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Ralph Wilson is not dead

 There is a rumor that has been circulating on the net and word of mouth that Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson died last night.

It is not true.

The 90-year old Hall of Famer is still alive and the Bills confirmed this with a Twitter post saying "There is absolutely no truth to the internet rumor referencing Ralph Wilson’s health."

If Wilson were to have passed away last night, it would leave the future of football in Buffalo in question. If Wilson cares about keeping football in Buffalo, it is time that he sells the team or sets something up where nobody can purchase the team from his family if they plan on moving the team out of Western New York.

Gabor Deutsch
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Ummm, I think it would be on TV or Radio if he died. Any Buffalo station would have that story quicker then the internet.
bud prevost
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Sorry Brian, but the Buffalo part of the Bills franchise is doomed. Toronto(ughh!) or LA or San Antonio...all places that want an NFL franchise. (LA wants one, they just don't know it) LOL I hope and pray I am wrong, but I don't think I am
Gabor Deutsch
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I think the toronto games are just a way for Mr. Wilson to keep the Bill's in Buffalo. I think mr. Wilson is so dedicated that he would rather lose money and keep the team away from his "predicessors" till his passing. I dont think people realize how loyal and generous Mr. Wilson is to the community (orchard park) and real football fans. The numbers , however, have not added up to keep the team good since the last superbowl loss.
Russ Stresing
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Brian, Let's hope your professional sports advice is better than your personal career decisions. Budd, If Toronto could support an NFL franchise, they'd be doing so now. The fact is that one of the richest media markets in the world pours more money into the USC and UCLA franchises than they ever did into professional football. Los Angeles would have a team if they wanted one. If you don't have at least that much of a clue, it pretty much disqualifies you from passing judgment on anything.
John Roach
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Russ, Are you saying your personal career choices have been better than Brian's?
Russ Stresing
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John, Hold your chin up. You got a little schmutz on your bib.
John Roach
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Russ, You seem a bit nasty again and once again ducked the question, why? You do have a career or a job, right?
Russ Stresing
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Mr. Roach, Sorry if I startled you. If Toronto and/or Los Angeles really wanted an NFL franchise, both/either municipality(ies) would have had one.
John Roach
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Russ, There, much nicer. You may or not be right about LA, but is the NFL holding Toronto back with other teams being too close for the market share?
Daniel Jones
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The Bills aren't moving to Toronto, they have done this before (attempted to create a fan base) with success with the Rochester and Syracuse markets. Although they never played any games in either city they were able to build a following in both areas. As to whether that success can be re-created in Toronto (and really all of South-eastern Ontario) remains to be seen. I can say that I know quite a few Canadians and most of them just aren't interested in football.
bud prevost
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Far be it from me to argue with someone as all-knowing as you. When does my disqualification begin? Do I need to come to you for re-instatement? Damn, as you can see by the time this was posted, I'm having trouble sleeping! I didn't no "cluelessness" was a sign of insomnia. Now that you helped me figure that out, perhaps I can stop being a pessimist(realist), and I can rest assured that Russ is on the job! Thank you for your advice Dr. Nodegree. I was curious when you would spew some of your BS my way. Sincerely, Clueless buddyholly4863
Robert Harding
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There are a few things people should realize here: (1) The Bills could move to Toronto. Rogers has expressed an interest in the franchise, which is part of the reason why the Bills are playing games in Toronto. (Note: The other reason is because Roger Goodell wants to play games in other countries.) The thing standing in Rogers' way is that corporations can't fully own NFL franchises. They need an individual owner to own at least 30 percent of the team. That's the only obstacle. Some say that one of the members of the Rogers family would be that person. Others aren't so sure. (2) Los Angeles will never get an NFL team unless they can find a way to build a new stadium. That is what has kept a team out of there since the Raiders and Rams left. Every proposal that comes up in Los Angeles includes public financing of the stadium, which voters are opposed to out there. Unless you can get past that obstacle, which is unlikely, you won't see a team in Los Angeles. (3) A radio host from the Fan 590 in Toronto was on WGR 550 the other day. He said that Canadians are actually big football fans. But that doesn't translate into those people being Bills fans. What he said was that there were a lot of Steelers fans, Dolphins fans, etc. Just look at the games in London. They have football fans over there, but they are fans of all sorts of teams. (4) The Bills' appeal in Toronto is different than what they are