Arizona Cardinals were almost sold and moved to Dallas

Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Arizona Cardinals once had a trio of potential buyers that wanted to own the team.

Back in the 1950s, the Arizona Cardinals were still based in Chicago. Just years removed from coming out of a winless 1944 season as “Card-Pitt” due to World War II to going all the way to NFL Champions in 1947 and runners-up in 1948, the Cardinals had endured some rough years.

The Cardinals only had one winning season in the 1950s and had become afterthoughts to the other team in town, the Chicago Bears. Bad records meant bad attendance and low revenue, which brought three potential buyers to Violet Bidwill (the owner of the team after Charles Bidwill passed).

The names of those who were interested were Lamar Hunt, Bud Adams, and Max Winter. Football fans who know their history know Hunt is responsible for the creation of the AFL and the Kansas City Chiefs, while Adams was the unforgettable coach for the Houston Oilers.

Lamar wanted to move the Cardinals to Dallas, Adams wanted them in Houston, and Winter wanted them in Minnesota. The Cardinals did actually play two regular-season games in Minnesota, but that’s the closest they ever came to moving north.

The NFL almost didn’t have the Arizona Cardinals. Could you imagine the Dallas or Houston Cardinals?

Man, just typing that doesn’t sit right. The reason why a transaction between these three didn’t happen is that once Hunt found out how many other buyers wanted to have the Cardinals, that’s what Hunt credits as his inspiration for creating the AFL.

The Bidwills also couldn’t agree with giving up a significant portion of the franchise and basically wanted a minority owner. The NFL then chose to help out the Bidwill’s with enough money to move to St.Louis; thus, the rest is history.

I’m happy things worked out the way that they did. The Dallas/Houston Cardinals doesn’t work.

Next. The top 15 draft picks in Cardinals history. dark