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The Buffalo Bills have had an incredibly storied history

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:32 am    Post subject: The Buffalo Bills have had an incredibly storied history Reply with quote

since they began playing professional football in 1960. From four consecutive Super Bowl appearances (and their subsequent infamous losses)..."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections NewsNotesOpinionAnalysisDiscussionPodcastNFL DraftSalary CapBills HistoryWhat new Buffalo Bills fans need to know: team founder/owner Ralph Wilson Red Ed Oliver Jersey , Jr.New,15commentsESTShareTweetShareShareWhat new Buffalo Bills fans need to know: team founder/owner Ralph Wilson, Jr.The Buffalo Bills have had an incredibly storied history since they began playing professional football in 1960. From four consecutive Super Bowl appearances (and their subsequent infamous losses) in the early 90s to a playoff drought that spanned over an achingly-long 17 years, the Bills and their fans have had their share of heartache. However, they’ve also experienced the joy of sending multiple players and even a coach to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the pride of having one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history and the feeling of unity watching their fans and the City of Buffalo come together to raise money for charities and support players in need. When it comes right down to it, though, none of these things would have been possible without the leap of faith from one man: Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Born in 1918 in Detroit, Wilson became a successful businessman after taking over his father’s insurance company and investing in mines and factories around Michigan. Combining his excellent business acumen with his ever-growing passion for sports, Wilson eventually became a minority owner of the NFL’s Detroit Lions. In 1959, he took his ownership in American football a step further when he chose to begin an AFL franchise in Buffalo, New York (after Miami turned him down, it should be noted). In 1966, Wilson was one of the instrumental pieces behind the AFL-NFL merger and many believe the National Football League would not exist as it does today if he hadn’t stepped in. The financially stable owner of the Buffalo Bills loaned money to the AFL’s Oakland Raiders and Billy Sullivan, then owner of the Boston Patriots (they became the New England Patriots after the merger), which would aid in keeping those franchises afloat. Many people, but especially Bills fans, have differing opinions of Wilson as an owner. He had been dubbed as cheap plenty of times throughout the years and confidence in him opening up his pockets to ensure the Bills would retain or even pursue quality players was always exceedingly low. Former Bills running back and current Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson gave his own account to Tim Graham, then of The Buffalo News, of Wilson’s frugality. He recalled that during his contract negotiations with the team, his agent mentioned that Simpson could help make the Bills a championship contender. Wilson countered by rhetorically asking, “What good would a championship do me? All that means is everybody wants a raise.”Questions regarding Wilson’s financially conservative antics aside, there’s no argument that he was a strong opponent of relocating already existing NFL teams. In February of 1996, Wilson and Dan Rooney Andre Reed Jersey Stitched , then owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, were the only two “no votes” on the relocation of the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore. In fact, the Bills’ founder never once voted for a franchise to move. Full credit also must be given to Ralph Wilson, Jr. for finding ways to keep the Bills in Buffalo—a small market in comparison to places like Philadelphia and Dallas—and fans have done just that by developing slogans such as “In Ralph We Trust” and taking pictures with the statue of his likeness that stands outside of the stadium.On January 31, 2009, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, where he is celebrated for his team having won two AFL Championships and four consecutive AFC Championships. In 2011, he and his wife, Mary Wilson, donated $2.5 million to the Hall of Fame for the construction of a football research and preservation center, which was named after him upon it’s completion. On March 25, 2014, at the age of 95, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. passed away at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. Though fans were deeply saddened after the news of his death spread, they were also concerned that the Bills would be relocated once a new owner purchased the team. Mary Wilson, with an eye toward the legacy of her late husband, ultimately sold the Bills in 2014 to current owners Terry and Kim Pegula. The Pegulas have always maintained their desire to keep the team in Buffalo, allowing Wilson’s wishes to live on.For what would have been Wilson’s 100th birthday in October of last year,The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation donated $100 million each to the communities of Southeast Michigan and Western New York to improve waterfront parks and related trail systems in those areas. It seems that Wilson has left behind a legacy in the NFL that is arguably unmatched and he touched the lives of many of the league’s owners, players and staff members. He will be remembered throughout history as the founder of the Buffalo Bills, as a great philanthropist, and as a driving force in helping to create the NFL as we know it today. Any new Buffalo Bills fan would be wise to learn about the man that started it all.Editor’s note: this is the first in an ongoing series of posts with everything new Bills fans need to know about the history of the team. More to come. Terrell Owens won’t attend Hall of Fame inductionTerrell Owens always likes being the center of attention. His decision to skip the induction ceremony for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August will keep him far from the spotlight.Owens was voted into the hall in February after being denied in his first two years of eligibility. His announcement Thursday is unprecedented by an enshrinee.