When the Cardinals Left Chicago

On March 13, 1960, the city of Chicago lost its original NFL team, the now Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals were birthed on Chicago’s southside and played most of their seasons at Comiskey Park; however, despite their being the city’s original NFL team, they were not its flagship franchise, with that distinction going to their northside rivals, the Bears, who played their games at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. In this episode, Greg and noted Cardinal history researcher and author, Joe Ziemba, talk about the events and factors that led up to the team eventually moving to St. Louis. They also, for the first part, talk about Greg’s life as a gridiron fan in the Land of the Rising Sun, after which they take a deep dive into the Cardinals Chicago history.  Joe is the award-winning author of the books “When Football Was Football: The Chicago Cardinals and the Birth of the NFL,” “Cadets, Cannons and Legends: The Football History of Morgan Park Military Academy,” and “Bears vs. Cardinals: The NFL’s Oldest Rivalry.”

Joe is a life-long resident of the south side of Chicago, Joe first became interested in the history of football after discovering that his father was a draft choice for the Chicago Cardinals of the National Football League in the 1940s. He is now recognized nationally for his knowledge of the early days of the game and has been a resource for articles, photos, or reports in Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Arizona Republic, ESPN, the Daily Southtown, NBC Sunday Night Football, CBS Football, and many others. Joe has appeared on the WGN documentary “Football in Chicago,” a Comcast Sports special on the Chicago Bears, as well as on radio stations such as WBBM and WSCR in Chicago. He has spoken on the history of football throughout the country at schools, libraries, service clubs, and conferences, and shares the humor and challenges that football pioneers faced in the early days of the game. Joe is an instructor at the Football Learning Academy, and also the host of the podcast “When Football Was Football” on the Sports History Network which explores forgotten topics in the long history of football in the Chicago area.  He can be reached at [email protected] or follow his Facebook page “Chicago Cardinals.”

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