach in 2007 following the firing of Dennis Green. Whisenhunt had a nine year NFL career as a tightend with the Falcons, Redskins, and Jets. He had served as the offensive coordinator for Pittsburgh prior to his hire in Arizona, helping the Steelers win Super Bowl XL. Whisenhunt led the team to an AFC West title in 2008, and another division title and Super Bowl appearance in 2009. While the Cardinals have only one losing season under Whisenhunt, they are no longer the contenders they were following the retirement of Kurt Warner.
Arizona Cardinals Betting
The Cardinals play has dropped off since Kevin Kolb succeeded Kurt Warner as Arizona’s quarterback. However, the Cardinals retain a core of great players that includes Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Peterson, and Calais Campbell. In 2011, the Cardinals had a middle of the road defense and subpar offense, but still managed to compete for a Wild Card spot. If Arizona can get improved play at the quarterback position in 2012, they could potentially push the San Francisco 49ers in the AFC West. The Cardinals also feature one of the league’s best special teams units that give them intriguing upset possibilities every week. Their foundation of players indicates that they could be a quarterback away from becoming a perennial playoff team.