Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!

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 XVIII
November 7, 1965: Larry Legend

- - - - - Throughout the team's 77-year history in the NFL, the Cardinals rarely produced a superstar who rose to greatness with the Big-Red, then finished his career with the same franchise. Sure, several NFL greats, such as Jim Thorpe and Dick "Night Train" Lane, may have spent part of their careers with the Cards, but these legendary players are better remembered for their excellence on other squads.
- - - - - In the 1960s, a player finally emerged who is remembered for greatness wearing the cardinal red: safety Larry Wilson spent his thirteen seasons in the NFL with the St. Louis Cardinals. Since his team trailed more often than it led, Wilson is not known for his championship rings, but rather his tenacity and the way in which he helped revolutionize the game of football. His ability to play through extreme discomfort and pain was known throughout the league, and the way in which he perfected the safety-blitz has forever changed the safety position. Once, while trailing Green Bay by eight points and the Packers trying to run out the clock, Wilson would be seen throwing himself over blockers while attempting to pry the ball lose. Although the Cards would lose that game, it was this refusal to quit that led Wilson to the NFL Hall of Fame.
- - - - - Perhaps his most memorable moment came on November 7, 1965, against the Pittsburgh Steelers. A week earlier, Wilson broke his left hand as well as a finger on his right hand in a 14-10 loss to the Giants. Surprisingly, he still started in the game against Pittsburgh, playing with casts on both hands. Unable to wrap his arms around the ball-carrier, he would try to "butt them down, like a goat," as a teammate would later recall. Yet, his most amazing feat of the game would be the time he batted a pass with his club-like fists, then, cradling the deflected ball to his chest, returned the interception 35 yards for a touchdown. His contribution undoubtedly helped the Cards to a victory, winning by the count of 21-17.
- - - - - Although this would be one of only five victories of the season, the Cardinals were still a dangerous team capable of contending for the NFL crown. After starting 4-1 in 1965, QB Charley Johnson injured his shoulder and the team went on to drop eight of the final nine games, winning only against the Steelers. Busch Memorial Stadium was finally ready for the 1966 season, which began with the same promise. The Cards started 7-1-1 under new coach Charley Winner and sat atop the Eastern Conference, but when Johnson went down again with another injury, the season was in serious jeopardy. His loss, as well as the loss of other key players, caused the Cardinals to plummet like bird-droppings. St. Louis only managed a total of 52 points in the last five games, winning one and losing four. Their 8-5-1 finish was not good enough to earn them a trip to the title game in Green Bay; instead, Dallas went to Wisconsin. Vince Lombardi and his Packers would win that game 34-27, then go on to triumph in the first Super Bowl (AFL-NFL World Championship Game).

NEXT : November 16, 1970 - The St. Louis Cardinals make a memorable first appearance on ABC's Monday Night Football against the rival Dallas Cowboys. In front of the Cotton Bowl crowd, as well as a nationwide television audience, the Cardinals complete a feat that has been achieved by only three other teams.

Home
1996-2001, by "The Cardinal"
E-mail: sgoldber@chuma.cas.usf.edu
(This page is not affiliated with the NFL or the Arizona Cardinals)