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Bill Bidwill dead at 88

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44 minutes ago, billikenfan05 said:

Oh this is a football message board now

STFU

His son, Michael, is a SLU grad.

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I don’t know when or if he quit but Bill gave nice contributions to the Athletic Department anonymously. 

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I disagree willie.  Bidwell never invested in his team.  I lived through it.  Sure, he had a decent run with the Cardiac Cards and Coryell.  But it seemed he only was in the hunt for a playoff spot every other year ------ when they got the easier schedule for sucking the year prior.  He never put a real consistent product on the field and I was quite proud to see the city give him and his half-ass family business the boot.  That was before all this city-raiding that occurs now.  St. Louis then stole the Rams, Baltimore the Brownsfrom Cleveland, Indianapolis the Baltimore Colts, the New Yorkers moved to Jersey, the Raiders went to LA and now to Vegas, OKC stole the Supersonics, and so on. Stole may be the wrong word but its cut-throat economics and civic hostage taking all over the place.  Bidwell found an avid taker in Phoenix and he's "rewarded" then with one real post season appearance.  If anything, he was at the forefront of teams taking it on the lam.

The Bidwell family owned the Cardinals back in Chicago days and moved out because they couldn't compete with the Bears.  Their only "title" they won was when the then Pottsville Maroons were stripped of the 1925 NFL title for playing an exhibition against the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame at Shibe Park in Philly.  That was a NFL champ versus college champ game that the promoters moved to Shibe to parlay ticket sales.  Turns out, Shibe was in the home territory of the Frankford Yellow Jackets (nee Eagles) and the owner of the Jackets filed a territorial complaint against the Maroons.  NFL officials came into the Maroons lockerrom at half with Notre Dame up and said either forfeit the game (and money) or lose your title.  The players voted and said fuok you to the NFL and went out and won.  Two years later, the Maroons were no more.  The Maroons were in Pottsville because coal was king.  They could have been Green Bay today ---- but they likely would have moved too.

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I agree Taj.

Bidwill was an awful owner.  The Cardinal drafts were some of the worst picks in NFL history.  Their scouting department, while the league was advancing in leaps and bounds was prehistoric.  He did some nice philanthropic things for the area but his football team was awful.  The Rams were a much better run franchise, at least while Georgia was running the team.  We got screwed with Kroenke but Bidwill was just as bad.

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22 minutes ago, willie said:

Kroenke fu__ed St. Louis. St. Louis fu__ed Bridwill. 

Agree 100%.  Bidwell brought us some good football.  Cardiac Cardinals: Metcalf, Gray, Otis.  They were fun to watch. You will never see a better trio in the trenches then Dierdorf, Banks and Dobler.   Lomax, Green and Anderson in the early 1980's were icons around here.  Jim Hart is probably the best NFL QB not in the Hall of Fame.  

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A bad football team is better than  no football team. Bidwill asked for help on a relatively inexpensive stadium. We said no to turn around and give the kitchen sink to the Rams. 

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53 minutes ago, willie said:

A bad football team is better than  no football team. Bidwill asked for help on a relatively inexpensive stadium. We said no to turn around and give the kitchen sink to the Rams. 

I’d say the two division titles with Air Coryell was pretty exciting football. Agree that we gave Bidwell the shaft on the stadium. 

Rams overall 148-197-1 for 43% wins

Big Red overall 186-202-14 for 46% wins. 

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47 minutes ago, thetorch said:

I agree Taj.

Bidwill was an awful owner.  The Cardinal drafts were some of the worst picks in NFL history.  Their scouting department, while the league was advancing in leaps and bounds was prehistoric.  He did some nice philanthropic things for the area but his football team was awful.  The Rams were a much better run franchise, at least while Georgia was running the team.  We got screwed with Kroenke but Bidwill was just as bad.

1984 first round draft pick Clyde the glide Duncan, 1985 linebacker Anthony Bell in the first round, Steve Little second round kicker who could not hit a field goal.

