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Did Jim Kelly / Bruce Smith save the Bills?


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I am not from Buffalo and I only started really paying attention to football around 88-89 or so, just as the Bills were becoming a great team.  I have seen bits here and there about how moribund the franchise was, especially after OJ was finished.  As an outsider and someone not from there, was there ever a time when it was in doubt that the Bills would always be in Buffalo?

 

As a St. Louis Blues fan, it's not stretch to say that Brett Hull saved them from leaving.  Some have said Peyton Manning saved the Colts being in Indy (by being good and thus spurring the building of Lucas Oil stadium)  I am sure there are other examples.  Was this the case with the Kelly/Smith era of Bills teams?  Thanks.

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Saving the franchise? No. Rekindling fan interest and laying a new foundation after the Kay Stephenson era? Absolutely. Once Rich Stadium was built, there really was never a threat of the Bills leaving until the lease agreement expired in 1998 and by that time the team had established dominance. 
 

If anyone saved the Bills in Buffalo, it was the Pegulas when they bought the team. Another owner would have paid the penalty and moved the team. 

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I'm not sure they saved the franchise from moving butt hey sure didn't hurt it any . The Bills for a long period of time had always been talked about as being a team due to the small market size possibly being a team that could move .

 

But thanks to Ralph believing in Buffalo & then making sure that they would have a chance to stay after the passed but ultimately the Pegs came to the rescue and the Bills are home to stay .

 

It did look as though a couple of people interested in purchasing the Bills could have been in talks about moving the team if purchased to Toronto such as Bon Jovi which despite his great music became a hated person when it came to the Bills .

 

Trump was rumored to be in the bidding at 1 point & time but not sure what his thoughts were about keeping the team in B/lo was but he is all abut making money so f he would have purchased the team & moved it to make more money it wouldn't surprise me at all .

 

But our beloved Bills with their new stadium will be in Buffalo for a long long time for all to enjoy & for another generation of Bills Mafians to be on the side line rooting for our favorite team ... GO BILLS !! 

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Bill Polian helped rekindle mass interest in the Bills and then he did the same for Indy. Kelly - Manning. Smith - Freeney. Harrison - Reed. Faulk - Thomas. Draft good players, retain them. This is what all good franchises do. 

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19 minutes ago, Dr.Sack said:

Bill Polian helped rekindle mass interest in the Bills and then he did the same for Indy. Kelly - Manning. Smith - Freeney. Harrison - Reed. Faulk - Thomas. Draft good players, retain them. This is what all good franchises do. 

same mantra Mr. Bean is using today!

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Zero, I like you as an unapologetic KC fan.  All good, but why?  My dad is 92 and still kicking.  If you don’t know a

close friend of Van Miller and Mr. Felser. My dad worked the Buffalo News for 44 years and so do I on college in 87-90.  
 

We’ve been fans since Lookie here comes cookie, Kemp, Fergie, OJ, the electric company, and so on.  
 

we didn’t become fans when Kelly came!  We were here all along.  You KC GUYS IF YOH WANT TO PICK IN A TEAM SUCJEF

AFYER SEASON 4 and we’re Absent until Montana.

 

show respect of you’re coming to another board.  I respect you’re team.  I think you’ll be in it even without hill.  Do t

crap on our brother.  Otherwise just go away.

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2 minutes ago, machine gun kelly said:

Zero, I like you as an unapologetic KC fan.  All good, but why?  My dad is 92 and still kicking.  If you don’t know a

close friend of Van Miller and Mr. Felser. My dad worked the Buffalo News for 44 years and so do I on college in 87-90.  
 

We’ve been fans since Lookie here comes cookie, Kemp, Fergie, OJ, the electric company, and so on.  
 

we didn’t become fans when Kelly came!  We were here all along.  You KC GUYS IF YOH WANT TO PICK IN A TEAM SUCJEF

AFYER SEASON 4 and we’re Absent until Montana.

 

show respect of you’re coming to another board.  I respect you’re team.  I think you’ll be in it even without hill.  Do t

crap on our brother.  Otherwise just go away.

Absolutely didn't ask this to be disrespectful or crap on anyone.  I was like 12 years old or so in 1988.  I have no idea what things were like in Buffalo and was jus wondering.

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21 minutes ago, Zerovoltz said:

Absolutely didn't ask this to be disrespectful or crap on anyone.  I was like 12 years old or so in 1988.  I have no idea what things were like in Buffalo and was jus wondering.

That's totally fine for asking a very honest question. 

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1 hour ago, Zerovoltz said:

I have seen bits here and there about how moribund the franchise was, especially after OJ was finished.

Lol.  Our moribund franchise is 27-24-1 vs Chiefs all time.  Let’s not lose sight that your franchise actually relocated already from Dallas. 

