SI VAULT: TWO FLAGS FOR THE CARDINALS?

(Excerpt from the November 09, 1964 Edition of Sports Illustrated)

Written by Edwin Shrake

PENNANTS HAVE NOT RECENTLY FLOWN OVER THE CITY OF ST. LOUIS. THIS YEAR THE BASEBALL CARDINALS BROUGHT ONE HOME, AND THE FOOTBALL CARDINALS MAY BRING ANOTHER FROM THE SCRAMBLE OF THE NFL EASTERN DIVISION.

John David Crow

In St. Louis last week a bunch of guys with sledgehammers were knocking down an old burlesque house to clear ground for a new stadium, which means that by the spring of 1966 night baseball and Sunday afternoon football will have replaced sex in at least one area of the leafy and pleasant town on the banks of the Mississippi River. For the citizens of St. Louis, who sat 18 years in the gloom of Busch Stadium waiting for their baseball Cardinals to win another World Series, the new stadium is a merit badge for patience. A further reward may be granted to St. Louis fans before the first graffito is scratched into the concrete of the new stadium. The football Cardinals leaped off to a flourishing 3-0-1 record in the NFL’s Eastern Division.

Although they lost three of their next four games to the powerful Baltimore Colts, the rising Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants, who seem to have come back from wherever they had been, they are by no means out of contention. The Cardinals are two games behind the Cleveland Browns, .071 percentage points ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles and one game ahead of Dallas. Cleveland still must play Detroit and Green Bay, two strong Western teams, on successive Sundays. The Cardinals have one more shot at the Browns and, fortunately, are through banging helmets against the West.

But if the Cardinals are to be successful, they will have to provide their quarterback, Charley Johnson, much better protection than he got last Sunday against the Giants. The New York pass rush reached Johnson 11 times for 96 yards in losses, and under pressure he threw three straight interceptions and three times overthrew receivers who were open deep for certain touchdowns. Giant Quarterback Y. A. Tittle, who had been written off as finished by observers of little faith, finally began to throw the way he used to. With the help of tough running by rookie Backs Steve Thurlow and Ernie Wheelwright, Tittle bombed the Cardinals 34-17. Facing the somewhat erratic Steelers this week, the Cardinals will have to win if they intend to keep St. Louis hoping for another pennant to fly beside the one the baseball team brought home.

Read the Rest of the Story at the Sports Illustrated Vault

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