‘New Era’ for Buffalo Bills

Michael Read, Staff Writer

I know what you’re all thinking. Two games into the season and the Bills are 0-2 and heading down a path that doesn’t look all that good. But we’ve got to remind ourselves that it’s only Week 3. There are 14 games to be played.

There’s still a lot of football to be played. Maybe even more coaches will be fired – you never know.

One full year under the belts of Bills’ owners Terry and Kim Pegula, after a disappointing 8-8 record and missing the postseason again, they decided a new era is upon us in year two of their ownership.

Hello, New Era Field. Thanks for the memories and suffering, Ralph Wilson Stadium.

To our parents, it’s still Rich Stadium. And many people will always still call it “The Ralph,” but a name change is good.

A name change is what this franchise needs to start off on a clean slate. The Buffalo Bills are considered a young team given the fact that the Pegulas, Rex Ryan and the team are only in year two of the new era in Buffalo Bills football.

So, when Pegula joined the voice of the Bills, John Murphy, on the “John Murphy Show,” they talked about this transition in early August. I agreed with him when he said, “In my mind, the team hasn’t been to the playoffs in one year.”

Cue the pitchforks and angry mobs.

To clarify Pegula’s main point, he added, “I’m not talking about 16 [years] and I don’t think anybody is. We’re talking about the future.”

Ah yes, the future. Thank you, Terry, for focusing on the future of this franchise and bringing success back to Buffalo sports. The name change was not a jab at founding owner Ralph Wilson; the Pegula’s are not burying the past and telling fans for forget about it, instead they are showcasing this new period for the Buffalo Bills.

The Buffalo Bills have not made the playoffs since 1999. And it just so happens that the stadium last changed names in 1998, switching from Rich Stadium to Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Are you seeing the connection here?

We’re talking about a playoff drought of almost 17 years. 17 years under the same stadium name during which the Buffalo Bills have not won more than nine games in any given season.

It is the same stadium where the Buffalo Bills finished third and/or fourth in the AFC East division. With the exception of 2007 and 2014 during which the Buffalo Bills finished second, but still missed the playoffs.

This is a stadium where home field primetime football has not been played since 2000.

I am not blaming the Bills’ past performances on the sole reason of the name of the stadium, because that is just crazy. It is a mixture of different factors to put into consideration ranging from ownership, to coaches, players and money.

We are in a bright, fresh and exciting revolution in Buffalo Bills football. The Pegulas are fully committed to bringing Buffalo and Buffalo sports back to the national map. Just take a look at Canalside and Harbor Center, or visit the commemorative statue outside New Era Field that honors Ralph Wilson. The Pegulas are leading the charge in a great – and hopefully successful – effort to bring championships to Buffalo, not only for the Bills but also the Sabres.

New Era Field is the home to a new era in Buffalo Bills football, and I couldn’t have chosen a better name change.

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