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Cardinals where there are no cardinals

Maybe lots of people know the answer.

But I don't.

Why is "Cardinals" the sports nickname for North Idaho College athletics even though we don't have the red birds here?

I suppose I could bestir myself to look into this on my own. But last time I did that — re: same question and the Medical Lake High School Cardinals — it turned into a time-sucking black hole. And all I ended up finding out is that, long ago, a teacher who had moved here from back East suggested "Cardinals."

Of course, it's true that sports mascots often have little relationship to geographic reality.

There probably aren't a lot of lions and tigers in Detroit. Not many bears in Chicago, et cetera.

But in at least one example of a mascot/location mismatch, there is an explanation.

In the case of the Arizona Cardinals, it's worth remembering that the team moved to Phoenix from St. Louis — where there actually are red birds.

So now I'm wondering. Was North Idaho College originally in Missouri?