doing in, say, the Rochester market. Rochester isn't big enough for an NFL franchise. Rochester is a minor league town. But they have great locations for a training camp and they have a lot of Bills fans. It only made sense to appeal to that market. It's just like the Sabres and Southern Ontario. It only makes sense to appeal to that group when they are a lot closer to Buffalo than Toronto, Ottawa or Montreal. (5) The NFL is interested in having a team in another country. Toronto would be an obvious fit. Keep in mind that the NBA did this in the 1990s. They decided to go north of the border and set up franchises in Toronto and Vancouver. The Toronto franchise worked out, but Vancouver didn't. The Grizzlies ended up moving to Memphis after only a few years in Canada. If the NFL is going to have a team in another country, Toronto would be the most reasonable fit. I hope that it doesn't happen as a result of the Bills moving there, but I think it could happen as part of the NFL's plans to have a foreign-based team. Plus, Toronto isn't a big risk. It's a big city that is in close proximity to the United States. It is a safe choice for an NFL team abroad. Having a team in London might not be feasible. A Toronto-based team would have success. Again, I just hope it doesn't come at Buffalo's expense.
John Roach
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Robert, I am not a big football fan, but do enjoy the Bills. I didn't know about the 30% ownership rule, thanks for leting us know. Did you get Russ's OK to have an opinion? It seems that Brain and Bud have to. Look out, he might call you names also.
bud prevost
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Thanks for the post. It's nice to share thoughts and get real feedback...not venom. (I'm sorry, forgot to check with Dr Russ if I was re-instated) LMAO
Robert Harding
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John, The 30 percent rule is in place to avoid corporations from having full control over teams. You need a lot of money to own a professional sports team, especially in the NFL. Even with corporations owning the maximum share they can of a team, you would still need millions from an individual who would be willing to invest that kind of money. And to answer your question, I don't need Russ's okay to express my opinions here. Neither do you. I used to frequent The Batavian, but stopped once these kinds of petty, schoolgirl fights started becoming common here. And you, Mr. Roach, have been at the center of most of them. I don't run the show here, but as someone who utilizes the Internet a lot to communicate, I think you aren't doing yourself any favors when you come here merely to provoke Russ. And yes, I have read what he has said to you in the past what you have said to him. Does he start things some of the time? Sure. But guess who starts it most of the time? You do. So Mr. Roach, I think the first part of your comment directed at me was something I would like to see more of from you. You could contribute more things like that without including the second part of your comment, which was an attempt just to further another war between yourself and Russ. Based on what I know about you Mr. Roach, you are an adult. My suggestion would be that you should start acting like one. This is an Internet forum and you are attaching your name with the things you say. I haven't met you face-to-face and I already have a negative perception of you. What's that tell you?
Robert Harding
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Just to clarify: The NFL requires one individual to own at least 30 percent of the team. I may have implied that it was to prevent corporations from owning a full stake in the team. While that's true (to an extent), it's more of a general rule that one person needs to have a 30 percent stake in the team. That rule doesn't apply just to corporations. That rules applies to everyone.
John Roach
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Isn't Green Bay 100% publicaly owned?
Robert Harding
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Yes, the Packers are a publicly-owned company. They are the only one of its kind in pro sports. They were grandfathered in when the 30 percent rule went into effect. Since the Packers have always been a publicly-owned company, it would have been hard for the league to mandate that they change their ways. Plus, it would have upset the 100,000-plus people that own shares in the Packers.
John Roach
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Robert, Can Buffalo ask to be allowed to become publicaly owned, or has that issue already been brought up and denied by the NFL?
Robert Harding
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John, No, they can't (unfortunately). The NFL now has a rule in place that limits the number of owners to 32 for an NFL team. That is the maximum number of owners you can have. I don't think they had the Green Bay Packers in mind when they did that (maybe they did) but I also think that families that own teams might have played a role in that decision-making too. When the Packers were grandfathered in, the rule was set that not only were you limited to a certain number of owners (32 is still a lot of owners), but one individual was required to own at least 30 percent of the team. The Packers were grandfathered in because it simply would be bad PR for arguably the league's most historic and recognized team. When you have over 100,000 people who own at least one share in the Packers, that's a large group to go after. The league doesn't allow teams to do what the Packers are doing now. The only reason the Packers are allowed to do it is because they have been doing it for almost a century now. But because of the rules the NFL has created in recent years, you won't see a team like the Packers ever again.
