We all know the respective histories of the two teams playing in the Super Bowl this weekend. The Steelers are one of the proudest, most successful franchises of the modern era while the Cardinals, uh, aren’t. But you may not have known that the two franchises actually joined forces for one season — and became perhaps the worst team in NFL history (though I know some folks in the great state of Michigan who might disagree with that assessment).
As the 1944 NFL season was being planned, there were 11 teams that wanted to play. But the scheduling of a league with an odd number of teams was too difficult to figure out, so NFL commissioner Elmer Layden asked Steelers owner Art Rooney and Chicago Cardinals owner Charles Bidwell to merge. They did, and the team known as Card-Pitt was born. They were so bad, though, that one Pittsburgh sportswriter said they should call themselves the Car-Pitts because “every team in the league walks over them.”