We all know Mr. Ralph Wilson would be foaming at the mouth to be at the game this weekend in Detroit. He would be in one of the luxury suites, by himself and wearing something custom made with a Bills logo tastefully displayed.
Unlike the Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder type of owners that enjoy partying with a suite full of family and sycophants, Mr. Wilson preferred to be left alone to watch the game in solitude. We had a lot in common that way. I miss seeing a camera flash on him with an expression only Tim Murray of the Buffalo Sabres could pull off.
Mr. Wilson always had a twinkle in his eye when the media would show him in the locker room after a Bills victory. He never shied away from the cameras during all the years they lost either. His omnipresence spoke volumes about his character. A wink and a crusty word or two is all it took to affect those around him.
So, it should come as no surprise that this week would start off with news that the Bills would be starting a new QB on Sunday, their 14th quarterback since Jim Kelly. It would be exactly what Mr. Wilson would have wanted.
Those of us that (albeit at a distance) came to know Mr. Wilson from the inception of the team know exactly how he would have responded to the situation the Bills face against the Detroit Lions. He would be fine with the switch at the QB position, and he would be sure to let us all know why.
The fact that the last game before the formal change in ownership is being played in Detroit is something venerable Bills fans would come to expect as a sign from the ‘Owner In The Sky Box’ about who is still in charge. Make no mistake, the events of this past week have Mr. Wilson’s angel wings splattered all over them.
First, we find out early on Monday that Coach Marrone was making a change at the QB position. When Doug Marrone said the decision was his to make the move, and no one else’s, he showed the kind of chutzpah Mr. Wilson may have found quite entertaining. That would be of course only if Mr. Wilson actually agreed with the decision of course.
After finally settling down from the mildly surprising news of a QB switch, I turned on the Monday Night Football game. The entire nation watched Tom Brady do his best Tim Tebow impression, while the Kansas City Chiefs and their fans sent the Patriots back home with bruised and battered egos after demolishing them with reckless abandon.
I went to sleep thinking about how the loss would open up the AFC East for any team. Then I started dreaming. Once in awhile I have crazy lucid dreams. Sometimes the feeling they leave afterward will stay with me for days, even longer at times. This one was about Mr. Wilson. It was game day in Buffalo at The Ralph.
The Pegulas were leading the charge onto the field with the players running behind them. It was the Pegulas first game as owners of the Buffalo Bills and the stadium was packed. It was a typical fall day in Western New York. The leaves were peaking with the vibrant colors you can only see in that part of the country.
I rarely remember the details beyond the emotions of a particular dream that stay with me after waking up. This one was powerful. There was an eye in the sky looking down on the stadium full of joyous people as they enjoyed a beautiful Sunday afternoon watching their beloved football team. The eye in the sky was pleased. That’s all I remember.
Not sure what to take from that dream, but there’s no doubt that Mr. Wilson is still in charge of this team from his lofty perch in the sky. There’s no question that something is operating behind the scenes to throw a monkey wrench into any entity that would besmirch HIS team.
The karma wagon isn’t finished. The first thing I thought about after reading that Jairus Byrd is done for the season for the Saints because of a torn meniscus (in practice!) was how fortunate the Bills were in declining to re-sign him at his lofty asking price.
Though injuries could happen to anyone at anytime, Mr. Byrd’s history of missing training camps may have caught up to him. His knack for missing time in training camp may even surpass Bruce Smith’s legendary absences. It can’t be good to be “training” when the season starts, as Byrd somehow managed to do more than once.
He started this season with the Saints slowly and has been criticized for his under-performance all over the media. It makes sense to me that these types of injuries are more likely to happen if you don’t attend training camp and spend the first month of the season trying to get back into playing shape.
All the outside training in the world doesn’t give you live reps. When crucial times occur in life, sometimes you get out exactly what effort you put in. That is the essence of karma.
Karma has been the big theme of the week in many unrelated ways regarding the Bills. And much of the nature of this “karma” has involved outcomes that have worked in favor of the Bills. Perhaps Mr. Wilson is bestowing some of the “luck” he referred to many times in terms of it being a necessary component to winning a championship.
If there are such supernatural abilities that can occur from beyond the grave, I could certainly see the humor in Mr. Wilson messing with Tom Brady’s head on Monday night. As for luck, the Bills will need a heck of a lot more than just luck if they hope to win on Sunday against the Lions.
It’s fitting that the last game of the team’s transition to new ownership takes place on Sunday in Mr. Wilson’s hometown. It’s also interesting that the ‘Pegula Era’ will begin with the Bills facing the one team that has destroyed them for a decade and a half. The sale of the team has been lightning fast when one considers the amount of bureaucracy involved.
The way it is all fitting into place so nicely is enough to make me look at the eye in the sky and say thanks. It’s been a rough road for Bills fans for far too long.
Maybe we are hitching our wagon to that special star in the sky that will bring us back to our glory years, only better. Maybe Mr. Wilson’s lasting legacy is yet to be completed. Just remember to look up and smile when something happens that affects the Buffalo Bills. You know who will be smiling back. Go Bills!