There are just a few families that have been involved in professional football as long as Ralph Wilson's. But the Bidwills are one of them.
Wilson, the Buffalo Bills owner, died Tuesday at age 95. Cardinals president Michael Bidwill issued a statement on the team's behalf:
"At a critical juncture in the National Football League's history, Ralph Wilson provided a level of leadership and vision that helped make the NFL what it is today. He not only recognized the sport's potential popularity and success but was pivotal in helping to achieve it. Our hearts go out to his wife, Mary, the Bills organization and everyone in Western New York on their tremendous loss."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also issued a statement on Wilson's passing:
"Ralph Wilson was a driving force in developing pro football into America's most popular sport. He loved the game and took a chance on a start-up league in 1960 as a founding owner of the American Football League. He brought his beloved Bills to western New York and his commitment to the team's role in the community set a standard for the NFL. As a trusted adviser to his fellow league owners and the commissioner, Ralph always brought a principled and common-sense approach to issues. His lifelong loyalty to the game was instrumental in his richly deserved induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We are grateful for his many contributions to the NFL and offer our heartfelt sympathy to the Wilson family."