John Roach
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While I do not support government involvement in sports, do any cities own any major league teams (NBA, NFL or NHL)?
bud prevost
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At this time...no. But, with the govt bailing out every Tom Dick and Harry out there, it may be only a matter of time. Rumor is, Obama wants to own an NBA team
Robert Harding
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John, No, they don't. But municipalities do own stadiums (Erie County stakes claim to Ralph Wilson Stadium). That's the only case in pro sports, but I think it might be the only case in the NFL. Bud, The Obama-NBA insinuation has, at the very least, a hint of racism. The government would never bail out a sports franchise. The professional sports leagues have their own methods of providing "bailouts" to their teams. It doesn't involve taxpayer dollars. It involves those leagues (or teams) taking out loans and then repaying those loans once they are in a sound financial position again.
bud prevost
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Mr. Harding- you read into whatever you think you reading into! LOL. I was referring to the President's affection for the game. Well chronicled(high school,filled out brackets,practiced with UNC recently)that he loves the game. I will take the high road, and not retaliate. You obviously do not know me, so I can understand why MAYBE that popped in your mind. I am not racist. The only people I don't care for are morons,politicians, and lawyers. I DO have a prejudice against each group, and am not afraid to admit it. Morons have to prove they are not THAT stupid Politicians have to prove they TRULY care for their constituents and not the position Lawyers,well lawyers....you have to call a bottom feeding carp a carp! BTW, I don't feel the government has ANY place to bail out any business in the USA. That is what free enterprise and capitalism is all about..RISK and REWARD. Or in the case of many of our financial institutions..DUMB RISK, FAILURE FROM GREED AND STUPIDITY, Then REWARD.
Noah Seward
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Is Ryan Wilson still alive?!
Robert Harding
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Bud, I am glad you made clear your previous statement. I will take back my accusation that what you said was racist. Again, thanks for clearing that up. I know a few lawyers. Most lawyers aren't hot shots like you see on TV or in the movies. Most lawyers come from small firms with only a few staffers and they work long hours. Lawyers tend to get stereotyped because of a few of the celebrity lawyers out there who have big egos and big wallets. Keep in mind Bud that it was the Bush administration who decided to bail out the banks before any bailouts were afforded to anyone else. TARP (as it is known) is something that I am very much against. I disagree that it's not government's business to bail out any business. I do agree that we shouldn't have government-run business, but I do think that giving businesses some life will help all of us in the long run. The economic stimulus package isn't a bailout. It's an investment in our country.
Howard B. Owens
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To be clear, TARP wouldn't have passed without Nancy Pelosi pushing just as hard as Bush for it. TARP was a completely bi-partisan screw up.
bud prevost
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Amen to that. We finally get consenus on something, and it turns out a clustermess of epic proportions. As far as my opinions on lawyers- they come from first hand experience in dealing with them. Some of them may even be reading this as we speak. I'll refrain from names. Overall, in my 45 years of life, I can honestly say I have never dealt with a lawyer in a professional circumstance and been pleased with the outcome. I know some personally who are great guys. I just try to keep friendships and business seperate. This way I don't have to see them in their true habitat. The system is set up so you HAVE to be represented for virtually everything. And at $200+ an hour, perhaps some of my contempt comes from there. I don't begrudge anyone the career they have chosen.
Robert Harding
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Howard, You can say what you want, but TARP wouldn't have passed the House and Senate unless it was the way Bush wanted it. The last thing either house wanted was for the perception to develop that they didn't care about the banks. They felt they had to do something and this is what they came up with. I don't credit or blame TARP on Congress just as I don't credit Congress with the economic stimulus package. Neither of those things were their ideas. They just came up with their side of the deal so that it would be approved in their branch and also would be approved by the president.
Howard B. Owens
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So Pelosi was Bush's poodle? What good is an opposition party if they won't oppose an obviously bad idea? Pelosi jumped on board without hesitation and most Democrats fell right in line. There is no way Pelosi gets off the hook on this, unless you want to say she has no spine. It's a terrible indictment of the Democrats if they went along with TARP only because they thought they had no choice and couldn't show some leadership. I don't blame the Democrats. Or the Republicans. I blame the plutocracy. The power elite in Washington, which has no partisan name, has no interest in doing what's right for America. They do what is right for themselves and their friends. That includes Bush and Pelosi.
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