Niagara Gazette

Opinion

March 26, 2014

PFEIFFER: It was a pleasure, Ralph

I had the pleasure, and the privilege, to meet Ralph Wilson twice in my life.

And I guess it’s no surprise that, like the countless players who revered him, I called him “Mr. Wilson.”

In my career as a journalist, I’ve never really been a sports reporter. Not that I haven’t covered sports stories. I have. I even won an AP award for my “sports coverage.” 

But my first encounter with Mr. Wilson came while I was working as a news reporter. I was at what was then known as Rich Stadium, working on a story I can’t begin to remember, when I first crossed paths with the Bills owner. 

I approached him and introduced myself and my News 4 photographer. While I can’t remember the story I was doing, I remember Mr. Wilson’s reply to my approach.

He said, “Well hi Rick.”

Since I didn’t cover the Bills professionally, I had no hesitation at gushing about my love for the hometown team. I told him about how my dad had bought season tickets for himself and me, when I was just 6, the year the team started play.

“Thank you for bringing the team here,” I told Mr. Wilson. 

“No,” he replied. “Thank you, Rick, for being a fan.”

We chatted a bit longer. I don’t remember specifically what we talked about, but it didn’t matter.

I was talking to Ralph Wilson and he was talking to me. Wow.

A number of years later, our paths crossed again, at my wedding. 

When Mr. Wilson would come into town to attend Bills games, he stayed at the Buffalo County Club. He was acquainted with my future father-in-law. 

On the day of my wedding, the Bills were playing a preseason game in town, and Mr. Wilson was here. As he prepared to leave the country club to head to the stadium, he came downstairs and saw the staff setting up for a wedding reception. 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
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