2014 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

Ronnie HillmanOct 24 04:52p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman continues to run with confidence in the absence of RB Montee Ball (groin), and Ball will likely find it hard to win his starting [ More ]

Jo-Lonn DunbarOct 24 04:22p

St. Louis Rams C Tim Barnes (shoulder) and CB Brandon McGee (foot) are both out for Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs. CBs Janoris Jenkins (knee) and Trumaine [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 24 04:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) said he won't rush back to play until his ankle is fully healed. 'It's our job to help this team win, and [ More ]

Quentin GrovesOct 24 03:52p

Tennessee Titans CB Coty Sensabaugh (knee) and TE Taylor Thompson (knee) are listed as doubtful for Week 8. LB Quentin Groves (ankle) is listed as questionable, while DE Ropati [ More ]

A.J. GreenOct 24 02:22p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) did not practice again Friday, Oct. 24, and he's listed as doubtful for Week 8 against the Baltimore Ravens.

Trent RichardsonOct 24 02:02p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is listed as questionable for Week 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the chances aren't looking good that he plays.

Mario WilliamsOct 24 01:52p

Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson (groin) and LB Ty Powell (ankle) both did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and have been ruled out. WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring) [ More ]

Calvin JohnsonOct 24 01:52p

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) will truly be a game-time decision against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 8 in London. Johnson was limited in practice all week and [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 24 01:52p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) has been doing rehab work this week but hasn't practiced. He could be a game-time decision in Week 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Owen DanielsOct 24 01:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Owen Daniels (knee) underwent a cleanup procedure on his knee and will not play in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach John Harbaugh said [ More ]

Reggie WayneOct 24 01:02p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) has officially been ruled out for Week 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

J. BabineauxOct 24 12:32p

Atlanta Falcons DT Jonathan Babineaux (foot) is questionable for Week 8 against the Detroit Lions in London. OOG Justin Blalock (back) and LB Prince Shembo (knee) are probable. Babineaux [ More ]

Darren SprolesOct 24 12:22p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles (knee) practiced in full Friday, Oct. 24, and is listed as questionable for Week 8 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Brad SmithOct 24 12:22p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Brad Smith (groin) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the Arizona Cardinals. C Jason Kelce (hernia) and LB Mychal Kendricks (calf) are questionable, while [ More ]

Brandon PettigrewOct 24 12:22p

Detroit Lions TE Joseph Fauria (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons in London. TE Brandon Pettigrew (foot) is doubtful. OT LaAdrian Waddle (concussion) [ More ]

A.J. GreenOct 24 11:42a

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) is not practicing Friday, Oct. 24. It's the third straight day he has missed practice, making it unlikely that he'll be able to play in Week 8.

Zac StacyOct 24 11:02a

St. Louis Rams RB Zac Stacy, who didn't have a touch in Week 7, could remain a factor in the backfield in Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs. [ More ]

Reggie BushOct 24 10:52a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is listed as doubtful for the Week 8 game Sunday, Oct. 26.

Calvin JohnsonOct 24 10:52a

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) is listed as questionable for the Week 8 game Sunday, Oct. 26. Johnson was limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24.

Brandon PettigrewOct 24 09:22a

Detroit Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew (foot) will be a game-time decision Sunday, Oct. 26. TE Joseph Fauria (ankle) is unlikely to play this weekend.

Eric EbronOct 24 09:22a

Detroit Lions TE Eric Ebron (hamstring) is likely out for Week 8, according to head coach Jim Caldwell. Ebron missed practice again Friday, Oct. 24.

Juwan ThompsonOct 24 12:22a

Denver Broncos RB Juwan Thompson had seven carries for 24 yards, including a pair of short touchdown runs, in the team's Week 8 victory Thursday, Oct 23.

Zach MettenbergerOct 23 11:22p

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger prides himself in his strong arm, WR Kendall Wright said, and the team is hoping that Mettenberger can bring a new element to a [ More ]

Jason VerrettOct 23 11:12p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) has been ruled out for the remainder of the team's Week 8 game Thursday, Oct. 23, with a shoulder injury. He was [ More ]

Andre EllingtonOct 23 11:02p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) said the partially torn tendon in his foot probably won't feel better until after the year. 'I understand it's never going to feel [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 23 09:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) could return in Week 11, according to head coach Jay Gruden. 'I would think - I would guarantee Tampa, most likely, unless [ More ]

Don McGeeOct 23 08:52p

St. Louis Rams CB Janoris Jenkins (knee) and C Tim Barnes (shoulder) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. FS T.J. McDonald (concussion), LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar (toe), CB Trumaine Johnson [ More ]

Kevin WilliamsOct 23 08:32p

Seattle Seahawks DE Michael Bennett (toe), DT Kevin Williams (undisclosed), WR Bryan Walters (concussion), CB Byron Maxwell (calf) and C Max Unger (foot) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. [ More ]

Frostee RuckerOct 23 07:42p

Arizona Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (knee) and S Rashad Johnson (knee) were limited participants in practice Thursday, Oct. 23. TE Troy Niklas (ankle) did not participate in practice and [ More ]

Johnathan JosephOct 23 07:22p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee), CB Darryl Morris (ankle) and LBs Brooks Reed (groin), John Simon (ankle) and Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB [ More ]

Calais CampbellOct 23 07:12p

Arizona Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (knee) returned to practice and was limited Thursday, Oct. 23. Campbell injured his right medial collateral ligament in Week 5 against the Denver Broncos.

Kapri BibbsOct 23 07:02p

The Denver Broncos have declared OG Ben Garland, RB Kapri Bibbs, OT Michael Schofield, DL Mitch Unrein, RB Montee Ball, S Omar Bolden, LB Steven Johnson inactive for Week 8.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group