I was listening to the radio today and they were talking about Ralph Wilson. The hosts obviously were against Ralph which most of the fans agreed with.
But a few fans were in support of Ralph. Whenever I hear the pro-Ralph fans talk about him they say we should be thankful to him that he is still keeping the Bills in Buffalo. He is putting Buffalo on the map and so on. I find it wrong in so many different levels.
One very obvious fact why Ralph is keeping the bills in Buffalo is for some reason skipped by everyone even by the show hosts. Everyone either points out that he is loyal to Buffalo or is unhappy because he cant move the team somewhere else to make more money. But in my opinion, the only reason why he hasnt moved yet is because he is 92. Ralph has been retired mentally for a long time. He cant compete anymore. He just owns the team physically but I dont think he has the energy to participate mentally.
Forget the amount of hassle that is required to move a team, the psychological stress that will be involved, the amount of media coverage involved especially since he would be moving to a large market, the legal hoops he and his lawyers will have to jump through and so on.
Even if he does all that, he will end up in a city which is most likely many larger than buffalo in size (for more money obviously). With that will come the immense pressure of competing continuously and hunger for constant success.
Say he moves to LA. Do you think the fans there will be "grateful" if he puts out a mediocre product. The fans in LA or Toronto will eat him alive. They wont have time or loyalty for a mediocre product. What will he do then? Threaten them that he will move out? They dont care. NFL needs big market. The big market doesnt need NFL. He will have to constantly participate in the team decisions. Constant pressure to put out a good product not just on the field but in the stadium, in the seats, everywhere. He is at the age now where he just cant handle all this.
In Buffalo he faces no such pressure. Heck, he doesnt even live in Buffalo. He lives in Detroit. As soon as someone mentions that we should stop going to Bills games because they suck, the threats of the team moving out due to dwindling audience starts. The fans in buffalo are forever forced to be "grateful" and thankful to Ralph and to the team to exist here. In return, the team gets to make money, doesnt need to compete and just thrive on selling this perpetual hope to the fans. Ralph is very comfortable with that at this age.
That's the reason why the Bills are in Buffalo. They dont need to compete to make money. They know the fans cant put pressure coz they can put the pressure back on the fans. Buffalo is a retirement home as well as retirement nest egg for Ralph. Why would he move?
That brings me to the other argument. He is putting Buffalo on the country's map. It is true. A place is recognized by the things it is known for. Buffalo is known for its wings, Niagara Falls (which is a city by itself) and the bills. The only time Buffalo is mentioned in national media is because of the bills and not because of any famous person or it's arts scene. But what kind of image of Buffalo are the bills creating.
Because of Ralph's retired mentality, the bills dont compete. They are perceived to be a dysfunctional organization in a depressing region (rust belt). That is the image that gets pounded of Buffalo around the country. We all know Buffalo along with Cleveland, Detroit and Pittsburgh are on the downturn for a few decades now. Do we need to be reminded of that through national media constantly?
So the only way Ralph is putting buffalo on the map is by creating a depressing aura around the region. Does this region need that?