This may be the beginning of the golden era in Buffalo sports history. In 30 years we could be walking into our beautiful new stadium that sits lakeside for all the world to see. Fans will take their time getting to their seats as they look around the incredibly stunning hallways that display timeline billboards you see in places like Pittsburgh, Dallas, and New England. These timelines will capture the history of the Buffalo Bills in a way Mr. Wilson would be proud of. Once you arrive at your seat you are happy to see that the dome will be open for the game and you will need your sunglasses.
If you have dared to believe these fantasies are possible then you are not alone. It seems as though Terry and Kim Pegula have only just started to make our dreams come true. They may have even saved the sanity of the city by keeping the Bills in Buffalo, but no one may be able to save the NFL’s commissioner Roger Goodell. As the facts continue to surface in regards to the case involving Ray Rice, the commissioner looks worse than Brian Cox coming down the tunnel with two birds on his fingers (imagine that in the twitter/Facebook age!) back when every Bills fan hated the Dolphin’s and understood why. Seriously though Mr. Commissioner who made over 44 million dollars last year alone, we need to be clear that you and all of your infinite power:
  • Didn’t know about the video even though a law enforcement represented has a taped recording of a confirmed delivery of the video to your agency over four months ago…..and you didn’t see it.
  • Thought that a two game suspension was appropriate for Rice…..even after you saw it.
  • Picked specific reporters and news outlets to paint an image of a person who may have deserved what she got while trying to convince the public that information would service explaining the situation and the aftermath…..even after you saw it.
  • Went on the television station you wanted with the reporter who you picked and tried to convince the world that you didn’t know about what had really happened in that elevator. After you saw it. Sad day man. Sad day.
Of course all of this comes one day after all of my prayers had been answered. One day after my city came to life and began to believe that things are going to be different, but they are going to be different in Buffalo. Not Toronto. Not Los Angeles. Here. I am sorry for what happened to that young lady in that elevator and the effects that it will have on the rest of her life. Too bad it’s the same old NFL when it comes to being honest with anyone including itself. The league that stands tall on its reputation of toughness and brotherhood has to finally answer some tough questions about the violence that surrounds the game.
Crazy time to be a fan as well. Investing in season tickets, the NFL ticket, fantasy football, fan duel, Madden, and The Red Zone Channel can be a hard enough decision for most people to make. Imagine what the Pegula’s must be thinking about after putting down 1.4 billion dollars to become part of one of the oldest and sometimes shadiest league’s on the planet. This is an organization that basically took Sunday’s away from God (trust that I went to 4:30 mass on Saturday instead). A shield that is most likely going to lose its most powerful figure, and more importantly earner in Goodell. Some might say he can be easily replaced. Others would argue that few if any could do it better. Either way, Goodell needs to go and take anyone and everyone that knew about this with him. How could this administration continue to run a league that already has a serious problem with violence off the playing field?
Last year it was a murderer in New England. Now it is a wife beater in Baltimore. When will enough be enough? When will money stop determining how much trouble you can get out of? Hopefully the public outcry will seal the commissioner’s fate and force him to step down from his position, but we all know money talks in the NFL. The Pegula’s proved that when they made their record breaking deal with Mary Wilson and the Trust. However, I have to wonder what Mr. Wilson would have had to say about the current state of affairs in the NFL. I wonder if he would be leading the charge with other small market owners to have the commissioner out on the street. We will never know how he felt about it, but it’s a mathematical certainty that he would be very excited about facing the Dolphin’s after finally winning one in the windy city. Mr. Wilson won’t be able to witness or watch the home opener for the first time in the history of the franchise come Sunday. Terry and Kim Pegula haven’t officially taken control of the team yet, but this game will obviously be remembered as the game the Wilson family passed the torch to the new owners. It is hard to believe that two people can buy a sports team and change the spirits of a city basically overnight. It’s even harder to believe that the commissioner of the league they just joined tarnished the legacy of respect the NFL represents by pretending this vicious act of violence wasn’t a big deal.