Are you a betting person? If so, you probably didn’t place a bet on the Cardinals this season… Which is a great shame, because at this time they have shocked several opponents and the greater NFL by pulling off a stunning performance during the first half of the season and are currently the favorites to win the NFC West.
The team are not free and clear yet though – the Los Angeles Rams are chasing them hard, with an identical score card on wins and losses, both at home and away. The Cardinals are top of the table purely on points away right now, but this is the first time since 1974 when they have begun a season 7-0.
Unibet, one of the biggest legal online betting site in Arizona, currently lists the Cardinals as -110 favorites to -106 for the rams, so if you are indeed a betting person and a fan of the Cardinals, perhaps this is the season to show some support and show some American spirit by placing a bet on your team!
A Little Cardinals History
The 2021 season is the Cardinals’ 102nd season in the National Football League, but only their 34th in Arizona. The team was first created in 1898 as an amateur team in Chicago and did not join the NFL until 22 years later. Since then, the team has moved from state to state and been renamed several times, most recently from the Phoenix Cardinals (1988-1993) and before that, the St. Louis Cardinals (1960-1987) when the team were based in Missouri.
… all ancient history as far most Arizonians are concerned, however; the Cardinals are much loved in their current hometown and state, and it seems unlikely they will be moving or rebranding again at any time soon. At the beginning of the season, the teams’ stated goal was simply to improve on last seasons performance of 8-8, but, cheered on by their legion of fans, the team looks sure to exceed that goal by a decent margin. Fans are now hoping the Cardinals will go on to reach the postseason for the first time since 2015.
The Cardinals Finest Hours
The Cardinals have reached the playoffs on eleven separate occasions. In 1947 and 1948, the team took home the Divisional Championship which was named the NFL Western at the time. The franchise had two more consecutive Divisional Championship winning years in 1974 and 1975, by which time their division had become the NFC East.
Most recently, whilst in their current division of the NFC West, the Cardinals won three more Divisional Championships in 2008, 2009, and 2015. Without question, the most memorable year of the three for Cardinals fans was 2008, when the team managed to collect a Conference Championship for the first time.
An NFL Controversy: The 1925 Championship
One of the biggest controversies in American Football occurred in 1925, when the Chicago Cardinals (as they were known at the time) claimed the championship for the first time. One of the most dominant teams that year were the Pottsville Maroons, who had inflicted a crushing 21-7 defeat upon the Cardinals when they met on December 6th that year.
The NFL Commissioner at the time was Joseph Carr, who is unquestionably a legend of American sporting history. Carr held executive positions at American Football, Baseball and Basketball teams during his short life of 59 years, but it is his long period as President of the NFL that he is most widely remembered for. He took up the Commissioner position in 1921, so had a good amount of experience by the time of the 1925 season.
Despite his experience however, many continue to question if he made the right call in 1925; after the Maroons played an unauthorized exhibition game in Philadelphia, Carr suspended and removed the team from the NFL on the grounds that, by playing this game, they had violated the territorial rights of the Frankford Yellow Jackets – a short lived team who only played in the NFL for three years.
Supporters of Pottsville insist that this suspension has always been illegitimate and attempted to have the case reopened as recently as 2003. There are some interesting arguments on both sides, but ultimately the decision made at the time was accepted based on the rules of the day and both the NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame insist that the Cardinals were the legitimate, proper champions of the 1925 NFL Season.
Thankfully, no such controversy surrounds the Cardinals second League Championship which occurred in 1947, although the structure of the league was very different then and the first Super Bowl did not take place for almost twenty years.
Today, competition within the NFL is much tougher and more heavily crowded than ever before. In this environment, can the Cardinals ever return to their glory days as Chicago’s finest, and bring home a 21st century League Trophy?
They still have a long way to go, of course but thanks to their top of the table position in the NFC West they are currently listed as fourth-place favorites… dare you make that bet?