The Cardinals are the oldest continuous professional American football club in the United States. The team was formed in 1898 as the Morgan Athletic Club in Chicago. The club was then called the Racine Normals since they were originally located in Normal Park on Chicago's Racine Avenue (not Racine, Wisconsin, as mistaken by many). They then changed their name to the Racine Cardinals after they started wearing dark reddish uniforms, inherited from the collegiate Chicago Maroons. This hand-me-down, low-budget situation would prove to be a good metaphor for the team's chronology.
After becoming a charter member of the NFL in 1920, the club was renamed the Chicago Cardinals, in part to distinguish them from a new franchise that was actually placed in Racine, Wisconsin. In 1944, during the lean years of World War II, the Cardinals temporarily merged into the Pittsburgh Steelers and became one franchise, usually referred to as Card-Pitt, for that one season. The Cardinals moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1960 becoming the St. Louis Cardinals, often called the "Football Cardinals" or the "Grid Birds" to distinguish them from the baseball team, and also sometimes called "The Big Red" during some brushes with success in the 1970s. After an unsuccessful campaign for a new football-only stadium in St. Louis, the club relocated to the Phoenix metropolitan area in 1988, first playing at Sun Devil Stadium in the suburb of Tempe. The team was known as the Phoenix Cardinals before it started using "Arizona" in its name in 1994. Despite moving to St. Louis and then to Arizona, the Cardinals for decades remained in either an Eastern conference or division. When the league was divided into Eastern and Western conferences prior to the 1953 season, the Cardinals were placed in the East while the Chicago Bears were placed in the West. After the 1970 AFL-NFL Merger, the team was placed in the NFC East. The Cardinals were finally moved to the NFC West despite their complaints as part of the 2002 realignment.
The Cardinals were NFL Champions in 1925 and 1947 and last played for the NFL title in 1948. However, the team has not won a league title nor played in the championship game since then, and thus currently holds the NFL record for the longest championship drought and along with the Houston Texans (founded in 2002) are the only team not to appear in a conference championship game. The team has also won only two division titles (1974 and 1975) since their 1947 NFL championship. Despite being the oldest existing professional football franchise in the United States, the Cardinals have a remarkably lean postseason history, with an all-time record of 2-5.