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March 25, 2014

Ralph Wilson, founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills, dies at 95 : He brought major league sports to Buffalo in 1959, when he joined a group that became known as “The Foolish Club,” eight businessmen led by Texas oilman Lamar Hunt, who founded the American Football League. The initial cost to Wilson was $25,000, and it was considered a risky venture to challenge the established National Football League.

posted by tommytrump to football at 04:19 PM - 14 comments

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It's been a rough month for NFL owners. Someone check Bill Bidwill's meds.

posted by Etrigan at 04:48 PM on March 25

I give it 5 years before the Bills move out of Buffalo entirely. He was the anchor that was keeping the team there. Without him, I don't know if they can resist the money to move.

posted by grum@work at 07:29 PM on March 25

Can Toronto support an NFL team, grum?

posted by NoMich at 07:30 PM on March 25

Owners like Wilson don't exist anymore. He was a class act, through and through. Sports miss true gentlemen like him when they pass, leaving behind the nitwits with bucks to carry on in their absence. RIP, Mr. Wilson.

The NFL will soon go the same route NASCAR went when they decided to eliminate all the smaller venues where they held races throughout it's history in favor of larger areas; it's popularity will start to slowly diminish. Eliminating the smaller cities from having NFL teams in favor of larger cities with population, but that don't really give a damn about the team, will cost the league down the road. Thinking the league will start crossing borders into other countries won't work out the way the NFL thinks it might.

posted by dyams at 08:13 PM on March 25

Can Toronto support an NFL team, grum?

Yes. If you really make the team Toronto's, they'll support it. Measuring attendance based on playing one over-priced, inconsequential game a year in Toronto isn't a good indication of support.

Do I want Toronto to get the Bills?

No. I'm a fan of the team, and I know how much the city of Buffalo loves them (even when they suck). I'd prefer they stay in Buffalo.

posted by grum@work at 08:17 PM on March 25

I'd prefer they stay in Buffalo.

Totally agree. The NFL, to me, just wouldn't be the same without the Green Bays and the Buffalos.

posted by NoMich at 09:47 PM on March 25

I give it 5 years before the Bills move out of Buffalo entirely. He was the anchor that was keeping the team there.

Beer sales will keep them there. The whole city's an anchor, thus the wings.

posted by yerfatma at 09:48 PM on March 25

It's been a rough time here in Bills Country. First the news about Jim Kelly ... and now this out of the blue.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Ralph, Jim and their families...

posted by DraftSharksFF at 10:26 AM on March 26

BTW, it seems unlikely that a new owner/ownership group moves the team. They recently signed a 10-year stadium lease ... and it comes with a $400 million relocation fee.

http://www.buffalorumblings.com/buffalo-bills-news/2014/3/25/5547576/buffalo-bills-ownership-trust-ralph-wilson-dies

posted by DraftSharksFF at 10:29 AM on March 26

BTW, it seems unlikely that a new owner/ownership group moves the team. They recently signed a 10-year stadium lease ... and it comes with a $400 million relocation fee.

I did not know that. Let me change my position.

I give it 7 years and 1 day before the Bills move.

There is a one-time, $28 million buyout in the seventh year of the deal, which occurs between the 2019 and 2020 seasons, that could come into play if new ownership wants to move the club.

posted by grum@work at 12:28 PM on March 26

Five years, minus three months (it can be assumed that the Bills' season ends in December, right?).

posted by Etrigan at 12:42 PM on March 26

Owners like Wilson don't exist anymore... Sports miss true gentlemen like him when they pass, leaving behind the nitwits with bucks to carry on in their absence.

What in the world would make you say that?

posted by BornIcon at 01:59 PM on March 26

Five years, minus three months (it can be assumed that the Bills' season ends in December, right?).

For a guy with a BMath degree, you think I could read quoted material and do the math right in my head....

posted by grum@work at 02:30 PM on March 26

You weren't converting between American and Canadian time.

posted by Etrigan at 02:35 PM on March 26

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