Do not ask me to root for Bill Bidwill's football team to win the Super Bowl. If you want to, I understand. But for me that request comes two to three decades too late.
Let me say this--I understand the Kurt Warner connection for local fans. And, yes, I would be happy for Kurt if he won the big one again. It almost certainly would cement his Hall of Fame credentials. But a Super Bowl for Warner means a Super Bowl for Bidwill and therein lies the rub.
The Cardinals teams that I rooted for are long gone. My football heroes were guys named Jim Hart, Jim Otis, Jackie Smith, Larry Wilson, Dan Dierdrof, Roger Wehrli, Tim Kearney, etc. But Bidwill took the football team from this city 21 years ago and blamed the fans. I haven't forgotten that or the lack of committment he had to winning which was the real reason he coudn't get a new stadium built.
The Cardinals and Steelers are both family-owned franchises. But the similarities stop there. The Steelers have consistently put a winning product on the field for the past 35 to 40 years. The Cardinals have largely been a laughingstock in NFL circles. The Steelers owners---the late Art Rooney and now his son, Dan---treat their players and coaches like family. Numerous former Big Red players have told me Bidwill never even spoke to them. Add to that Bidwill's chaotic and futile approach to the draft and scouting and his well-known penchant for doing everything on the cheap and I rest my case.
I've had several people who know Bidwill well tell me he is actually a shy person who is caring and does contribute to charitable endeavors. That's all fine and good. But, I'm not judging Bill Bidwill the person, I'm judging Bill Bidwill the owner and he was a failure. He does get credit for stepping aside in Arizona and letting his son Michael run things. Everyone connected to the current team says that made the difference.
Good luck to Kurt Warner. But if the Cardinals win, I won't be watching the post game ceremony. The sight of Bill Bidwill holding the Vince Lombardi trophy would be too much for me to stomach.
If only Michael Bidwill would have been old enough to run the St. Louis Cardinals. Guys like Hart and Dierdorf and Otis and Hanifan deserved better than they got.