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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 IX
October 24, 1933: "Bidding" for the Big-Red

- - - - - When the Cardinals put up 40 points against the Bears, then closed out the 1929 season with a 26-0 shut-out of the Orange (N.J.) Tornadoes, it seemed as if the team was on the rise under Dr. Jones' ownership. However, this success was sporadic at best. Jones' first season saw the Cards at 6-6-1, but the team gradually deteriorated, dropping to 5-6-2, 5-4, and then 2-6-2 in 1932. Despite the decreasing win-total, Jones was content as owner of this NFL franchise, and had no plans to sell the team. However, one evening in 1932, he attended a private dinner party aboard a yacht owned by Chicago tycoon Charles Bidwill, Sr. Bidwill was already involved in football as a vice-president of the Chicago Bears. At the party, someone remarked that perhaps Jones should sell his team to Bidwill, and these being the Depression days, he could certainly use the money. Jones set his price at $50,000, an amount found to be agreeable by his host. So, with $2,000 from his pocket, Bidwill secured the deal. But, the transaction could not be finalized until he cleared himself of all his holding with the Bears. On October 24, 1933, about one year later, Charles Bidwill officially became the new owner of the Chicago Cardinals; things have never been the same since. . .
- - - - - The 1933 season saw many changes for not only the Cardinals, but also within the NFL itself. For the first time, the league was split up into divisions (the Cardinals were placed in the Western Division). Also, a championship-game format between the two division winners at the season's end was adopted; the previous thirteen champions were decided by the best regular-season records. Yet, not all changes were for the better: Cardinals superstar Joe Lillard was one of only two African-American players in the NFL, and by 1934, all teams would be following the league-wide exclusion of such players, a practice that would continue until 1946.
- - - - - The football season was at its midpoint when Bidwill and business partner Ray Bennigsen took over as president and general manager, respectively. The Cards were 1-4, with three of these losses being genuine heart-breakers. A 14-13 opening day loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates (later, the Steelers) was followed by another one-point defeat at the hands of the Portsmouth Spartans (later, the Detroit Lions) and by a 12-9 loss to the Bears several weeks later, despite a 50-yard TD run by Lillard. The loss to Pittsburgh was especially tough, with the final gun sounding as the Cards completed a long play to the one-yard line (a riot nearly broke out in the stands and on the field). The team's bad luck would continue the rest of the season, as the redbirds would not win another game. And, although the disappointments would not cease for quite awhile, Bidwill and Bennigsen would eventually lead the Cardinals to their greatest glory.

NEXT : November 28, 1935 - The Cardinals make a rare run at the NFL title, playing a major role in the championship picture. Once again, the Big-Red makes history on Thanksgiving, this time with a 9-7 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

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