In 1983 I was at the Monday football game against the Giants that ended in a 10-10 tie Neil O’Donahue missed 4 chip shot field goals, I am scarred for life.

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1 hour ago, kmbilliken said:

4-9-1

Beat me to it. Should be on his tombstone.

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Enjoyed the history lesson Taj! And I lived through it too. Always trying to do things on the cheap. Always claiming he had to scrimp so he'd have something to leave his sons. Family over fans I guess. Of course now, a sports franchise is a license to print $$. Or extort it.

A nitpick. Just as there is no "I" in team, there is no "E" in Bidwill.

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2 hours ago, willie said:

Bidwill asked for help on a relatively inexpensive stadium. We said no to turn around and give the kitchen sink to the Rams. 

This.

At the time The leadership in St. Louis thought they could just let the cards go and bring in a new team no problem.

They were wrong. 

Bidwell was rich but he wasn’t rich  by NFL owner standards. 

St. Louis should have stepped up and helped and they didn’t.

 

When it comes to the football side they made a lot of bone headed decisions.

I remember when they drafted Kelly Stouffer one of the STL talking radio heads said “Oh my God they drafted a girl” funny stuff.

Stouffer was a top 10 pick and never played a down for the Cards. He sat out a year then was traded. He never amounted to much anyway but that draft was the Cardinals in a nutshell.

 

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9 hours ago, dlarry said:

This.

At the time The leadership in St. Louis thought they could just let the cards go and bring in a new team no problem.

They were wrong. 

Bidwell was rich but he wasn’t rich  by NFL owner standards. 

St. Louis should have stepped up and helped and they didn’t.

 

When it comes to the football side they made a lot of bone headed decisions.

I remember when they drafted Kelly Stouffer one of the STL talking radio heads said “Oh my God they drafted a girl” funny stuff.

Stouffer was a top 10 pick and never played a down for the Cards. He sat out a year then was traded. He never amounted to much anyway but that draft was the Cardinals in a nutshell.

 

The post dispatch writer Kevin Horrigan excuse my miss spelling of his name made that comment about Stouffer.

Stouffer was drafted in the supplemental draft and the Big Red had to give up a first round draft pick for him.

In hindsight we should have built a stadium for Bidwill however all that was asked of Bidwill was start running a franchise worthy of it.

In 83 and 84 Jim Hanifan had 2 winning seasons and that is when Bidwill wanted a new stadium however he followed up with draft picks of Clyde Duncan in 84 and Anthony Bell In 85 and a miserable 85 season.

Bidwill’s franchise was never worthy of a new stadium.

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44 minutes ago, CBFan said:

The post dispatch writer Kevin Horrigan excuse my miss spelling of his name made that comment about Stouffer.

Stouffer was drafted in the supplemental draft and the Big Red had to give up a first round draft pick for him.

In hindsight we should have built a stadium for Bidwill however all that was asked of Bidwill was start running a franchise worthy of it.

In 83 and 84 Jim Hanifan had 2 winning seasons and that is when Bidwill wanted a new stadium however he followed up with draft picks of Clyde Duncan in 84 and Anthony Bell In 85 and a miserable 85 season.

Bidwill’s franchise was never worthy of a new stadium.

What we did not recognize was that in the NFL results do not have anything to do with what they expect you to pony up.  I agree we should have built him the stadium.  To bad the powers to be simply could not envision one in Earth City were McNary wanted to build it given that nobody in the actual City was stepping up.

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Let's remember who in the NFL drafted Joe Namath --- yep, Billy B and his Cardinals.  Lost Broadway Joe to the AFL Jets for a $4000,000 contract.  There are a lot of great names associated with the St. Louis Cardinals and many of you have already mentioned them.  But they were never really given the chance to compete properly because of Billy B's conduct of operations. 

