The last time the Arizona Cardinals hosted an NFC Championship, they weren't even the Arizona Cardinals. Nor were they the St. Louis Cardinals, where the franchise existed for years before moving to the burgeoning desert market in Phoenix. Yes, it's been a long time since these Cardinals had any success, but the last time they did, they were in Chicago. Confession: Before today, we did know that.
Thanks to this reminder from the New York Times, though, know we know. The Cardinals were Chicago's second football team, rarely winning or acquiring as much clout as the crosstown Bears, whose George Halas-led teams dominated the landscape. But the Cardinals did have a few good years, including the 1947 campaign, in which they beat the Philadelphia Eagles -- yes, the Eagles -- 28-21 at Comiskey Field, the old White Sox ballpark.
The Times spoke with many of the team's former members, but none quite so funny or, um, open about his Cardinals fandom as Jimmy Conzelman, Jr., the son of former Hall of Fame football coach Jimmy Conzelman, who coached the Cardinals to that 1947 title:
The son, now a 71-year-old grandfather living in Stratford, Conn., has a Cardinals logo tattooed on his backside. He got it in 1997, before a 50-year team reunion in Chicago. “If they win the Super Bowl, I’m going to get one on the other side,” Conzelman said.
Thank you, New York Times, for creating the mental image of a tattoo on a 71-year-old's backside. We appreciate that.
In any case, the Cardinals have come a long way from that last NFC Championship -- they've moved twice, and they recently built a state-of-the-art stadium in the middle of the desert, a far cry from sloppy mid-1940s games in Comiskey Park. The only thing that hasn't changed is the losing ... at least so far.