It took Kim and Terry Pegula nine months to decide that they wanted Russ Brandon running both of the pro sports franchises that they own.
Brandon, the long-time Buffalo Bills executive that currently holds the title of team president, now holds the same title with the Buffalo Sabres. The news came down on Monday, as the Sabres announced they had fired previous team president Ted Black and given the role to Brandon, who now holds the title with both the Bills and the Sabres.
There is, perhaps, no non-athletic Buffalo sports figure more misunderstood than Brandon, who has a bad reputation in some segments of the Buffalo sports fan base thanks to a brief tenure as the Bills' general manager in 2008-09. He held that figurehead title in the time between the departure of Marv Levy from that post and late Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. electing to give that job to Buddy Nix, but the majority of the team's personnel decisions in that time frame were made by John Guy, Tom Modrak, and Dick Jauron.
It doesn't take much to sully a reputation, evidently.
In truth, Brandon is a well-respected member of the business community and the driving force behind the Bills' regionalization efforts over the past decade, which helped to keep the team viable and thriving in one of the NFL's smallest media markets. When the Pegulas purchased the Bills last October for $1.4 billion - Brandon was a major player in that process, as well - they kept Brandon on in the same capacity.
I had heard a few weeks ago Bills president Russ Brandon was about to gain more power. Didn't think it would be by adding Sabres presidency.— Tim Graham (@ByTimGraham) July 27, 2015
Source: Pegulas found how operations worked smoothly with Bills, then wondered why Sabres had so many problems. They looked at presidents.— Bucky Gleason (@TBNbucky) July 27, 2015
Now, Brandon will be in charge of the business side of both pro sports teams in Western New York. Between a bevy of talented Bills players, Rex Ryan, and with Jack Eichel spearheading a (hopeful) Sabres resurgence, it's hard to imagine his job being difficult at this point in time.