Buffalo Bills News - March 30, 2014

Marker At all costs, keep the Bills in Buffalo [10:59 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'They can't let the team get away. We won't be able to attract another franchise like bigger markets in Houston or Baltimore. This team means so much to the region, not just Buffalo.'

Marker Friends, family of Wilson say a private goodbye to a football patriarch [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Most owners and NFL executives stayed away due to the private nature of the service. The same went for former Bills players. The only one seen in attendance was Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas.'

Marker Ralph Wilson valued friends, loyalty [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It’s always been assumed that Ralph blocked the election of Lou Saban and Cookie Gilchrist from inclusion on the Bills’ Wall of Fame. I don’t recall an outright Wilson veto, but on more than one occasion, Ralph would explain why he felt Saban did not deserve to be honored. It was because Lou had walked out on the team twice, and Ralph viewed that as disloyalty.'

Marker Bills at risk of being moved to larger market [1:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'ut let’s not kid ourselves. The economics of the NFL long ago whizzed past our smaller-market, economically stagnant burg.'

Marker Trying times in Bills country [1:56 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'How could these Super Bowl Bills have envisioned a week like this? Mourning their beloved owner? Praying for their beloved leader? Circling the wagons one more time? Jill Kelly's blog post about her husband was like a punch to the gut.'

Marker Ralph Wilson Stadium undergoes massive renovation [1:55 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Polancarz said the $130 million project, which is being funded by New York state, Erie County and the Bills, is almost 50 percent complete, though everywhere you look there's upheaval.'

Marker Bills' fate will help reveal NFL's commitment to small markets [1:54 AM]
Erie Times News reports: 'In a league whose wealthiest franchises are now valued at more than $1.5 billion, the cost of buying and financing an NFL team requires vast resources and steady revenue from a vibrant corporate partnership base. Good luck finding that in the rust belt.'

Marker Buffalo owe big debt to Ralph Wilson [1:53 AM]
Florida Times Union reports: 'The new owner will have to figure out a way to keep the team viable while making enough money to pay the debt service taken on after purchasing the team.'

Marker Raiders, Bills could be eyeing LA market [1:52 AM]
Saint Louis Post Dispatch reports: 'Six years may seem like a long time to get things settled in western New York. Then again, 19 seasons have gone by pretty quickly in St. Louis.'

Marker In cancer’s pain, former NFL star puts hope in Jesus [1:51 AM]
Christian Examiner reports: 'In public testimonies and in their book Without a Word, the Kellys have described how Jill became a Christian when Hunter was 2 years old. But a bitter, unfaithful Jim left the couple’s marriage seemingly doomed after Hunter’s death. During marriage counseling, he became a believer himself. Today, it’s next to impossible to find a spoken or written word by the couple that doesn’t mention God.'

Marker My Buffalo Bills [1:50 AM]
Bills Daily reports: 'It’s funny when you think about it. Ralph was once considered a member of the “Foolish Club” and Jim once never wanted to play here. And, somehow, “foolish” and “never wanted to” got together and made magic happen. And, as I run through the streets of our great city, I know what keeps my heavy heart going is the belief that someday, it might happen again.'

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March 29, 2014

Marker Bills set Wilson tribute on April 5 in field house [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Donations in Wilson’s memory are being accepted by the Hospice Foundation of Western New York, the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Michigan Chapter and to St. John Hospital and Medical Center to support of the Wilson Telemonitoring Program.'

Marker Bills' interest in top pick makes no sense [1:58 AM]
Niagara Gazette reports: 'This year's draft could go down as one of the deepest in recent history. Analysts have raved about the potential of the top 10-15 available players, meaning the Bills should have a few options when they pick at No. 9. Texas A&M tackle Jake Matthews and wide receiver Mike Evans have been popular projections in recent mock drafts, as has Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.'

Marker Bills to hold public memorial for Ralph Wilson [1:57 AM]
AP reports: 'The event will feature memorabilia, exhibits and a guestbook to allow fans to pay tribute to the Hall of Fame owner, who founded the former American Football League franchise in 1959.'

Marker Why Bills trading for #1 does/doesn't make sense [1:56 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'While it wouldn’t be out of the question for the Bills to try and move up to secure one of their targets and sacrifice an additional pick in this draft, the thought of giving up multiple future top selections for just one player, that’s not a quarterback, likely isn’t Whaley’s cup of tea.'

