2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Bills fans do all they can to keep team in Buffalo

By CAROLYN THOMPSON - Associated Press
    2014-06-07 11:04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Livin' on a prayer isn't part of the plan for Buffalo Bills fans.

Not content to sit back and hope for the best as their beloved NFL team is sold, they are doing everything they can to influence the next owner to keep the franchise in Buffalo.

That includes trying to raise millions of dollars as an incentive to keep the team where it is, circulating petitions and even organizing a ban on Bon Jovi music because the band's frontman is rumored to want to buy the team and move it to Canada.

''It's nothing personal,'' said Charles Pellien, one of four fans who came up with the Bon Jovi boycott last month. ''If Santa Claus was coming to Buffalo and telling us he was going to take our team to the North Pole, we would be boycotting Santa Claus.''

The flurry of activity began soon after the March death of owner Ralph Wilson, whose wishes to have the team sold rather than passed onto his family raised the possibility of the Bills leaving their home of more than 50 years. Toronto and Los Angeles are potential landing spots because owners could make more money than in Buffalo, the NFL's second-smallest market.

Fans want to make as much noise as possible, worried that staying silent while the team changes hands could register as indifference, a trait they say contributed to the Cleveland Browns' bolt to Baltimore after the 1995 season.

''They just thought somebody would do something, and there was no way it could ever be a reality that the team could move,'' said Matt Sabuda, a real estate investor and director of the Buffalo Fan Alliance. ''The last thing we'd want to see in Buffalo is a repeat of that scenario.''

Sabuda's group has plans to tap legions of Buffalo ex-pats and others for more than $100 million in no-interest financing to help a Buffalo-committed new owner. The group estimates the fan donations could save a new owner $8 million to $15 million a year in interest - the equivalent of another full level of luxury suites - and make moving from small-market Buffalo unnecessary.

The alliance has four Bills Hall of Famers: Joe DeLamielleure, James Lofton, Billy Shaw and Andre Reed on an advisory board that also includes Republican strategist Carl Forti and NBC News correspondent Luke Russert, whose Buffalo-born late father, Tim Russert, often signed off ''Meet the Press'' with ''Go Bills.''

As the alliance banks on the practical, the fan-based ''12th Man Thunder'' counts on emotion to add names to the more than 9,300 signatures on a petition that pledges loyalty to a buyer who would keep the Bills in Buffalo - and to snub anyone who doesn't.

The group also has distributed ''Bon Jovi Free Zone'' posters to bars, shops and radio stations and said nearly 200 businesses have signed on to a summerlong boycott.

''Jack FM has always liked Bon Jovi, but like you, we LOVE our Buffalo Bills,'' reads the website of one of three radio stations participating.

A spokesman for Jon Bon Jovi, who has been linked to a Toronto-based developer interested in purchasing an NFL franchise, didn't respond to requests for comment.

Other potential suitors include Donald Trump, former Buffalo Sabres owner B. Thomas Golisano and the family of Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs. Wilson's estate's legal team is expected to begin contacting prospective buyers in the next few weeks.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration, meanwhile, has hired a business legal expert as part of political efforts to keep the team in place. Cuomo, the Bills and Erie County also have created a 20-member ''New Stadium Working Group'' of community leaders and elected officials.

Fans remain nervous despite a non-relocation clause in the current lease with Erie County that makes it difficult for the team to move before the 2020 season. It's the deep-pocketed bidder with unknown intentions they are bracing against.

''We figured if there's something we could do, whether it was small or large, we were going to do it,'' said Pellien, a truck driver who grew up next to Ralph Wilson Stadium. ''Because if something happened and our team left and we didn't do anything, how would that make us feel?''

---

Online:

www.buffalofanalliance.org

www.12thmanthunder.com

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

LeSean McCoySep 2 01:43p

Updating an earlier report, Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring) may not be in great 'football shape' once Week 1 rolls around, according to a source. He's not at [ More ]

LeSean McCoySep 2 12:43p

Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring) seems to be in some danger of missing the season opener Sept. 13. 'Well we certainly expect him to be ready to go, [ More ]

EJ ManuelSep 2 11:33a

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel is expected to remain on the team as the backup quarterback. There is growing expectations that QB Matt Cassel will be cut.

