Cardinals, Chicago, Football discussed on Good Seats Still Available
Courtesy of our friends at streaker sports We thank streaker sports of course and we thank you to of course for listening further as we get into the Interesting historical time between nineteen twenty and nineteen fifty nine or so this is is when the cardinals and football played in Chicago. And we're going to talk about it with Joe Ziemba their conversation. We had just a couple of weeks back. Sit Back and enjoy and we'd love going back to some of the central stories especially teams that exists today but what were previously incarnated and and maybe I can kind of just sort of start with this I mean the Arizona. Cardinals are the latest expression of if a team that essentially has been the longest consecutive running franchise in NFL history. Let's start with sort of from the from the today going backward. How much would you say and I think I know the answer to this? How much would you say the current fans of the Arizona Cardinals and the current organization give sorta proper routes do given the origination of this franchise way back when in Chicago my opinion that a lot of people perhaps know about the Saint Louis version of the team but very few know about the Chicago origination which go back eighteen ninety nine and that's not surprising everything? A lot of people are actually surprised if I use the term again to know the team goes net far back. So it's for the organization itself They're aware of the cardinals. I often see web mentions of the Chicago cardinals but not a whole lot of emphasis. I thought perhaps there might be a a little more this year with the hundred season of the NFL. That I've seen we do have a a facebook site as I've mentioned were people still seem intrigued by the history of the cardinals and so we try and provide them with some bizarre facts and figures going all the way back to the beginning So there is interest in the team the history viewpoint but it's one Perhaps legitimately or not is not really addressed too often anymore. Yeah and I think that's interesting and and it's it's been one the themes that we've sort of unearthed in our conversations to date is is you know the teams that currently exist that that do have roots. Go back and it's interesting to see how oh well embraced or many cases oftentimes whitewashed or forgotten or simply ignored because modern day. Doesn't you have the time or the wherewithal or the the extra work. Perhaps or maybe even some of the skeletons in in in club histories and all that kind of stuff. Because it's all about the future and in and the big business now of it and you know frankly I think it's a shame and I sort of didn't want to sort of put a Downer on it to start but I think it's important for anybody who's a fan of the Arizona cardinals our noses their previous incarnation as the Phoenix cardinals. Or even the previous incarnation of that of the Saint Louis Cardinals that this very deep and rich history and storied did franchise for almost forty years before they even moved to Saint Louis. For God's sakes and that's saying something so maybe you can give our audience. Those these young whippersnappers snappers out there. A little bit of understanding of maybe maybe the primordial ooze from which even disfranchised Kinda got going even before nineteen twenty and the NFL Kinda started kicking around. Yeah we do see where the cardinals will say there since. Nineteen twenty and of course. That's one the first version of the national channel. Football League started the American Professional Football Conference but the team itself goes back to eighteen ninety nine with the first game being played actually on on October Fifteenth Eighteen Ninety nine when the team called the Morgan Athletic Association which we can trace back from today's Arizona cardinals articles of play the game on the south side of Chicago and defeated the Sherman's and the Morgan Just a bunch of Sandlot kids they call. They played pro very football. So it wasn't that a firm organization and just a bunch of kids. They got together to to play some football which is still a new game then I know in Chicago a cargo. The Chicago Public League which was probably the earliest version of high school football. That didn't start until the eighteen ninety s so the game had been more prosperous. Were prevalent in the East and then moved to the Midwest but still didn't get a lot of great deal of acceptance at that time but so we can trace in the main reason for tracing racing. The team is the two brothers called Chris and Pat O'Brien personal brine. I think as the forgotten man of the National Football League he was one of the founders in nineteen eighteen twenty but he was also seventeen or eighteen year old and on that first team for the Mortgage Athletic Association. Eighteen ninety nine MS brother. Pat Was this The quarterback or fullback at the time the formations were a little different. So we can trace the o'briens all the way through to win Chris. O'Brien was one of the founders. What we knows does the NFL and till he sold the team in nineteen twenty nine and of course the cardinals have been with the bidwill families? sincerly thirty so really only three the founders of the team and all those years could say three owners. And that was Chris. O'Brien and this corporation and a guy named Dr David Jones who had the team for about op. Three years before he sold to Charles bidwill whose family still owns the cardinals today. Well maybe you can give are. Is this a bit of a sense of sort of this pre. NFL Pre professional fashionable or or or semi or not even professional kind of mccalla Rag tag. But people need to remember right and we've gone way back into the earliest days as a baseball right which arguably starts eighteen seventies eighteen eighties or so and the rumblings and and the relatively crude way that professionalism came into that game but this we were still decades away or at least a few decades away from true professional football during the early nineteen hundreds where and what was this team kind of playing in and against and whom against in Chicago and environs. The different