To be fair, some moves are indeed cutthroat money grubbing.  Jim Irsay let the Colts disintegrate to next to nothing before he Mayflowered out of Owings Mills to Indy in the dead of the night.  Some Colt fans were glad to get rid of him.  Ditto Art Modell and the Browns in Cleveland.  All three, Bidwill included, got sweet civic bend-overs to build those stadiums and lure them in.  Hell, the Colts have now moved on to Stadium II.  I still think both St. Louis and Baltimore prostituted themselves to get that "big league feeling" back into their cities with the courting of both the Rams and the Browns.  And now you guys have lost the Rams.  And why stop there, LA also stole the Chargers from down the coast as well and I've already mentioned the Raiders.  Just read a story where the Angelos family has "assured" Baltimore the Orioles "are staying."  Worst team in th eleague and yet the fans are expected to pay for and back such a team.  We'll see what the old Houston Astros brain trust does down at the warehouse ion a few years.  The Angelos are not a patient family.  Ditto Dan Snyder down the road with his hapless Deadskins. 

Times were different back in the 80's.  It took forever for St. Louis and Baltimore to regain teams once lost.  But not Cleveland.  Hmmmmm.  Jacksonville was selected over Baltimore for an expansion team.  And they now drag tarps across the upper deck to ensure sell-outs.  Lots of weird stuff out there but the Bidwill family is a true legacy in poorly run franchises.

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+1 to the above

But Bill Bidwill’s leaving had as much to do with him not being accepted and respected by civic progress and the local  “who’s who” as he was always considered a bastard child here in St. Louis. Phoenix gave him the respect and attention he craved. But then, they too soon turned on him and it was his son who saved the Arizona Cardinals. 

As far as I am concerned, Bill as an  

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14 hours ago, willie said:

A bad football team is better than no football team. Bidwill asked for help on a relatively inexpensive stadium. We said no to turn around and give the kitchen sink to the Rams. 

Disagree. STL was idiotic in the way it panicked after letting Bidwill go and signed up for one of the worst stadium deals of all time. That doesn't mean it should've caved to Bidwill, though.

I live in a city with a bad football team and morale around it is as low as ever. The publicly financed stadium is mostly empty for home games. Whatever economic boom was promised as taxpayers were bilked hasn't happened and was never going to happen. Even if they were good, it's not like it would be a net economic positive because of how expensive it's been and the fact the stadium is used for 10 home games a year. There's just no point to having them or the stadium. I wish they would leave and we could do something more useful with the land the stadium sits on.

I keep hoping the stadium scam trend is dying but they keep happening: the new Texas Rangers stadium, Las Vegas football stadium, etc. I hope STL at least knows enough by now not to fall for it again.

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14 hours ago, Taj79 said:

Two years later, the Maroons were no more.  The Maroons were in Pottsville because coal was king.  They could have been Green Bay today ---- but they likely would have moved too.

Technically, the Maroons did move. Prior to the 1929 season, the Pottsville owner sold the team's rights off to a Boston based ownership group, where they then became the Boston Bulldogs, and then folded a mere season later. 

I'm biased because I'm the lifelong fan of Packers, being raised by two natives of the Badger State, but this is what I love about the Pack. You can tease the Shareholder model and how obnoxious it makes the fan base, but it guarantees that the Green Bay Packers will be in a town of 104,057 in Northern Wisconsin until kingdom come, instead of constantly being held hostage to the whims of an old, billionaire owner with an ego issue. Also to @Pistol's point, it also guarantees that the finances that fund the team's stadium come out of willing consumers, rather than public money that goes to schools, police, first responders, roads, etc. 

The fact is, owner's demands seem to be getting more daring, rather than less, this issue was once isolated to small market towns that were desperate to hold onto their team, now owners are willing to hold cities like Minneapolis, San Diego, and Oakland hostage as well. 

 

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A few years after the Cardinals left for AZ, I had a patient in the office whose family was from AZ.  I asked how the people there felt about Bidwell.  She asked, "You mean Dollar Bill?"  That answered my question.

mhg

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