Michael Bidwill sets tone for Cards

By Bob McGinn Published: January 29, 2009
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uis in 1988. Sellout crowds enjoying the air-conditioned comfort have buoyed the franchise’s financial picture. And Michael Bidwill has been willing to spend more money on football than his famously cheap-skate father.

Michael Bidwill is involved heavily in every facet of the franchise. Steve Keim, the club’s director of player personnel, said he has influence on every football decision.

For now, at least, Michael Bidwill is willing to defer to coach Ken Whisenhunt, who is said to have about 90 percent authority on draft selections, and Graves. On Tuesday, he insisted he had no ambitions to make all the football decisions.

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.”

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.

Keim acknowledged that Michael Bidwill sometimes displays a hard edge when it comes to managing people.

"But if he’s hard on you, you probably deserve it,” Keim said. "It’s not a negative thing.”

McClatchy-Tribune News Service


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