ORCHARD PARK – In the wake of firing former General Manager Doug Whaley on Sunday, Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula promised that he’d use every resource available to make his team better. Monday, he made good on that promise by announcing that the Buffalo media will lead the search for the team’s next GM.
The GM search will be headed up by a newly formed coalition consisting of media members from The Buffalo News, Democrat & Chronicle and Buffalo Rumblings, among others, dubbed the Buffalo United Media Survey.
Though Pegula declined to expound on the specific areas in which Whaley had failed, Monday’s announcement carried heavy implications that his embattled relationship with the media was largely to blame.
"As we all know, one bad press conference is the difference between a middle-of-the-pack team and a hysterically dysfunctional laughingstock," Pegula said. "You look at all of the best teams around the league, and what do they have in common? Their front offices are in lockstep with the media. Priority number one is getting our journalists what they need to do their jobs. We’re addressing that."
Effective immediately, all new GM candidates will undergo review by the newly minted editorial board, who will evaluate all personnel decisions using a cutting edge metric termed Buildability of Storylines (or BS Index). The metric factors in key performance indicators such as controversy generation, spin potential, interview compliance, radio ratings +/-, name pronounceability, social media activity and SBPS, or sound bites per sentence.
Incorporating media members into the front office chain of command not only ensures that they can do their critically important work, but also streamlines inefficiencies of the traditional journalistic methodology of announce/question/assume/connect/conclude/inflame/undermine.
Under the new chain-of-command, Pegula explained, Buffalo media members will no longer have to choose between being first and being right, a burdensome cross they’ve had to bear for years.
"All this time, we’ve been making personnel decisions without even so much us as a thought as to what it would mean for the media. That’s a wrong we have to right. My only regret that it’s taken this long. Obviously, we’re not perfect. All we can do is try to get better," explained a contrite Pegula, holding back tears.
Pegula also announced a new process for player performance evaluations on the football side, led by new Scouting Director Chris Trapasso. Moving forward, players will no longer be evaluated through the typical means of college game tape and in-person interviews, but by a single hand-timed three-cone drill held inside of Trapasso’s office, met by a fateful thumbs up or thumbs down.
Also, Trapasso will place a strong emphasis on the age of prospects. Any potential draftee who's already 23 years old will likely not be considered as a pick.
The organizational restructure will take effect immediately as the Bills conduct the search for their eighth GM since 1999.