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Wilson Stirs Up Owners Meeting
The Business Backs the Bills Committee that was largely responsible for keeping the Bills in Western New York came out with a three step plan for keeping the Bills in Western New York. It includes fixing the sagging economy of the region, as well as keeping the seats filled through aggressive marketing and finding a local investor who can buy the team from the Wilson estate. The two names being thrown out as possible buyers are Jeremy Jacobs and Mark Hamister. Jacobs owns the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Bruins and wants an NFL franchise if it is a sound business deal. Hamister owns the Buffalo Destroyers and has been vocal in leading a group of investors to buy the team at the proper time. Wilson is expected to keep ownership until he passes on, the club will then inevitably go up for sale. Our Take: this is a good first step by a solid group of business leaders. Western New York will need their help in keeping the club once Mr. Wilson passes on.
Mr. Wilson made some waves at the owners meeting this week by suggesting the league higher an outside consultant to deal with the executives of all the clubs, this would diminish the commissioners powers. Paul Tagliabue responded by setting up a committee of four owners, including Wilson, to report on owners concerns. Our Take: Wilson still is upset with Tagliabue over the Patriots game two years ago, and wanted to let him know that he won't rubber stamp everything the commissioner does.
Andre Reed's name has surfaced again, this time in connection with the Denver Broncos. The Broncos want Reed to attend a two day audition for a job with them during one of their mini-camp. They contacted his former agent, no word on if Reed will take them up on their audition offer. Reed's name has also been connected with the Colts. Our Take: Reed will go somewhere for the veteran minimum sometime in June or early July. The betting money is still on the Colts.
Ralph Wilson Stadium will be a little bit greener this year. They will be installing a new artificial turf in June to replace the 10 year old turf that has some seems showing. The new turf called Astro Turf 12-2000 has a better absorption layer and will have the numbers sewn in the turf itself. It should have a softer landing in the cold weather. Our Take: We know the climate in Buffalo isn't conducive to natural grass, so better turf is better than nothing.
The Bills Caravan got rolling last week with stops in Buffalo, Rochester, Canandaigua, Geneva, and Auburn. Our Take: They are doing another nice job with an event that the marketing department should be proud of.
It is all but official now that Jim Kelly will be leaving ESPN. He has talked about spending more time with his family and ESPN has been auditioning his replacement including Michael Irvin. Our Take: Who can blame Kelly for wanting to spend more time with his family.
Bruce Smith was on Up Close this week and again re-iterated his feelings on leaving Buffalo. He called the big three a casualty of war and stated he would like to see a softer cap so veterans like him can retire with their original teams. Our Take: Bruce has said all the right things since leaving Buffalo, a far cry from when he was a Bill.
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