Michael Bidwill, clad in a kilt, readied himself Saturday morning to climb aboard the Cardinals’ float at the head of the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown Phoenix.
“I’ve got some Irish in me,” the Cardinals’ president said. “Everybody’s got a little Irish in them on St. Patrick’s Day.”
Bidwill’s Irish background got him invited to be the Grand Marshal of this year’s parade, which began in Phoenix in 1983. Bidwill wore traditional garb as he went down 3rd Street in front of onlookers, flanked by Cardinals cheerleaders and team mascot Big Red as staff members clad in green handed out green flags emblazoned with a shamrock and team logo.
Beforehand, Bidwill was honored at the pre-parade breakfast with a plaque commemorating the occasion, saying thanks to Bidwill not only for having the team but also the role the organization plays in the community.
“For the Cardinals, and me as a representative for the team, to be asked to be the Grand Marshal, it’s a huge honor,” Bidwill said. “We couldn’t be more excited to be here.”
Bidwill had previously been honored by the National Football Foundation this year for his and the organization’s work within Arizona, getting elected into the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame.
“The fact we were asked to be asked to be a part of (the parade) in such a big way is a huge recognition,” Bidwill said. “It’s obviously what we do on the field but also what we do in the community and how we do it.”