The Cardinals’ franchise knows a thing or six about ties.
On Sunday night, the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks played an unbelievable game that came within inches of being won by either team multiple times — mostly by Arizona — only to have it end on a 6-6 tie. It was the first time in Seahawks franchise history that they have tied, but not the first time in the Cardinals’ history.
Not even the first 6-6 tie. Not even the second 6-6 tie.
The Cardinals franchise is about as old as any, dating back to 1920 (all the more reason to gloat that they’ve only won two championships, none since 1947) and have tied 39 times. Their most recent tie came in 1986, when they were still in St. Louis, a 10-10 knot against the New York Giants. But like most teams, they stopped tying very often after 1974, the first season that the NFL started going to overtime in the regular season if both teams were still tied after 60 minutes.
Before that, the Cardinals tied once every season from 1966 to 1973, and wouldn’t you know it — they had two 6-6 ties in that period of time. These are the only 6-6 ties in the NFL since October 30, 1938 when the Brooklyn Dodgers tied the Washington Redskins by that score.
The last team to have a 6-6 tie before the Dodgers and Redskins? The Philadelphia Eagles and the Chicago Cardinals.
So the Cardinals have now had a 6-6 tie in Chicago, St. Louis, and Phoenix. They are involved in five of the 16 6-6 ties of all-time.
In 1970, they tied the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs 6-6 — the Cards had won their previous three games by a combined score of 113-0. Yes, really. They finished the season 8-5-1 and missed the playoffs. Two seasons later, with a new head coach and new quarterback, St. Louis tied again, this time against the Eagles ... again.
Two seasons later, the NFL adopted OT for the regular season and ties mostly went away. 1972 was also the year that they started counting ties as a half-win, half-loss, whereas before ties didn’t count as all. As if the game never happened.
This game between Seattle and Arizona did happen. We were forced to sit through that gut-wrenching game for four hours. You’re damn right it happened. And because it ended in a 6-6 tie, of course it happened to the Cardinals.