Bob McGinn of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL (courtesy of the OKLAHOMAN) has a wonderfully insightful mini-profile today of the acting owner of the Arizona Cardinals, Michael Bidwill. Most who remember Bill Bidwell ripping the Cardinals out of St. Louis assume that he’s the bad cop of the organization. But according to McGinn’s piece, that’s not so:
(Silver Lining: Management approach has done wonders for Bidwell’s golf game)
Michael Bidwill, 44, was described as a “tyrant” by two former National Football League executives familiar with the inner workings of the Arizona franchise.
“He’s a yeller and a screamer,” one of the executives said. “He intimidates people in the office. He has been known to dress down Rod Graves.”
So I guess until this season, that made Bidwill the Robert Mugabe of NFL owners.
Amazingly, even Bidwell’s own employees threw him under the bus to McGinn:
That was in contrast to the view of one Cardinals’ employee, who said, “He wants to be a Jerry Jones, but he doesn’t know how. If we should win the Super Bowl, look out.”
Bidwell wants to have botched plastic surgery, be accused of an adulterous rendezvous on his private plane, and nearly come up short with creditors on a stadium project? Yeah, who wouldn’t want that?
The more ironic part of the story though is McGinn’s portrayal of Michael’s father Bill.
Now 77, William “Bill” Bidwill is regarded by others in the NFL as a compassionate, intelligent man who treats his employees well. One of his trademarks was a bow tie.
He just wasn’t very good at the business of professional football, as evidenced by the Cardinals’ horrendous record. Selling the team, which today has an estimated worth of $914 million, never crossed his mind.
Bill might be a nice guy superficially, but “intelligent” isn’t the way I’d describe the owner of the worst-run franchise in NFL history.
The coronation of the Bidwells as suddenly progressive, successful NFL owners will most likely not happen anyway. Anyone remember the Seattle Seahawks? Anyone?