teams were neighborhood teams and they took their names from the street name in Chicago. So we would I would say see teams called the Westerns the Artesian 's the hall studs and this would be the neighborhood that took their name of their team from that street. I got on there. Were bigger neighborhood. Teams called the Kensington the Grand Crossing Eagles Logan squares from the north side. And once in a while wilder would go over the state line to play you Chicago gophers or a team from Michigan City Indiana. So for a while there was no real formal formal structure of a League till about nineteen sixteen or so when there was something called the Chicagoland Football League which was a loosely knit organization organization of some of these prairie teams. But in the early days it was just neighborhood kids playing each other and what prairie field might be available. There were no stands. The equipment was horrible. Generally the teams would have they would play eleven guys would go both ways but maybe only have two substitutes roots and if they derived any income at all from these Games there was two bets on the side. Where teammate get together? Ten dollars a month All the players and but the other eighteen they could beat them. Of course. We're not supposed to talk about betting football. But that's how they got a little bit of their Their revenue way back when is the team's he's got a little bigger They became part of athletic clubs and athletic clubs again. In the early part of the century were organizations nations that were to provide their members with entertainment. Whether it be boxing matches track meets baseball teams. Football teams answers were very popular. And that's when the Morgan Athletic Association from Eighteen. Ninety nine kind of evolved into the Morgan Athletic Club in nineteen hundred so instead of just having a a bunch of kids playing football for fun they now represented a club. They probably pay dues to this club. The club For example the Morgan Outlet Club Had A headquarters quarters and had to pay rents but drew a lot of revenue from membership fees but from charging admission to their track meets or their football or baseball games so it became a little more formalized than nearly part of the century as the athletic clubs in Chicago at least started playing each other. Yeah that's interesting. So even before a a professional circuit per se right there was at least a bit of structure around how to play. Perhaps maybe even Solidifying some of the early and arguably competitive or challenging rules differences maybe In giving molly kids chance to play but also maybe some of the early rubrics of what professionalism professionalism might look like in the decades to follow. That was true. In fact one of the Kiraly Games occurred me. Get my memory here about the end of November. Maybe thanksgiving of nineteen o four. When the Morgan Athletic Club played a team called the normal athletic club and they rented out what was called Kaminski's Park Not Comiskey Park where the white sox played at thirty ninth and Wentworth and there was one hundred and fifty dollars side? Bet Per team. Mind that so that was big money but they charged admission so they look like they were trying to attract not only fans but also have one hundred. Fifty dollars is a lot of money money back then. So they're taking quite serious at that time but Around nineteen o four or nineteen when that game occurred and we saw more of that where they were getting Hansa bigger venues instead of just playing any empty lot. They're looking for a place. They have bleachers. The cardinals as we know him eventually were playing in a place called normal normal park in Chicago which is at sixty third and racine. There was a baseball field. They put the football field so it went east West Barely made it within the fence and but it was a more formal structure for them to begin playing in. And it's important to understand some of this These early origins because The actual name of the team and their color scheme kind of came from from these early pre nfl days. Maybe you can sort of get into the story of of of how the team wound up getting its name and its its color scheme which is still today. What is the cardinals? Had we think the same colors colors This might sound like some heresy but the name cardinals did not come from a name of Jersey. Which is what our researches found out over the last few years? As when the team with the O'Brien brothers more from the mortgage Athletic Association into the Morgan Athletic Club and that was eighteen ninety nine and nineteen hundred. Nineteen O one. You'll Bryan brothers. Were part of a new club. Call the Cardinal Athletic and social club and it really had nothing to do with the color of their jerseys the the prevalence story is that Chris. O'Brien when was the owner of the team. And he bought used jerseys from Amos Alonzo stagg the head coach at the University of Chicago and we haven't been able to verify five that at all in fact. That doesn't make a lot of sense. 'CAUSE stag hated just hated the idea of someone playing football after he graduated and had nothing to do with these post-collegiate teams and I've even done. Some research into his records at the University of Chicago Library could find no trace of of stags bags selling his US jerseys to a team that was then called the cardinal social and Athletic Club Crystal. Brian was not the owner. He was still just a teenager. Major basically a right out of his team so again. This was a social club or people belonged and They sponsored the team over. There was a high school team which ah done some more research on called Morgan Park Military Academy which was a farm club for the University of Chicago. STAGG would kinda hide some of was promising players there and then bring them over. He hoped coats that team. And if you look at their jerseys they look an awful lot of like Like the University of Chicago Algo jerseys that may have been from a year or two before. A lot of this is available because we see stuff online or we can research it during in some of these archives where we can actually see the photos from teams.