TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona Cardinals have given their old bird a makeover.
The Cardinal head that has served as the team’s logo since 1960 — when the franchise moved from Chicago to St. Louis — has been subtly transformed into a sleeker, meaner creature. The updated version was unveiled with great fanfare at Cardinals headquarters on Thursday.
“A tough bird,” team owner Bill Bidwill said. “Hopefully it will be worn by tougher and faster and meaner players.”
Yet to come is what Cardinals vice president Michael Bidwill called “a revolutionary” change in the team’s uniforms, to be shown this spring.
Defensive end Bertrand Berry will wear the new logo on his helmet in next month’s Pro Bowl.
The old Cardinal logo was a roundhead bird derisively referred to as a “parakeet.” The new version has decidedly more evil eyes and a menacing expression.
“The outline is in black,” Michael Bidwill said. “We’ve made the beak much more predatory and much more aggressive. The face is much more streamlined. It’s faster looking. The eye has been described as mean, we’ll say tough. We’ve taken tail feathers and given them speed, as well.”
The new beak is gold, while the old one was yellow.
“As they say, it’s not the size of the bird in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the bird,” coach Dennis Green said. “The cardinal is a small bird, but it can be a very aggressive bird. That’s the idea.”
Several prominent Cardinals — including Josh McCown, Larry Fitzgerald and Leonard Davis — modeled apparel with the new logo.
With his rural Texas background, McCown was asked if he was something of an expert on birds.
“The only birds I know about are the duck and the dove and the quail, birds that you shoot,” the Cardinals quarterback said. “You’re not really supposed to shoot cardinals. I don’t know if I’d shoot this bird. It looks pretty mean. This bird might pull a gun out and shoot right back at you.”
The changes are part of the team’s preparation for its move into a new stadium, set for completion by the 2006 season opener.
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