Marker Ralph Wilson's passing has Buffalo Bills facing uncertain future [1:55 AM]
NFL.com reports: 'Scott Sarama, a longtime Bills fan who founded the fan website twobillsdrive.com, said that the dark cloud of potential relocation has hung over the region for so many years. While Wilson was alive, that storm on the horizon never got any closer, but it also never receded. Sarama, for one, is ready, after hearing so much speculation about the future, for the skies to finally gain some clarity.'

Marker Fan celebration and remembrance of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. planned for April 5 [1:54 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'A private ceremony for Bills staff, players, coaches and NFL personnel will be announced at a later date.'

March 28, 2014

Marker Andre Reed is pulling hard for Jim Kelly to overcome cancer [7:52 AM]
Rochester Business Journal reports: '“I rubbed his head a little bit,” Reed said, his voice choked with emotion. “It was kind of a way for me to say, ‘Hey, Jim, we’re in your corner, we’re here. Never gonna leave you, praying for you and your family,’ that kind of stuff.”'

Marker Will Bills franchise remain in Wilson’s family? [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Five other NFL cities have faced similar questions in the past eight years. In four of those instances, controlling interest in the team was passed on to surviving family members. In the other, a minority owner exercised an option to purchase controlling interest.'

Marker Bills announce their picks to panel that will explore options for new stadium [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Dubbed the “New Stadium Working Group,” the panel also includes the surprise appointment of one of Washington’s top political figures – Sen. Charles E. Schumer. His presence in the group is now viewed as key, given his influence in the Senate and his longstanding efforts to keep the Bills in Buffalo. That includes a close relationship with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, himself a Western New York native.'

Marker Wilson must be kept in perspective [1:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'There is a point where heartfelt reminiscences cross the line into revisionist history.'

Marker Bills fan club to host tailgate as tribute to Ralph Wilson [1:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“We want everyone to have a great time, but please be respectful; failure to do so will result in your being asked to leave the event.”'

Marker Wilson’s funeral on Saturday in Detroit is private [1:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Donations in Wilson’s memory are being accepted by the Hospice Foundation of Western New York, the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Michigan Chapter and to St. John Hospital and Medical Center to support the Wilson Telemonitoring Program.'

Marker What does the future hold for the Buffalo Bills? [1:54 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"We all know they have a lease. We know the terms of that lease, and we also know we have to find a long-term solution to keep the Bills there,'' said Goodell, who was born in Jamestown. "That's what we're going to continue to work to do, but that's not our priority now in the next few days."'

Marker Losing the Buffalo Bills would hurt local business [1:53 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“The studies I have seen have failed to show that the Bills have a major economic impact on this region,” Kent Gardner, chief economist at the Rochester-based Center for Governmental Research, said. “But the Bills do give this region visibility on the national stage. Similarly, losing the Bills likely would have a negative effect.”'

Marker How he played the game [1:52 AM]
Rochester Business Journal reports: 'Most importantly, Mr. Wilson believed the Bills should not be reduced to profit alone. (Good thing: Even during the team’s Super Bowl run, the Bills required subsidies from his other businesses.)'

Marker Who’ll emerge as new owner of the Bills? [1:51 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Bills fans bleed the deepest blues, the purest whites and the darkest reds for this team. A new owner needs to have that same passion along with the ability to bring talent to this squad, so that we, The 12th Man, can continue our love for this team and finally see a championship.'

Marker Bills group part of a winning game plan [1:50 AM]
Niagara Gazette reports: 'A key point that should not be overlooked is the involvement of the team itself. Wilson has in the past been reluctant to discuss the future of the Bills beyond his ownership. The team’s involvement with the board should open the door for additional discussions that might prove beneficial to answering the question many diehard local fans have wanted to know for years: What happens to the Bills once Wilson no longer owns the team?'

Marker Grief doubly hard for Bills fans [1:49 AM]
Albany Times Union reports: 'Now one is gone, and the other is in a battle far greater than avoiding the pass rush of the New York Sack Exchange.'

Marker Buffalo Bills names seven to New Stadium Working Group, including Sen. Chuck Schumer [1:48 AM]
Auburn Citizen reports: '"I was proud to be asked by the Bills to serve on the New Stadium Working Group, and I look forward to working with all of the committee members, the county, the state, the team and the local community to make sure fans can continue to cheer on the Bills in western New York for years to come. Keeping the Bills in western New York has always been one of my top priorities, and it will remain that way throughout this process."'

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