<
>

Cardinals' president aids hurricane victims

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

People wealthy enough to own NFL teams tend to have their own aircraft. Sometimes we'll hear about athletes luxuriating in first-class splendor as they head to and from games on custom team-owned aircraft. That will not be the case Thursday when Cardinals president Michael Bidwill flies his private jet to Mexico to aid relief efforts following Hurricane Norbert.

The efforts, organized by the Baja Bush Pilots, include 30 pilots flying their own planes directly to Alamos under a special arrangement with the Mexican government, according to club president Jack McCormick. Bidwill has belonged to the 4,000-member club for about three years. He also belongs to the Flying Samaritans. That group operates free medical clinics in Mexico.

Hurricane Norbert left the Alamos area flooded. At least eight people have died. Bidwill's status as a pilot made news recently when he personally shuttled injured receiver Anquan Boldin home to Arizona following the Cardinals-Jets game in Week 4.

I spoke with McCormick about the relief efforts, which are covered on their site. He said the 30 pilots involved in the mission are paying for costs associated with the flight. The planes will deliver shoes, infant clothes, diapers, utensils, clothing, tarps and other basic supplies.

"When something happens, the poor people lose," McCormick said. "People had everything washed away."

NFL teams have the resources to help in these situations. The Packers once brought supplies to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Houston Texans owner Bob McNair and the NFL each recently contributed $500,000 to help victims of Hurricane Ike. The Flying Samaritans make regular flights to Mexico, McCormick said.