You know what type of suffering Buffalo Bills’ fan I am? They can be winning by three touchdowns with 5-minutes left in the game and I’ll turn off the TV because I know they’ll blow it. And there are plenty of others like me.
It was another century when the Bills last made the play-offs. Blowing games against Dallas, Pittsburgh, Tennessee and New England countless times along the way. And who can forget “wide right” in Super Bowl XXV?
Bills’ fans and generally speaking the people of Western New York have a defeatist mentality. If it can go wrong it will. Years ago someone asked me about O.J. Simpson after he was charged with killing two people. I responded, “It doesn’t matter how famous you become. If you’re associated with Buffalo you’ll eventually crash and burn.” Each fall fans rally around their beloved Bills and get drunk knowing gravity will eventually take hold and the flame will be very bright.
With media as it is today and the popularity of the NFL, Buffalo, New York is not the sexiest place to play professional football. New York City and Miami have bars and clubs. Buffalo has taverns. The good news is once players are talked into joining the Bills, many love it in Buffalo. They become the biggest celebrities in town and many become proponents of the city. Countless players live there after retiring.
Ralph Wilson, the only owner the Buffalo Bills ever had, died a few weeks ago. He promised the team would not move during his lifetime. Even in death he insured the team would remain in Buffalo for years by signing a new stadium lease. His surviving family appears to have no interest in keeping the Bills and will sell the team. Enter Donald Trump.
I am perfectly aware his drug of choice is publicity. No one likes seeing themselves on TV more than Donald Trump. When he roots out an opportunity to get some publicity he’s on it like a pig to a truffle. “People” are always urging him to run for President. TV cameras are there. “People” are always urging him to run for governor. The TV cameras show up. Barack Obama’s birth certificate? TV cameras broadcast his talk of an investigation. The guy knows how to get publicity for his brand and that brand is Donald Trump. Who better to bring publicity to the Bills and to Buffalo, New York than New Yorker DONALD TRUMP! He’s the master.
I’ve never met the guy, but someone I know used to work for him. He’s detailed, focused and intense. Too intense I’m told. So much so this guy told me when you’re on Trumps’ 757 with him you’re thinking, “Please God have this plane fly into a mountain and end this.”
Here are my reasons Trump MUST become the new owner of the Buffalo Bills.
- The Buffalo Bills need to expand their fan base and popularity. They’re not the most highly thought of team by NFL fans. They rank near the bottom at #28 according to a Harris Poll of last fall. Donald Trump will make the Bills one of the league’s most popular teams. Under Trump’s ownership I can see the Bills as the team you love to hate. That sells merchandise and other owners share in that profit.
- Name a better salesman than Donald Trump to engage the fans, community and business leaders. I can’t think of anyone other than the WWE’s Vince McMahon.
- When trying to attract high profile athletes to play in Buffalo, ownership provides them with a built in publicity machine. Winners like to be associated with winners.
- Donald Trump’s brand is about being a “winner.” He crafted his brand as a gold standard of sorts, of someone you want to be associated with. He will not allow the Bills to lose. He can’t. With him as owner, the Bills will win. Bank on it.
- Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Bills’ home stadium, is over 40-years old. It’s a great place to see a game, but it needs to be replaced. Who better to have as owner than a commercial developer and builder? Trump’s experienced in construction and financing of this scale.
- The 32 NFL owners are boring. Mostly a bunch of old, conservative, white guys with no media savvy. The “No Fun League” as some call it needs a loud mouth. Since Vince McMahon isn’t interested, the NFL needs Donald Trump. The running of his mouth would be must watch TV each Sunday on the NFL pre-game shows.
Does the NFL have the guts to approve him as the owner? Will Trump open his check book? While I don’t totally believe his promise to keep the Bills in Western New York, Donald Trump can be the best thing to happen to Buffalo since it stumbled on the chicken wing.