Any Cardinal fans out there?

From Ken Trainor’s blog, Jan. 16:

Just wondering if there are any other Cardinal fans still in the area. Not the St. Louis Cardinals. That’s baseball. There used to be a football team named St. Louis Cardinals, but they moved to Arizona 20 years ago. Why should anyone around here care about the Arizona Cardinals? Because once upon a time, they were the Chicago Cardinals.

I was 8 years old when the Chicago Cardinals moved to St. Louis in 1960. That means I’m likely at the young end of Chicagoans who formed an attachment to this team. John David Crowe and Bobby Joe Conrad were the stars at that time, but I liked the Cardinals mostly for their colors. I loved the red and white and the cardinal emblem on the side of their helmets. I still enjoy watching them, mostly because of the uniforms.

When the football Cardinals moved to St. Louis, I stuck with them. The Cardinals were an enjoyable team to watch in the 1960s and 1970s with real quarterbacks (Charley Johnson and Jim Hart) and a real passing game–unlike the remaining Chicago football team, which hasn’t had a real quarterback since Jim McMahon (and before that, Sid Luckman).

After the 1970s, the Cardinals got pretty bad, and once they moved to Phoenix, my interest ebbed into dormancy. But lo and behold, this they’ve somehow found their way into this Sunday’s Super Bowl. What a hoot. Unless you’ve followed them over the years, you have no idea how utterly preposterous this is.

Overall, it’s been a miserable franchise, and I expect they’ll get their butts kicked on Sunday, but it’s still fun to see them go so far. Turns out these childhood attachments endure.

Which is why I’m wondering about other Cardinal fans. Did anyone else maintain their attachment all these years? Anyone who was 8 years old in 1947 would be in his or her late 60s now, so there may be a few who still remember the only glory year in the franchise’s history – their only NFL championship.

If you’re still around and rooting, enjoy the game on Sunday. And know that you’re not alone.

By the way, if anyone’s interested, a guy named Joe Ziemba wrote a book a few years back titled, When Football Was Football – The Chicago Cardinals and the birth of the NFL. A fun read–if you’re a Cardinal fan.

Get those rakes and hedge shears out!

Signs of spring are few and far off these days, but here’s one: It’s enough to resurrect visions of blue skies and soft air carrying the scent of fresh earth. The grill and bird bath may still be buried under mounds of snow and ice, but the following notice in River Forest Village Hall informs us spring is coming.

The sheet of paper read, “Yard waste/brush collection starts March 17.”

People will be asked to place their bags “out by the curb.” That is, if the 3-foot drifts are gone by then.

A response from Naperville

Admittedly, we were picking a fight last week in taking the Utne Reader to task for putting Naperville on their list of “enlightened” suburbs. Tim West, editor of the Naperville Sun, took up our gauntlet and responded – regrettably, with wit and sophistication, so we may have to qualify our poor opinion of this massive suburban inkblot.

After confessing that Naperville doesn’t get high marks for its sprawl (“We’ve built over more farms than one can count”) and lack of regional transit systems (“We pioneered the three-Hummer family”), West noted that Naperville was credited by Utne with battling teardowns. “Maybe someone from the magazine should have come here to watch the Hammerschmidt house, a structure both historic and stately, bite the dust,” he countered.

But he took issue (albeit tongue in cheek) with Wednesday Journal’s description [Enlightened? Naperville?! Inside Report, Jan. 21] of that vast, expanding city’s “unplanned suburban sprawl.”

“For decades now, developers and the City Council have been spending untold hours planning our suburban sprawl,” West retorted. “There is nothing ‘unplanned’ about it. So there.”

We stand corrected.

What they do have is space

Dist. 97 Supt. Constance Collins hosted a public listening session last Wednesday at Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St. Collins told the roughly dozen people who attended that classroom use is expected to double next school year when full-day kindergarten expands district-wide. She added that some of the elementary school buildings are preparing to take advantage of their extra space. Collins noted that moving sixth-graders to the newly-built middle schools several years back resulted in making extra rooms available in the elementary school buildings. Sounds like they’re going to come in handy.

Join the discussion on social media!