Niagara Gazette

Opinion

March 27, 2014

OUR VIEW: Wilson's legacy includes Bills in Buffalo

Niagara Gazette — Western New Yorkers and football fans everywhere should take a moment to reflect on the impressive legacy left by Buffalo Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. His death Tuesday was a gut punch for the region and while we’ve known of his failing health for many years, his death at 95 still somehow seems shocking.

A true icon in our community is gone.

Wilson had a mercurial relationship with Bills fans in these parts. His steadfast loyalty to them cost him a pretty penny when, time and again, he resisted offers to lure the Bills to bigger cities where he would make more money. He voted against every relocation effort since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 and believed strongly teams owed it to fans to make it work rather than cut and run.

We all owe Mr. Wilson a debt of gratitude for demonstrating such fierce loyalty to Buffalo and to the fans of his team.

The Bills have been a middling team for a generation now and the arguments persist that a change of leadership has been needed. Now on the other side of Mr. Wilson’s death, it strikes us: Be careful what you wish for. For all our groaning about the losses, 14 seasons without a playoff berth, busted draft picks and inept decisions both on the field and off, they’re still our team. We still pack the stadium bearing Wilson’s name, talk about them endlessly. If there’s one thing Bills fans have proven over the years, it’s that Mr. Wilson’s loyalty was not misplaced. Fans here truly care about this team.

Now, with Mr. Wilson gone, it’s time for all the stakeholders to pay a fitting tribute to his legacy. State and county leaders, the NFL, the Bills front office along with those who will be tasked with overseeing the estate owe it to the late owner to show the same loyalty he did.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page