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CardChron


I: Sept. 17, 1920
II: Nov. 7, 1920
III: Nov. 28, 1920
IV: Oct. 7, 1923
V: Nov. 26, 1925
VI: Dec. 6, 1925
VII: Nov. 6, 1929
VIII: Nov. 28, 1929
IX: Oct. 24, 1933
X: Nov. 28, 1935
XI: Oct. 14, 1945
XII: Apr. 19, 1947
XIII: Dec. 28, 1947
XIV: Dec. 19, 1948
XV: Mar. 23, 1959
XVI: Mar. 13, 1960
XVII: Dec. 6, 1964
XVIII: Nov. 7, 1965
XIX: Nov. 16, 1970
XX: Dec. 27, 1975
XXI: Jan. 8, 1983
XXII: Dec. 16, 1984
XXIII: Nov. 8, 1987
XXIV: Mar. 15, 1988
XXV: Dec. 23, 1990
XXVI: Dec. 24, 1994

CARDINAL CHRONICLE XVII
December 6, 1964: Arch-Rivals

- - - - - Through their first four years in St. Louis, the Cardinals had suffered only one losing season. The 1963 draft had been exceptional, and the team's 9-5 record for that season had been its best since 1948. Second-year coach Wally Lemm improved the previous squad by five wins and signed a new contract the day after the season ended. Clearly, the Big-Red faithful had every reason to expect greater things in 1964.
- - - - - Yet, not all was well in St. Louis. The new stadium being built for the city's sports teams was behind schedule, and it was obvious that its projected completion date of 1965 would not be met. In July, the Bidwill brothers (Bill and Charles) were approached by a group from Atlanta wanting them to bring the Cards to Georgia. The city of Atlanta was also building a new stadium and it appeared as though the team might be on the move again. But, when the St. Louis stadium authority matched Atlanta's terms, and civic support of the team was boosted, the Bidwills were persuaded to stay in St. Louis. The city would remain the home of the Cardinals for nearly another quarter-century.
- - - - - Meanwhile, construction was beginning on what is now the city's most noticeable landmark, the Gateway Arch. Ironically, the Cardinals' 1964 campaign took quite an opposite form. While the 630-foot structure arches skyward, with its highest point in the center, the Cards' season dropped to its lowest point at the middle. After starting 3-0-1 (all on the road and the tie coming in a 33-33 draw versus the rival Browns), the Cards entered a disastrous stretch in late October that saw them lose three of four, all by large margins: two weeks after the Baltimore Colts rang up 47 points on Monday night, the Cards were beaten 31-13 by Dallas. This was followed by a humiliating 34-17 defeat at the hands of the lowly New York Giants, a team that would win only two games all year.
- - - - - The Cardinals would not lose another game the rest of the season, but by the time they faced the Eastern-Conference-leading Browns again on December 6, the post-season race was all but over. Their 28-19 conquering of Cleveland would bring them half a game behind the Browns with one week remaining, but the simple fact that the Giants were Cleveland's last opponent made things look bleak for the beaked. The Cardinals would win their season finale against Philadelphia, 36-34, to finish 9-3-2, but when Cleveland rolled to a 52-20 victory over the Big-Blue, the Big-Red's title run had ended.
- - - - - The Browns would advance to play the Western Conference Champion Colts, and capture the NFL title with a 28-0 win. Meanwhile, the Cards were invited to Miami to play in the post-season exhibition "Playoff Bowl" between the conference runners-up. St. Louis would beat the Packers 24-17 in this meaningless game that Green Bay coach Vince Lombardi would call "a game for losers;" it was fitting that the Cardinals would triumph in such a contest.

NEXT : November 7, 1965 - Cardinals' legend Larry Wilson amazes the St. Louis crowd, as well as the Pittsburgh opponent, with his game-day heroics. One year later, the Cardinals come close to making an appearance in the first Super Bowl.

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