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Thank you, Mr. Wilson.

I’m not really the blogger type, but today I need more than 140 characters.

(Photo by AP)

(Photo by AP)

I’m not sure what to say to be honest. I mean, it’s all well-chronicled. And anything I’m going to say, you’ve probably already thought yourself. But here goes anyway…

A member of the “Greatest Generation,” he earned the Commendation Medal (given for sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service) after serving our country on a mine sweeper during World War II.

Thank you, Mr. Wilson.

A member of the “Foolish Club,” he helped found the AFL in 1960 and then floated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Al Davis the following year to keep Oakland’s Raiders afloat. It’s quite possible that without that loan, the AFL folds and therefore the NFL is a very different entity than what we know now.

Thank you, Mr. Wilson.

The man sunk a LOT of money into Western New York. UB Orthopaedics, HospiceBuffalo, St. John Fisher college, and Roswell Park are just the examples I know of off the top of my head. I’m sure there’s more that are just a Google search away.

Thank you, Mr. Wilson.

And, of course, he most surely had the opportunity to leave for greener pastures over the years (especially during those dark times in the mid-1980’s when crowds were smaller than 20,000) but kept the Bills in Buffalo. And before you reply to the previous sentence with a cynical remark, remember this: when the vote came before the league owners in 1996 to approve Art Modell’s Browns franchise to Baltimore, only two owners voted against it. Dan Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ralph Wilson. It’s 2014 and they’re still the BUFFALO Bills.

Thank you, Mr. Wilson.

This team of yours, Mr. Wilson, is my favorite thing in the world. It’s the one thing, following my relationship with my Creator and the family He’s blessed me with, that brings me the most pleasure. I’ve experienced memories that are going to last a lifetime at that stadium that bears your name; and I’ve made friendships that I like to think I’ll have for life in the parking lots that surround it.

You know, people may poke fun at its performance over the years, but this professional football franchise was your baby and you shared it with us.

Thank you.


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Del Reid

About Del Reid

Del Reid became a Bills fan shortly after coming into this world, having been raised in a home that actually had a framed picture of OJ Simpson on the wall in the living room (until it came down in 1994). Del has always had a passion for bringing people together to celebrate things they share in common. As a result, he (quite accidentally) ended up co-founding the #BillsMafia movement among Bills fans in social media -- which to this point is the coolest thing that has ever happened to him aside from his relationship with God, his wife, and his two awesome kids. Follow him on Twitter at @mrdeadlier.

2 thoughts on “Thank you, Mr. Wilson.

  1. There are thousands, probably millions of people throughout the world that I consider family. A great percentage of those people, I have never met. But, to me, they are all fellow members of the Buffalo Bills family. With the news of today and the last few days overall, we are all affected, and we are all hurting right now. To lose the man responsible for that family — the father if you will — this is a heart-wrenching day.