Cardinals’ Michael Bidwill needs to focus on winning Super Bowls, not hosting them
GLENDALE — Before turning out the lights on another thrilling Super Bowl in Glendale, Michael Bidwill should’ve scooped up some championship confetti, put it in a jar and placed the memento in his office.
As a reminder of what the Cardinals owner has yet to accomplish.
As a reminder of what really matters to football fans in the Valley.
Following the Chiefs’ 38-35 comeback victory in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium, Bidwill can now turn his undivided attention to our football team, the one still searching for a new head coach after firing Kliff Kingsbury on Jan. 9.
One of the newest candidates is Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, who is reportedly interviewing on Monday. And yet Gannon might be a tough sell after the Chiefs scored 24 points in the second half of Sunday’s Super Bowl, badly burning the Eagles’ defense after halftime. The Chiefs became just the second team in 28 tries to rally from a double-digit halftime deficit.
The game was highly entertaining from start to finish. It was soiled by an extremely picky defensive holding penalty on the game-winning drive, and the Chiefs featured no shortage of generous calls this postseason. The game also featured an $800,000 grass field specially grown by the NFL that turned out to be something of a disaster.
The game was something of a crossroads for Patrick Mahomes, considered by some NFL experts as the most skillful quarterback in NFL history. Mahomes could not afford to lose this game if he wants to eventually usurp Tom Brady (seven rings) as the greatest of all-time, and now he has two Super Bowl titles in his first five years as a professional.
The game also featured applicable lessons for Bidwill’s Cardinals. The Eagles built a championship-caliber team by shrewdly drafting impact linemen on both sides of the ball. Their quarterback, Jalen Hurts, is a consummate professional and a great role model for how Kyler Murray should approach his job in the future.
Meanwhile, for all of his elite arm talent, Mahomes is the epitome of leadership, body language and physical toughness. He found a way to the finish line and the winner’s circle despite re-injuring his ankle at the end of the first half on Sunday, an injury he suffered in the first quarter of a playoff game against Jacksonville, and an injury that has been an impediment in three consecutive games.
But nothing was going to stop Mahomes.
The game also capped a wild week in Valley sports, marked by the arrival of new Suns owner Mat Ishbia; the acquisition of superstar Kevin Durant at the NBA’s trade deadline; Scottie Scheffler’s $3.6 million victory at the star-studded WM Phoenix Open; and the lunatic daredevil who climbed the 483-foot Chase Tower without any safety restraints.
Super Bowl LVII was the main event, and for the most part, it did not disappoint. Except for the anticlimactic endgame sequence of a bad call; taking a knee short of the end zone so the Chiefs wouldn’t score too soon; two more kneel downs to kill time; and a field goal.
Yet one hopes part of Bidwill was also seeing red on Sunday. Three teams have now won the Super Bowl in Glendale. None of them are his Cardinals. Two teams have won the Super Bowl in Arizona since 2015, a stretch in which his Cardinals have one playoff victory. And the Chiefs’ title-game triumph was their second victory at State Farm Stadium this season, one more than Bidwill’s Cardinals managed in the same building.
So, yes, Bidwill can take a deserved bow for playing point guard in securing and executing another highly profitable Super Bowl for the state of Arizona. But it’s time to focus on winning championships, not hosting championships. And like everything else in the NFL, it all starts at the top.
Reach Bickley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listen to Bickley & Marotta mornings from 6–10 a.m. on Arizona Sports.