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St. Louis Football Cardinals, my team of the past

You love your memories, especially sports memories that gave you a love of sport

Football at Busch Stadium…circa 1962 – Portable stands along the right field baseball line and gravel in front of the bleachers ten yards behind the end zone ….but hey, the players had a ball….fans did too!

Growing up in the early 1960’s I was treated on Sunday afternoons with only a couple of NFL games on the TV. Oklahoma City was in the St. Louis Football Cardinals market before there was a Dallas Cowboys, and viewing those early time-slot games out of St. Louis on the CBS network were never missed. Those games were played in a baseball stadium in St. Louis and I was always intrigued that the corners of the end zones banked right up to the wall of the stadium seating. Those pointy corners were always causing players smash themselves into oblivion.  I cannot even remember if they were padded.  The injuries say no.  Those were the days for this really young kid to brainwash himself into a true sports fanatic.


Jack Drees was the TV announcer on those Cardinal broadcasts. Drees became my all-time favorite voice for NFL football, a couple of degrees hotter than the great and more famous Lindsay Nelson. Don’t get me wrong. Nelson was a historic voice, every bit the best NFL announcer of the day; but Drees was my favorite, only if by the number of times I heard his voice on any given Sunday.  I can still remember that voice, that wonderful sports voice.



Jack Dress, NFL announcer



The Football Cardinals also wore my favorite uniforms, with respect to the Chicago Bears. Their all-white roadies, with the Bird head on that white helmet, was total classic. Since I watched those games in black and white, the contrast of those whites against a usually brown dirt field stood out with distinction. The Football Cardinals were always a step or two behind the better teams in the league, but not on star power on defense. Larry Wilson, good old number eight, the hardest hitter this side of anything the New York Giants could put on the field, was a safety blitz master. Hearing Mr. Drees calling out the great Cardinal defensive back crushing an opposing quarterback with a safety blitz was the best it could get. He did it often, most always effective, many times knocking himself out of the game as much as the quarterback he would throw his body against.  A Hall-of-Fame member, Larry Wilson was the best safety in the League when he played, with respect to the others in the league.


St. Louis, up until a few weeks ago, had the Rams and Arizona has the Cardinals. But for me, the Cards will always be the St. Louis Football Cardinals and the Rams will always be the Los Angeles Rams. Sure, some twenty, thirty years later after the franchise moves, the Rams and Cards are now elsewhere. But when I see those unique helmets, the Rams horn and the Cards bird head, I always think back to what was. And that will never change. Not ever. (Well, with the Rams heading back to Los Angeles, the league has got the real Rams back where they belong. Now with the Arizona Cardinals……………..
Feature Photo:  Larry Wilson, circa 1963

About Fred Pahlke

Fred Pahlke, an Oklahoma native has viewed over 10,000 sporting events in his 64 years. A season ticket holder of the Oklahoma City Thunder, former season tickect holder for the Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma City University Chiefs/Stars, he is an expert in both professional and college basketball and football. A high school athlete at Classen High School in basketball and tennis, he played amateur tennis after high school in the Missouri Valley Tennis Association. A graduate of Oklahoma City University, he taught in the public schools for 6 years before becoming a building administrator in the Oklahoma City Public Schools for 31 years, 28 as the Principal of various schools in the district. Fredsportsextra has recorded 101, 410 article views in its first ten months, from August 2015 through May 2016.

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