Every six months or so, we have a discussion and poll about the general sentiment pointed toward Buffalo Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon. We have not had one since the March 25 death of team founder and owner Ralph Wilson, and the team has moved toward a sale.
That's where most discussions about Brandon start: the future of the Bills. Which is tricky, because it's an attempt at knowing the unknowable. Brandon was at the forefront of a Ralph Wilson Stadium lease that, in as ironclad terms as possible, will keep the Bills in Buffalo for at least another six years, perhaps another nine. He was a driving force behind the $130 million renovations ongoing in Orchard Park, and also the suspension of the Toronto Series.
In terms of the sale, we know very little about Brandon's involvement. He was spotted at a dinner with Tom Golisano this spring, and Golisano, of course, has since confirmed his interest in buying the team. But there is a law firm and an investment bank handling the sale process for the team, and a trust, not Brandon, will be making the final sale decision. In that sense, Brandon is in wait and see mode like the rest of us. In the meantime, he's also part of a New Stadium Working Group that is preparing for the possibility of a new owner wanting to build a new stadium in the region.
On the field, Brandon oversees GM Doug Whaley (85 percent approval in mid-May) and head coach Doug Marrone (78 percent approval last week). We all know what has gone on with the Bills this offseason, because we've discussed it ad nauseam, and those events served as the basis for the relatively high approval rates for the football men.
The thrust of this discussion and poll, then, should be twofold: how do you feel about the tangible things that we know Brandon has been involved with, and how do you feel about the future of the team as the sale process begins in earnest?