Jan. 22, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Cardinals' football has been a part of Arizona Cardinals' owner Bill Bidwill's life practically since birth. The 1960 Georgetown University graduate, was born in 1931, a year before his father, Charles bought the former Chicago Cardinals franchise in 1932. On Sunday, February 1, Bidwill will take his franchise to its first Super Bowl after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Following the win on Sunday, Bidwill's son Michael, the team's President told reporters, ""I couldn't be happier. One of my lifelong dreams is to watch my dad hold up a trophy, and I hope we can go down to Tampa and get him another one."
It has been a long, sometimes weary road to the Super Bowl for Bill Bidwill. He first took a leading role in the family business while an undergraduate on the Hilltop in the late 1950's, accepting a Vice President role with the Cardinals.
In 1962, Bill and brother, Charles Jr. became joint owners, until Bill took over as sole owner in 1972. Over 37 years under his control Bidwill proven to be an active member of the community, supporting various civic and charitable organizations, while directing the formation of the Cardinals Charities, dedicated to supporting worthy Arizona causes.Through his noteworthy career, Bidwill opened the team's state-of-the-art training facility in Tempe, Arizona and with the help of son Michael opened the University of Phoenix Stadium in 2006.
The 77-year old Bidwill, who remains involved in all areas of the Cardinals day-to-day operation, has brought two Super Bowls to the state, as the Cardinals hosted the NFL's big game in 1996 and 2008. But despite all of his work in the community and for the NFL the Cardinals only made the playoffs four times during Bidwill's tenure before the 2008-09 season.
After winning the NFC Championship Cardinals' head coach Ken Whisenhunt told reporters: "The first thing I would like to say is that I am so happy for Mr. Bidwill and Michael [Bidwill] for all the work they have done. It has been a tough number of years here in Arizona, and I'm glad that we have this opportunity to go to the Super Bowl because of all the hard work put in, especially with the new stadium."