Niagara Gazette

January 1, 2013

Business as usual for Bills

BY JONAH BRONSTEIN
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Like a skilled politician on his first day in office, Russ Brandon sold the illusion of change as hope for a new day this New Year's.

Meet the new boss.

Same as the old boss, right?

Brandon now oversees the football operations, with "general manager" Buddy Nix handling the day-to-day tasks, but no longer having final say over the roster.

We're supposed to believe Brandon will bring a fresh set of eyes to the Bills organization, that the marketing guy meddling in football matters will produce better results than the out-of-touch owner.

We're supposed to ignore the fact that Brandon has been working in the Bills front office for 16 years, that he has been one of the key players in the front office since Tom Donahoe was fired in 2006, and that he was effectively the general manager for two terrible seasons.

That arrangement ended just three years ago, when Ralph Wilson named Nix his "general manager of football," and acknowledged that Brandon was better off managing the other facets of the franchise while a seasoned scout rebuilt the roster.

As Doug Whaley, the assistant general manager and expected successor to Nix said, it's "business as usual" at One Bills Drive.

The business of Brandon promoting a mediocre product to a gullible fanbase so hopeful for change, they won't see through the illusion.

Respond to sports editor Jonah Bronstein via scoreboard@niagara-gazette.com.