For years the name Bidwill wasn’t exactly music to Cardinals fans ears. While the team seems to be changing their ways on the field and in negotiations with players off it, the team’s supporters haven’t changed their stance when it comes to ownership.
It’s something that Sports 620 KTAR’s Ron Wolfley thinks is long overdue.
“Michael Bidwill I do believe, when you talk about this organization and what has transpired, he does not get the credit he deserves,” Wolf told Doug and Wolf listeners Wednesday morning. “The University of Phoenix Stadium has changed the entire paradigm for this organization. Michael Bidwill spearheaded that drive. He doesn’t get a lot of credit for that.”
A lot of fans would probably ask why should they change their mind after twenty-plus-years of moves that left them scratching their heads. Wolf has an answer for them.
“You think it was a coincidence that that stadium was built and three years later, three years is all it took for them to win an NFC Championship and get to a Super Bowl? Why is that? Well, a lot of it is because the Arizona Cardinals built that stadium and had the revenues to get a guy like Ken Whisenhunt,” he said. “Go out and pay assistants like Russ Grimm. They used to pay head coaches what they paid Russ Grimm when he came in here. They opened up the purse strings.”
If there ever was an offseason that would prove the club had indeed ‘opened up the purse strings’ it’d be this one. The Cardinals not only added a bunch of new players but they gave Kevin Kolb a large contract extension and are in talks with Larry Fitzgerald to do the same. It’s all a reflection of the impact the stadium and Bidwills have had on the franchise.
“You don’t sign 51 guys in 48-hours if you don’t have the blessing of the ownership group,” Wolf said. “You don’t. That’s Michael Bidwill once again. To me, he doesn’t get the credit he deserves. We talk about Ken Whisenhunt, and rightfully so. We talk about Rod Graves, and rightfully so. None of that is happening unless Michael Bidiwill says ‘he guys, go do it.'”
Old habits die hard and the fans’ reluctance to give Michael Bidwill praise is proof of that. The question is, can you really blame them? Until 2008 they had only seen one winning season and two playoff games since 1988. In a league known for it’s parity, that’s not exactly what you’d expect.
The Cardinals have certainly changed since University of Phoenix Stadium was built. It just may take a few more winning seasons before fans are willing to admit it.