Arizona Cardinals

Facts and information about the Arizona Cardinals

  • The oldest continuous professional football team in America, the Cardinals have gone through many locations and names; Morgan Athletic Club, Racine Normals, Racine Cardinals, Chicago Cardinals, St. Louis Cardinals, Phoenix Cardinals, and finally the Arizona Cardinals.
  • The name of the Cardinals mascot is “Big Red”.
  • Cardinals head coach Don Coryell was the first coach to ever win 100 games at both the college and pro level.
  • Four of the first six TD passes Carson Palmer threw after joining the Cardinals were caught by Larry Fitzgerald.  The other two were caught by Andre Ellington and Jim Dray.
  • When the Cardinals franchise was founded way back in 1898, it went by the name the Morgan Athletic Club.  It did not change it’s name to Cardinals until 1920 when it joined the National Football League as a founding member.
  • Cardinals running back Edgerrin James, who also played during the decade with the Indianapolis Colts, rushed for more 100 yard games during the 2000’s than any other player.
  • In 1984, Ottis Anderson became the first Cardinals player to ever gain more than 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game.

  • Since 1960, the Cardinals have used their first pick in the draft on a quarterback six times:  George Izo (1960), Joe Namath (1965), Steve Pisarkiewicz (1977), Kelly Stouffer (1987), Tony Sacca (1992), and Matt Leinart (2006).
  • The first pass Cardinals receiver John Brown would catch in the NFL was thrown by Carson Palmer and was good for a 16 yard gain and a first down in a win over the Chargers in 2014.
  • Even though the team has been known as the Cardinals since 1920, the Cardinal on the side of the team’s helmet did not appear there until 1960, their first season in St. Louis.
  • The Cardinals Ring of Honor was started in 2006, and the initial group of people inducted included Charles Bidwill, Jimmy Conzelman, John “Paddy” Driscoll, Marshall Goldberg, Dick “Night Train” Lane, Ollie Matson, Ernie Nevers, and Charley Trippi.
  • In 1995, Garrison Hearst won the AP Comeback Player of the Year Award while with the Cardinals.  Six years later he would win the exact same award while playing for the San Francisco 49ers.
  • In 1929 running back Ernie Nevers (Hall-of-Fame) playing for the then named Chicago Cardinals scored six touchdowns and kicked four extra points, setting the record for points scored in a game by one player with 40.
  • In a first round playoff game following the 2009 NFL season, the Cardinals beat the Green Bay Packers 51-45.  In that game, Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner threw more touchdown passes than complete passes.
  • In his first six seasons in the NFL (with the Cardinals), running back Ottis Anderson fumbled the ball 48 times. In his final six years (with the Giants), he fumbled the ball three times.
  • Running back Ottis Anderson broke Chuck Foreman’s rushing record while at the University of Miami.
  • Hall-of-Fame and Cardinals running back Ernie Nevers also pitched for the St. Louis Browns baseball team. He gave up two of Babe Ruth’s then single season record 60 home runs during the 1927 season.
  • After graduating college from the University of San Francisco and before playing his first season with the then Chicago Cardinals, running back and future hall-of-famer Ollie Matson won two bronze medals at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. His events were the 400m and 4×400 relay runs.
  • In his first season with the Cardinals in 2015, Chris Johnson topped the 100 yard rushing mark twice in his first five games.  Back in 2008, in his rookie season with the Titans, it took him until his sixth game before he broke the 100 yard rushing mark twice.
  • Between 1975 and 1998, the Cardinals only made the playoffs one time and that was due to an expanded playoff field because of the strike shortened 1982 season.
  • Following the 1958 season, future hall-of-fame running back Ollie Matson was traded by the Cardinals to the Rams in exchange for nine players. He would go on to only play for the Rams for three seasons.

