Football Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill died Wednesday at the age of 88. The bowtie-wearing Bidwill headed a family operation that dated to 1932, when his father Charles purchased the Chicago Cardinals, reportedly for $50,000.
On Dec. 13, 1987, the Big Red played their last game in St. Louis before moving the franchise to Arizona. They won that game against the New York Giants before a crowd of fewer than 30,000 fans. In 28 seasons, they never hosted - or won - a playoff game. They went through periods of such mediocrity that some suggested the team slogan be "for God, for country, four nine and one." But they did have magic moments. And although the NFL can take our teams away, they can't steal these memories.
Nov. 15, 1964: The mud bowl
A torrential rainstorm turns the game with the Giants into a muddy mess, obliterating markings and making players unrecognizable. The teams play to a 10-10 tie.
Nov. 7, 1965: The toughness of Larry Wilson
It's the stuff of legends, but it really happened. Larry Wilson, playing with broken bones and a cast on each hand, intercepts a pass against Pittsburgh and returns it 34 yards to spark a 21-17 Cardinals victory.
Nov. 16, 1970: Beatdown in Big D
Monday Monday Night Football announcer Don Meredith becomes unglued in the press box when the Cardinals hand his former Cowboys a 38-0 defeat in Dallas. It was the third shutout in a row for the Big Red defense. Johnny Roland’s punt return for a touchdown got things rolling.
Oct. 13, 1974: Jackie rumbles to the end zone
Many people remember Jackie Smith for one of the worst drops in Super Bowl history, but on this October day against the Cowboys, he made the best play of his career. With time winding down in the first half, he takes a short pass from Jim Hart and breaks five Dallas tackles on the way to the end zone. The game coverage didn't make much of Smith's catch, but anyone who saw it will never forget it.
Nov. 16, 1975: The phantom catch
Big Red players signal in unison that an official had signaled "touchdown" on Mel Gray's disputed catch in the Nov. 16, 1975 game against the Washington Redskins at Busch Stadium II. (Post-Dispatch photo)
Sept. 2, 1979: Ottis, my man
Ottis Anderson rushes for 193 yards, including a 76-yard TD run in his first game against the Cowboys. HIs rushing total is just 1 yard shy of Alan Ameche's all-time record for an NFL debut. -
Dec. 26, 1982: Roger and out
All-Decade cornerback Roger Wehrli runs 18 yards for a touchdown on a fake field goal attempt by Jim Bakken against the Giants. It was Wehrli’s final home game as a pro.
Nov. 8, 1987: The NFL's greatest comeback
Neil Lomax throws three touchdown passes, two to J.T. Smith, and linebacker Niko Noga returns James Wilder's fumble 24 yards for a score - all in a span of 10:41, as the Cardinals overcome a 28-3 deficit for the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in NFL history.