The Cardinals were one of the biggest surprises of the season, winning their first NFC West title and first division championship since 1975. Seeded fourth, they beatthe Falcons in the wild-card round, upset the Panthers in the divisional round and beat the Eagles in their first NFC Championship Game.
Story lines you'll hear about
1. WR Larry Fitzgerald is Superman in football cleats
2. QB Kurt Warner's long road from sacking groceries and playing Arena League ball to the NFL
3. Coach Ken Whisenhunt's "revenge" at the Steelers for hiring Mike Tomlin instead of him when Bill Cowher retired
4. RB Edgerrin James' trip to the coach's doghouse this season
5. The legacy of former S Pat Tillman, who left to join the Army and was killed in Afghanistan
This is the franchise's first appearance in that Super Bowl. Won NFL championships in 1925, 1947. Last made playoffs in 1998.
61 Years since last championship (1947), longest drought in pro sports behind the Cubs.
The Cardinals have been in the Bidwill family since 1932 when Charles Bidwill bought the team. His son, 77-year-old William, is now the owner, and his son, Michael, is the team president. Michael is a former federal prosecutor and a pilot.
Historically speaking …
Previously known as the Morgan Athletic Club, the Normals, and then the Racine, Chicago, St. Louis and Phoenix Cardinals, before becoming the Arizona Cardinals in 1994. They are the oldest continually operated pro football franchise.
Franchise's best players: RB Ottis Anderson, OL Dan Dierdorf, QB Jim Hart, TE Jackie Smith, S Roger Wehrli, S Larry Wilson.
Jeff Rutledge, who played quarterback for the Rams (1979-81), Giants (1982-89) and Redskins (1990-92), is the Cardinals QB coach.
Team they remind you of …
The Tampa Bay Rays: Longtime losers finally win, have fun doing it and become big faves with the underdog crowd. (Plus Joe Maddon is a huge fan.)
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Lakewood Ranch; WR Anquan Boldin, FSU; DT Darnell Dockett, FSU; DE Calais Campbell, Miami; RB Edgerrin James, Miami; S Antrel Rolle, Miami.
Be happiest for ...
S Adrian Wilson is the longest serving Cardinal, a 2001 draft pick who had passed on the chance to leave as an unrestricted free agent after the 2004 season and instead signed on for five more years.
From the home office ....
Phoenix's population of 1.5 million makes it the fifth largest city in the United States, and at 517 square miles it is larger than Los Angeles. The greater Phoenix area has a population of nearly 4 million.
Arizona celebs you may see ...
Lynda Carter, left, Alice Cooper, Ted Danson, John McCain, Jordin Sparks
In the movie Jerry Maguire, Cuba Gooding Jr.'s character, Rod Tidwell, played for the Cardinals.