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3 minutes ago, freddyjj said:

Lol.  Our moribund franchise is 27-24-1 vs Chiefs all time.  Let’s not lose sight that your franchise actually relocated already from Dallas. 

If I was talking about KC from 74 to 89, I would use the word moribund.  I didn't mean it as disrespect, but as a description of the on field fortunes of your team in the years after OJ and before Kelly etc.  Should I have instead said, was the franchise ever in danger of moving during it's golden age of 79-87?  I'm just wondering about that era and how things were there.

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9 minutes ago, Zerovoltz said:

If I was talking about KC from 74 to 89, I would use the word moribund.  I didn't mean it as disrespect, but as a description of the on field fortunes of your team in the years after OJ and before Kelly etc.  Should I have instead said, was the franchise ever in danger of moving during it's golden age of 79-87?  I'm just wondering about that era and how things were there.

No there was no threat of them leaving post OJ and pre Kelly.  The current stadium opened in 1973 and had a 25 year lease. 
 

The only real risk was when Ralph Wilson died and team went up for sale in 2014. 

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Actually, the success of the Flutie-led Bills of the late 90’s was probably more of factor in keeping the Bills in WNY. 
 

I don’t recall all the details, but I believe the renewed interest, increased attendance, enthusiasm, etc was integral to funding for the necessary stadium renovations and extended lease. 
Anyone  remember just how that went down? 

Edited by SoMAn
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Ralph Wilson saved the franchise. For some reason, he actually turned over football decisions to a football guy (Bill Polian), instead of a friend.

 

Ralph almost killed the Bills in Buffalo and then saved them.  More than once.

 

 

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Terry and Kim Pegula saved the Bills from leaving when the team was up for sale in 2014. This sounds like a bad joke, but the other two highest bidders were Bon Jovi, who wanted to move the team to Toronto (and got caught lying about it), and Donald Trump, who I’m sure would have tried to maximize profits by relocating the team.

 

Before that, no danger of the Bills ever leaving - loyal fans, relatively low stadium costs, 90 year old owner who built the team from scratch and never wanted them to leave.

 

Fair question and anybody overreacting needs to chill out.

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27 minutes ago, Mango said:

There’s nothing disrespectful or combative about this post. Unclutch your pearls guys. 
 

Good offseason topic.

 

Agreed, I didn't even realize the opening post was from a non-Bills fan.  All good and some excellent responses.

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2 hours ago, machine gun kelly said:

Zero, I like you as an unapologetic KC fan.  All good, but why?  My dad is 92 and still kicking.  If you don’t know a

close friend of Van Miller and Mr. Felser. My dad worked the Buffalo News for 44 years and so do I on college in 87-90.  
 

We’ve been fans since Lookie here comes cookie, Kemp, Fergie, OJ, the electric company, and so on.  
 

we didn’t become fans when Kelly came!  We were here all along.  You KC GUYS IF YOH WANT TO PICK IN A TEAM SUCJEF

AFYER SEASON 4 and we’re Absent until Montana.

 

show respect of you’re coming to another board.  I respect you’re team.  I think you’ll be in it even without hill.  Do t

crap on our brother.  Otherwise just go away.

 

 

Really?? You don’t like the thread …. Leave it and go to another.  

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32 minutes ago, Albany,n.y. said:

Since they both came more than a decade before the end of the original stadium lease, they did not save the Bills.  

 

If you think a new owner (not the Pegula's) wouldn't have broke that lease promptly to move the Bills I think you are a bit naive.

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3 hours ago, Zerovoltz said:

I am not from Buffalo and I only started really paying attention to football around 88-89 or so, just as the Bills were becoming a great team.  I have seen bits here and there about how moribund the franchise was, especially after OJ was finished.  As an outsider and someone not from there, was there ever a time when it was in doubt that the Bills would always be in Buffalo?

 

As a St. Louis Blues fan, it's not stretch to say that Brett Hull saved them from leaving.  Some have said Peyton Manning saved the Colts being in Indy (by being good and thus spurring the building of Lucas Oil stadium)  I am sure there are other examples.  Was this the case with the Kelly/Smith era of Bills teams?  Thanks.

   I think that Ralph was just a weird guy who liked “ Yes men” who didn’t challenge him and deferred to him ( or at least made Ralph feel they were)

   I started watching when Chuck Knox was coach and he was a capable coach but he didn’t get on with Ralph or the front office and wasn’t resigned.

    Then we had the stooge show until Marv came in….. at roughly the same time as Bruce and Kelly. Marv was nothing if not affable and Wilson liked him as did the players. All the stars came together during that time between players, coaches and GM . To me, it was the exception to who we usually were . Wilson caught lightning in a bottle and road it out.

     Then we were back to the same old same old. I guess an argument can be made that Donahoe was a competent hire that broke with that mold. At least it seemed at the time but then Marv as the GM…..Jerkron…..🤢🤢🤢

     My best explained is it was just a fortuitous aberration.

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