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Gallery

1898-1924:
The Early Years

1925-1929:
The Soaring '20s

1930-1946:
Hard Times

1947-1948:
Glory Days

1949-1960:
The End of an Era

THE SOARING '20s

THE 1925 CHICAGO CARDINALS: This poster features the 1925 Cardinals, who went on to receive the season's disputed title. Although the Pottsville Maroons defeated the Cardinals in a late-season contest, giving themselves a better winning-percentage. However, the Pottsville club scheduled an exhibition in Philadelphia against a team made up of former Notre Dame players. The NFL's Frankford Yellow Jackets
protested that their territorial rights had been violated and the Pottsville team was suspended. Meanwhile, the Cards quickly added two games to their schedule. Winning both, the team finished the season with the league's best record, thus earning the 1925 NFL Championship. Note, in the photo at the right showing the 1925 Pottsville Maroons, the premature celebration of the NFL title.

FRED "DUKE" SLATER: An All-American tackle at the University of Iowa, "Duke" Slater spent ten seasons in the NFL, from 1922 to 1931. While with the Cardinals, from 1926 until his retirement in 1931, he also practiced law in Chicago. In 1949, he became a judge in the Cook County Superior Court. A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, he died on August 14, 1966. Here, he is shown wearing a Cardinals uniform from the late-1920s. Notice how the stripes have narrowed from their original thickness earlier in the decade. Also note the wide rings around the collar and the waist.

ERNIE NEVERS: Having already made a name for himself in the NFL with the Duluth Eskimos, the legendary "Iron Men of the North," a still young Ernie Nevers had to be lured out of retirement by new Cardinals owner Dr. David J. Jones in 1929 to play with and later coach the team. Had he never returned to the field, his name would still have been safe in the annals of
pro football. However, he is perhaps best remembered for an incredible feat accomplished later that season. On November 28, 1929, the Cards hosted the Bears in the annual Thanksgiving Day battle. The rival Bears managed only six points, compared to the forty tallied by Nevers, who scored six touchdowns and kicked four extra points. This single game record has yet to be equaled and remains the NFL's longest-standing record. He retired in 1931 but returned to the Cards for a brief coaching stint in 1939. He was later inducted into the Hall of Fame in the charter class of 1963. He died on May 3, 1976.

1929 GAME ACTION PHOTO: This photograph, taken from the New York Times, shows a scene from the December 1, 1929 game between the Chicago Cardinals and the New York Giants, only days after
Ernie Nevers' 40-point performance against the Bears. The ball carrier for the Cardinals is Russ Method, a thirty-seven year old back who spent just one season with the team. The blockers are unidentified but may include Roy "Bullet" Baker, shown in the photo to the right. The Cardinals lost the game 24-21 on their way to a 6-6-1 season. The Giants finished second in the league at 13-1-1, and despite the sparse crowd shown here at the Polo Grounds, averaged an attendance of 25,000. Note that only the Giants wear numbers on the front of the jerseys.

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