Buffalo breathes collective sigh of relief: Pegula buys Bills

Dan Almasi, Opinion Editor

The loss of Buffalo Bills founder, owner, patriarch and NFL Hall of Famer Ralph C. Wilson Jr. this past March was a huge loss for the entire city of Buffalo.

Wilson’s death seemed increasingly inevitable after news of health concerns surrounding the Bills’s only owner in team history arose in the early 2000s.

Wilson outlived many people’s expectations and lived what most would consider a very full life, passing away at the age of 95.

Buffalonians knew all the while that Wilson’s passing could mean much more than just the loss of the most important man in the franchise’s history. It could also mean Buffalo losing the franchise altogether.

Wilson’s wife and daughters made it clear that they had little interest in being passed the torch to the Bills, and made their intent to sell the team once Ralph Wilson passed openly known.

The all-important question was who would buy the team? And would they keep the team here, or move it somewhere else, likely across the country to Los Angeles or over the border to Toronto?

A solemn bell metaphorically rang throughout Buffalo as news of Wilson’s passing spread. Buffalo and the loyal football fans who call the Queen City home reacted with sadness upon learning of the loss of Wilson. That quickly turned to concern upon the realization that their beloved football team was up for grabs, especially knowing that very few people invested in the Buffalo area have over a billion dollars to spend on the purchase of a professional sports team.

For the sake of respecting Wilson’s legacy, the media made efforts to angle stories around the great loss of the man, Ralph Wilson himself, all the while knowing the real story is, as always, where the money’s at.

When news broke that a Toronto-based group led by rock star Jon Bon Jovi was a potential bidder for rights to the team, concern quickly turned to panic, and panic turned to anger upon realization that very little could be done to stop him.

The thought of Buffalo without the Bills is incomprehensible to many. The Bills are more than just a football team to this city; they’re the heart and soul, the lifeblood, of Buffalo.

Many fans lashed out at Bon Jovi via social media, creating hate groups and slur-filled slogans bashing him.

An interest group titled “Buffalo Fan Alliance,” who dedicated themselves to ensuring the team’s long-term security in Buffalo, gained a massive amount of support from not only Buffalonians, but from people all over the country in favor of keeping the team in Buffalo.

All fans could do was make themselves heard. That, and wait, remain optimistic, and hope that a wealthy hero of sorts who understood what the team meant to them would be so kind as to write a big check so that they could keep their beloved football team.

That hero arose today, Tuesday, Sept. 9, and he goes by the name of Terry Pegula. You may already know him as the current owner of the Buffalo Sabres. Pegula opened his checkbook and wrote a check to the tune of $1.4 billion dollars, ensuring that the Bills will stay where they belong for the foreseeable future – BUFFALO.

From now on, September 9th will be celebrated throughout Buffalo and beyond as Pegula Day. From this day on, Buffalo will be referred to ONLY as Pegulaville. All residents of Buffalo are hereby ordered to place a portrait of Pegula visibly in their homes, which is not at all inspired by communist Chinese emperor Mao Zedong’s strict orders for all Chinese residents to display his ugly face in their humble abodes, but simply because they should want to. All male residents of Buffalo must happily allow Pegula to, if he so chooses, fool around with their girlfriends and wives, as proposed by Twitter comedian and Buffalo television meteorologist, Kevin O’Neill. Any objections, I might ask? *Cue cricket noise* I didn’t think so. *Cue endless cheers*

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