Rumors Link George Gillett To The Buffalo Bills

For those keen on drawing conclusions from some sparse facts and leaps of faith, this story is for you.

The local website Buffalo Rising reported on Sunday that multi-millionaire George Gillett was in town and tailgating before and after the Buffalo Bills' home win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Gillett was with Jim Kelly and his family, according to the report, and speculation about Buffalo's ownership has been rampant ever since.

It's noteworthy that Gillett was with Kelly's group of tailgaters because of something his nephew, Chad Kelly, tweeted on Friday night before deleting his Twitter account: "All bills fans and what not next year might be a new year new season an[d] new ....... fill that in you got it."

While many Bills fans began speculating he meant a new owner, Kelly tried to put that rumor to bed by saying, "the bills news has nothing to do with a owner.... " Kelly deleted his twitter account shortly thereafter, further fueling the speculation.

Tim Graham of the Buffalo News - during his normal spot on WGR 550 Monday mornings - said this week that Gillett has previously expressed interest in buying the Bills four years ago.

"George Gillett and his interest in the Bills goes back at least four years," said Graham. "He still owned 80 percent of the Montreal Canadiens at that time in 2007. Gillett was in the process of selling, and (I was told) once he was clear of the Canadiens, he would be in a position to be able to get the Bills once that situation arises, that's paraphrasing for when Ralph Wilson dies."

Graham also notes that while the former billionaire is still wealthy, he would not be able to purchase the team outright and would have to be part of an ownership group.

To Bills fans' credit, one of them asked Roger Goodell about Gillett at a fan forum at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. Goodell didn't bite.

"I don't know. You're gonna have to ask George Gillett that question," responded Goodell. "George Gillett has been a great sports owner in other leagues as you probably know. He loves the NFL and would love to be involved, but I do not know about specifically about any of his plans. We want to see the Bills continue to be successful here in Western New York, so that's what we're focused on."

Flying in the face of Goodell's answer are reports from Gillett's tailgate. Again, these are not the most reliable of sources so please take this with a grain of salt.

"One of the sources indicated that Gillett referenced meeting Roger Goodell while he was in town," according to the Buffalo Rising report.

Perhaps Goodell and Gillett met. Perhaps they didn't. Perhaps he has interest. Perhaps he doesn't. One thing that is sure is that Gillett's checkered history with sports teams leaves a lot to be desired in an owner.

Graham also appeared on Buffalo Bills Now! with Sal Capaccio Tuesday night to discuss the story.

"The report seems to be a lot of speculation as to whether he was in town or not, or who he met with, or why he was there."

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