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

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III needs more seasoning, and he'll likely do it from the bench for the rest of this season, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez has thrown six interceptions this year, but all of them haven't been game-changing turnovers. In Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, Sanchez thrived on [ More ]

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