  • The team got its nickname Cardinals from the color of its uniforms, the uniforms in question were hand-me-down uniforms from the collegiate team the University of Chicago Maroons.
  • Due to the ramifications of World War II, during the 1944 season the Cardinals and the Steelers merged, the combined team won no games that year.
  • The Cardinals wide receiver duo of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin became the third pair of teammates in history to both catch 100 or more receptions in a season in 2005.
  • During their time in St. Louis, the Cardinals were one of the few professional sports franchises to have the identical sports mascot of another professional sports team in their city.
  • In 1920, the Cardinals paid a franchise fee of $100 to join the league that would become the NFL.
  • The Cardinals finished second to the Pottsville Maroons in the 1925 NFL season, Pottsville later had their franchise revoked for territorial violations thus giving the championship that year to the Cardinals.
  • The Cardinal franchise has been in the Bidwell family since 1932
  • One of the motives in the relocation of the Cardinals to St. Louis before the start of the 1960 season was as a way of blocking the AFL from putting a team in the city of St. Louis.
  • In a 1967 game, Cardinals Kicker Jim Bakken set the NFL record by making 7 Field Goals in one game.
  • In a 2014 game against the Broncos, Andre Ellington caught an 81 yard TD pass in a losing effort.  This pass was thrown to him by Logan Thomas.  This was not only Thomas’ first TD pass of his career, it was the only one he had that season, and it was also his first career completion in the NFL and the only pass he completed that season.
  • In 2005, when both Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald accumulated more than 1,400 receiving yards over the course of the regular season, they became just the third set of teammates to reach that milestone.
  • In 1975 the Cardinals offensive line, consisting of Dan Dierdorf, Tom Banks, Conrad Dobler, Bob Young, and Roger Finnie, allowed just eight Quarterback sacks – setting the record for fewest sacks given up in a season up to that point.
  • In 1976, the Cardinals became the first team to reach double digit victories, with ten wins, and not make the playoffs.
  • Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin was the only rookie selected to play in the 2004 Pro Bowl.
  • The Cardinals were in St. Louis for 28 years and did not host one postseason game; they made the playoffs three times, each time as a road team.
  • Before the team played in St. Louis, it didn’t have any logo on its helmets.
  • Due to the Arizona heat, the team used to wear their white jerseys and pants at home, forcing the opponent to wear their dark jerseys. This practice was discontinued since play began in their new air conditioned stadium.
  • The Cardinals have retired the jersey numbers of two players each from their days in St. Louis (Larry Wilson and J.V. Cain) and their days in Chicago (Stan Mauldin and Marshall Goldberg).
  • The first player in Cardinals history to gain more than 1,000 yards receiving in four consecutive seasons was wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
  • In 2008 the trio of Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston became just the fifth trio in NFL history to each gain more than 1,000 yards receiving in one season.
  • Former Cardinals Running Back Terry Metcalf’s son Eric also played Running Back in the NFL.
  • Dallas Cowboy great Emmitt Smith finished his career as Running Back for the Cardinals.
  • Former Kicker Jim Bakken kicked for the Cardinals for 16 years and is in the University of Wisconsin sports Hall-of-Fame.
  • Ernie Nevers had two different stints as Head Coach of the Cardinals; from 1929-1930 and the 1939 season.
  • The Cardinals have retired the jersey number (40) of former player Pat Tillman who turned his back on his NFL career to enlist in the armed forces following the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.
  • After playing 18 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Quarterback Jim Hart played his final NFL season with the Washington Redskins in 1984.
  • Hall-of-Fame Offensive Lineman and former Cardinal Dan Dierdorf was the second player ever to be elected to the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame and have been raised in Canton, Ohio where the Hall-of-Fame is located. The first was Minnesota Vikings great Alan Page.
  • Former Quarterback Jim Hart is a member of the Missouri Sports Hall-of-Fame and also served as Athletic Director for Southern Illinois University in the 1990’s.
  • Former Head Coach Don Coryell, known for his wide-open aerial attack, played Defensive Back for the University of Washington Husky football team.
  • Former Head Coach Dony Coryell was the first coach to win more than 100 games at both the collegiate and professional levels.
  • For three consecutive years (1976, 1977, 1978) Cardinal Offensive Lineman Dan Dierdorf was named Offensive Lineman of the Year by the NFL Players Association.
  • Former Cardinal Offensive Lineman Dan Dierdorf is credited with not giving up even one sack during the 1976 and 1977 seasons.
  • Dierdorf And Hart’s, a St. Louis steakhouse, is owned by former Cardinals players Dan Dierdorf and Jim Hart.
  • J.V. Cain played Tight End for the Cardinals from 1974-1979, he died of congenital heart failure during the 1979 training camp. His jersey number 88 is retired.
  • Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt had a 9 year NFL career with the Falcons, Redskins, and Jets. He was listed as a Tight End but also performed the functions of a blocking back.
  • Hall-of-Fame, and Cardinals Fullback, Ernie Nevers also pitched shortly for the St. Louis Browns, giving up two home runs to Babe Ruth during the year he hit 60 home runs.
  • In one game in 1929, Cardinals Fullback Ernie Nevers scored six touchdowns and kicked four extra points, accounting for every point his team scored in a victory over the Chicago Bears.
  • In his first 10 seasons in the NFL, each of them with the Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald caught touchdown passes thrown to him by 12 different players.  He caught 39 from Kurt Warner, 12 from Josh McCown, 10 from Carson Palmer, 7 from John Skelton, 5 each from Kevin Kolb and Matt Leinart, four from Derek Anderson, and one each from Brian St. Pierre, Max Hall, Ricard Bartel, John Navarre, and Shaun King.
  • Hall-of-Fame Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Roger Staubach described Cardinals Cornerback Roger Wehrli as the best Cornerback he’d ever played against.
  • Defensive Back, and Hall-of-Famer, Roger Wehrli also was the holder for Field Goals and Extra Points. In the 1982 season he was able to score a Touchdown on a fake Field Goal.
  • Hall-of-Fame Cardinals player Charley Trippi played Halfback, Quarterback, Defensive Back, Punter, and also returned punts and kickoffs.
  • During the 1966 NFL season, Cardinals Cornerback Larry Wilson had an amazing streak of 7 consecutive games with an Interception.
  • In 1987, the Cardinals used their first round pick on Colorado State Quarterback Kelly Stouffer. Stouffer could not come to terms with the Cardinals and sat out the entire year only to be traded to the Seattle Seahawks for the next season.
  • In 1965, the St. Louis Cardinals used their first round draft pick on a Quarterback from the University of Alabama who ended up deciding to sign a contract with a rival league. That Quarterback was Joe Namath.
  • Before the Cardinals’ Pat Tillman, the last professional football player to be killed in combat was the Buffalo Bills Bob Kalsu who died in 1970 during the Vietnam War.
  • While playing at Arizona State during his senior year, future Cardinals player Pat Tillman was voted PAC-10 Player of the Year.
  • Former Cardinals Halfback and Hall-of-Famer Ollie Matson also holds a bronze medal from the 400 meter race and a silver medal from the 4×400 meter relay race from the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.
  • In one college game for Portland State University, former Cardinals great Quarterback Neil Lomax threw for seven touchdowns in one quarter.
  • Cardinals Running Back Stump Mitchell’s real first name is Lyvonia.
  • The Cardinals former Offensive Lineman Luis Sharpe was born in Havana, Cuba.
  • Former Running Back and Kick Returner Vai Sikahema’s cousin Reno Mahe also played in the NFL.
  • Former Running Back and Kick Returner Vai Sikahema’s nephew is Jon Heder, the star of Napoleon Dynamite and Blades of Glory.

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