“Hopefully Infant Jaquan Johnson Jersey , the story this summer will remain about those that will be there instead of the one that will not,” said Howard Balzer of SiriusXM Radio, a 15-year voter for the Hall of Fame.In a statement released Thursday by his publicist, Owens said: “While I am incredibly appreciative of this opportunity, I have made the decision to publicly decline my invitation to attend the induction ceremony in Canton.“After visiting Canton earlier this year, I came to the realization that I wish to celebrate what will be one of the most memorable days of my life, elsewhere,” Owens added. “At a later date, I will announce where and when I will celebrate my induction.”The hall confirmed that the former All-Pro receiver informed them he would not be on hand Aug. 4 for the enshrinements.“We are disappointed but will respect Terrell’s decision not to participate in the enshrinement,” Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker said.“While unprecedented, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the nearly 5,000 volunteers and the entire community are committed to celebrating the excellence of the Class of 2018 that will kick off the NFL’s 99th season.“As we do not want to detract from this great honor being enjoyed by the seven other members of the class of 2018 — Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss and Brian Urlacher — their family, friends, and fans, the Pro Football Hall of Fame will have no further comment on the decision made by Terrell Owens.”28<button>View Gallery</button> Gallery:PHOTOS: Dak, Zeke and a bunch of new faces at Dallas Cowboys OTAsMatthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports | Matthew EmmonsOwens entered the league as a third-round pick by San Francisco in 1996 and developed into a star known for some memorable playoff appearances, including his winning 25-yard TD catch to beat Green Bay in 1999; his 177 yards in a comeback win against the Giants in 2003; and his nine catches for 122 yards in the 2004 Super Bowl against New England just seven weeks after breaking his leg.He ranks second to Jerry Rice with 15,934 yards receiving and is third on the all-time touchdowns receiving list with 153.Owens heavily criticized the voting process when he failed to be elected in 2016 and 2017. Among the reasons he fell short were his being considered a divisive teammate and negative presence in the locker room.Still, he received strong consideration for the hall before getting in last February Womens Ed Oliver Jersey , along with Moss, another standout receiver.“I think T.O. actually was disappointed when he got in this year,” said Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News, who presented Owens’ case for induction and has been on the selection committee for 16 years. “I think he was happier when he got snubbed and could play the part of the persecuted victim and moan on every radio talk show that was willing to bring him on about the unfairness of the process.“Maybe he was worried that he would become forgotten after the induction ceremony. This way, he gets his gold jacket, but still will be remembered as the guy who told the hall to go stuff it.”Another Owens supporter in the hall voting, Jarrett Bell of USA Today, has been on the selection committee for 21 years and was “at a loss to understand” why Owens would decline to attend the inductions.But Bell, like Baker, stressed Owens’ absence would not affect the ceremony much.“Think of the other members of the class of 2018,” Bell said. “They deserve their upcoming honor and the celebration. There’s no stain on them because someone doesn’t want to show up.“Think of the players who gave their all to the sport, including many worthy of Hall of Fame consideration, who will never be enshrined. Think of the family members of former players, coaches and officials — many of whom have passed away — pushing for their loved ones to receive special recognition for career accomplishments. Then think of Terrell Owens. In that order.”As perhaps an indicator he might skip the August ceremony, Owens didn’t attend the announcement that he’d been selected to the hall.“All these years Owens wanted to go to the hall and was quite vocal about it,” said Rick Gosselin, a hall voter for 23 years. “Now he doesn’t want to go to the hall? It’s kind of puzzling. … I wonder what all of his new teammates wearing those gold jackets think.”Owens did thank the 49ers, Eagles, Cowboys, Bills and Bengals in his statement and called becoming a Hall of Famer “an honor to be part of such elite company. This honor is something that I will cherish forever.”He just won’t be on hand to see his bust unveiled in August.“But don’t think of even considering it a sad day for the Hall of Fame,” Bell said. “The hall will always be bigger than one person.”18<button>View Gallery</button> Gallery:Dallas Cowboys 2018 NFL ScheduleAP
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