Matt CasselSep 2 09:23a

Buffalo Bills QB Matt Cassel could be cut by the team, as they are internally discussing the option.

Joseph RandleSep 2 08:33a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle could have 10-15 carries per game with RB Darren McFadden slightly below that, in the opinion of beat writer Drew Davison

Travis CoonsSep 1 11:03p

Cleveland Browns PK Travis Coons edged out PK Carey Spear, winning the battle for the placekicking job. 'Yeah, it was close. I thought both guys handled themselves very well, [ More ]

Nick ToonSep 1 07:43p

New Orleans Saints WRs Nick Toon, Lance Lewis and R.J. Harris were released Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Randall CobbSep 1 06:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Randall Cobb (shoulder) thinks his sprained right shoulder will be good to go to play in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears in 12 days. [ More ]

James ButlerSep 1 05:53p

Green Bay Packers WR James Butler and TE Harold Spears were released Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Julius ThomasSep 1 05:23p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Julius Thomas (finger) will undergo surgery on his injured finger Wednesday, Sept. 2, according to a source. Thomas is expected to miss four to five weeks.

Zac DysertSep 1 05:13p

Free-agent QB Zac Dysert (Broncos) was claimed by the Chicago Bears Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Tom BradySep 1 05:03p

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will know his fate by the end of this week. Judge Richard Berman said he will issue his decision and order by that time.

Matt BlanchardSep 1 04:53p

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Blanchard was released Tuesday, Sept. 1, according to a source.

Juron CrinerSep 1 04:32p

New York Giants RB Akeem Hunt (hamstring) was waived/injured Tuesday, Sept. 1. WRs Juron Criner and Derrick X. Johnson and TE Will Tye were also waived.

Robert HerronSep 1 04:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Robert Herron was waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Phil TaylorSep 1 04:23p

Cleveland Browns DT Phil Taylor was released Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Junior HemingwaySep 1 04:12p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Junior Hemingway was waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Michael HillSep 1 04:12p

Dallas Cowboys RB Michael Hill (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, Sept. 1. WRs Antwan Goodley and David Porter and TE Brandon Barden were also waived.

Travis KelceSep 1 03:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (ankle) would be able to play if the Chiefs had a game Tuesday, Sept. 1, according to head coach Andy Reid. Kelce is recovering from an ankle sprain.

Jarrett BoykinSep 1 03:03p

Carolina Panthers WRs Jarrett Boykin and De'Andre Presley were waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Jace AmaroSep 1 01:33p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (shoulder) will have season-ending shoulder surgery and will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Erik LorigSep 1 12:33p

New Orleans Saints FB Erik Lorig was cut Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Nathan PalmerSep 1 11:53a

Denver Broncos WR Nathan Palmer was waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Devonta FreemanSep 1 11:32a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman was the most active in practice Monday, Aug. 31, that he was been since a hamstring injury Aug. 6. It's unclear whether he'll play [ More ]

Jarrett BoykinSep 1 10:33a

Carolina Panthers WR Jarrett Boykin was released Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Jalen SaundersSep 1 09:13a

New Orleans Saints WR Jalen Saunders is being traded to the New England Patriots Tuesday, Sept. 1, for a conditional draft pick, according to a league source.

Caleb SturgisAug 31 11:32p

Miami Dolphins PK Caleb Sturgis remains the front runner in his competition with PK Andrew Franks. Sturgis said he did not have a good early camp, 'but I've been hitting the ball better lately.'

K. ThompkinsAug 31 07:52p

Oakland Raiders WR Kenbrell Thompkins was released Monday, Aug. 31, according to a source.

Trent RichardsonAug 31 07:22p

Oakland Raiders RB Trent Richardson was released Monday, Aug. 31, according to a source.

Josh BoyceAug 31 06:42p

New England Patriots WR Josh Boyce and TE Jimmay Mundine were released Monday, Aug. 31.

E.J. GainesAug 31 05:52p

St. Louis Rams CB E.J. Gaines (foot) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Aug. 31. WR Damian Williams was subsequently released.

Travis KelceAug 31 05:32p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (leg) left practice early Monday, Aug. 31, because of a right leg injury. Kelce was able to walk off the field but did not return to practice.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group