If the NFL approves the Cardinals' move to Arizona, the Atlanta Falcons might be switched from the NFC West to the NFC East.

"It gives us something to think about," said Falcons President Rankin Smith Jr.

Owner Bill Bidwill's announcement that he wants to move his team west has brought varied reactions.

St. Louis Mayor Vincent Schoemehl, vowing to fight to keep the team, said the city will present its case to NFL owners this week.

Others in the area are turning their efforts to getting an expansion franchise. House Majority Leader in the Missouri General Assembly, Rep. Anthony D. Ribaudo (D-St. Louis), said he will contact NFL star Walter Payton, who has said he wants to own an NFL franchise.

"Right now it's just a hollow feeling," wide receiver Roy Green of the Cardinals said. "I've been here nine years and I've always said that St. Louis will be home and it probably still will be."

"I don't want to be to derogatory about St. Louis, but moving is going to be a positive thing for this football team," said quarterback Neil Lomax. "I can't help but show my emotions. I'm thrilled to be going to Phoenix. We won't have to apologize any more because we don't play baseball."

Sue Hogan, a bartender in St. Louis, said: "If I had my druthers, I'd ship Bidwill to Phoenix and keep the Cardinals."

Mary Ann Ladas of Belleville, Ill., said: "I think he's the reason the team hasn't done well in past years. He's wishy-washy like an old washerwoman."

Oliver Phillips said: "I blame Bidwill all the way. He hasn't been fair to St. Louis fans. I don't understand how he can hurt the people and the city this way. There were a lot of us good fans out there."

The Arizona Board of Regents yesterday unanimously approved a lease allowing the Cardinals to play at Sun Devil Stadium.