- Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 January 2009 16:29
- Published on Wednesday, 21 January 2009 16:29
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Nobody, but nobody would have picked the Cardinals to make it to the Super Bowl. Talk about your over achievers.
The Cardinals with their first playoff appearance in franchise history barely snuck into the playoffs with a 9 and 7 record. Pride swelled in the hearts of the long suffering NFL doormat. Playoffs, we’re in the playoffs!
Someone forgot to tell the Cardinals that they are not on the same level with the perennial powerhouses of the league. Like the 'little engine that could' from the children’s books we read our kids when they were tiny. There is no quit in this group of athletes.
Last Sunday they closed the deal by jumping out in front of the Philadelphia Eagles 17 to 3 at the half, and then withstood a valiant comeback effort by the Eagles who put up 19 unanswered points in the third quarter and early part of the final quarter. The Cardinals finally put the game away with a 14-play scoring drive and then making a 2 point extra point attempt with just over two minutes to go in the game. Final score Cardinals 32 Eagles 25.
The opportunistic Cardinals won the turnover battle with three turnovers on the day. They go into the Super Bowl plus 9 in turnover, takeaways for the playoffs. Oddly enough as the Cardinals prepare to head to Tampa Bay for the Super Bowl, last season's Super Bowl was played at the Cardinals home field. With the Cardinals in this year's season-ending classic, that leaves just the Browns, Jaguars, Texans, Lions, and the Saints as the only teams in the NFL that have never played in a Super Bowl .
Founded in 1898, the Cardinals hold the distinction of being the United States oldest professional franchise still in existence. They became a charter member of the National Football League in 1920. At that time the league was known as the American Professional Football Association. In 1922, they became the Chicago Cardinals and moved into Comisky Park, which they would share with baseball’s White Sox for the next 37 years.
The then Chicago Cardinals won the NFL Championship in 1947, beating the Philadelphia Eagles 28-21 at Comisky Park. They would repeat as division winners again in 1948, but this time they would lose the league championship game to the Eagles, 7 to 0.
They became the St Louis Cardinals in 1960 and 28 years later in 1988 made the move to Arizona. Throughout all those years they were never able to repeat their success of 1947-48. That is, until last Sunday. Sixty years after their last championship game, the Cardinals once again have the attention of the entire nation as they prepare for Super Bowl XLIII.