A few years ago I took a look at Ralph Wilson’s record. Upon further review I remain deeply frustrated and fatalistic. I conclude there is no reasonable expectation of anything good until new ownership takes over. This year might be “new territory” for Gailey but it is not for Ralph.
There is an adage always used in baseball that any player over the course of a season becomes the back of his baseball card, In other words your career stats are who you are and cannot be outperformed over any reasonable period of time. I believe this adage can also be applied to Ralph Wilson’s football team. So here is an updated look at H of F owner, Ralph Wilson.
In his 53 seasons as the owner, the Bills have a record of 380 wins, 434 losses and 8 ties. That is a win percentage of 46.23%. The Bills have been to the playoffs 20 times in 52 years or less than 40% of the time. 4 of the 20 playoff teams were in the old AFL. The team has had 5 or less wins (a rough equivalent of non competitive) 16 times or 30% of the time. He has had 15 head coaches and 4 have a winning percentage over .500. Marv Levy (1986-1997) has 123 wins or 32.40% of all the franchise wins while coaching 24.45% of the team’s games. Bill Polian (1986-1993) was the GM during most of Levy’s tenure. The Bills’ record while Levy and Polian were together was 91 wins and 52 losses or a win percentage of 63.64%. In their 8 seasons together they went to the playoffs 6 times. Three other coaches have winning percentages over .500 – Lou Saban, Chuck Knox and Wade Phillips.
What have you done for us lately? In the 21st century the Bill have won 70 and lost 111 for a win percentage of 38.67%. There have been no playoff appearances and 5 head coaches (1 interim). The Bills are one of 15 NFL teams to have never won a Super Bowl. A quick look at Ralph’s current leaders show a record of 12 and 25 with 14 losses by 2 touchdowns or more, 2 and 12 in the conference and no wins against the Jets.
Ralph paid $25,000 for the franchise in 1960. The latest estimate by Forbes of the value of the Bills is $805,000,000, 29th in the NFL.