We’re supposed to worry. The NFL’s don says we have a nice franchise here, and it’d be a shame if something happened to it.
But Buffalo Bills fans don’t scare easily. From missing the playoffs for a generation to Shakespearian failings in championship games to enduring Rob Johnson, a group sucker-punched by reality is equipped to roll eyes at finger-wagging from the chief executive.
Limp threats about our favorite team needing a new container won’t make us flinch, even if they’re interpreted as a threat to skip town. Go ahead and try taking away the thing we love that hurts us so much, as we’ve already rehearsed the scenario.
Roger Goodell took a break from not punishing women-beaters to warn that we just don’t pay enough for football. Announcing he is deeply concerned about the Bills getting a new home base is so kind in that patronizing way of his. His use of “stable” and “competitive” as euphemisms for opening wallets is typical of a panhandler representing an entity pulling in 11 figures per year.
The commissioner likes money, which is as surprising as learning Tom Brady is unlikeable. Calling for a new building should definitely prompt unfounded speculation.
He wants a shinier place for our favorite team’s employees to toil, which clearly means the Bills are in danger of leaving altogether. Or, it doesn’t mean that at all. Pushing unfounded conspiracies shows ProFootballTalk talks about obliviousness regarding pro football. A helpful inadvertent illustration of who knows nothing about anything is why I would rather hyperlink to freaking Barstool than a PFT article.
Roger has to look strong somehow. He caught the Patriots robbing a bank twice without wearing masks and still botched both prosecutions. And his impossibly rich business suffered because he couldn’t figure out what constituted a catch. Further, the one unifying thing during anthem protests was agreeing the commissioner placated nobody while trying to please everybody.
Now that interference is reviewable, the worst unaddressed NFL policy is bilking the public for a private team’s expenses. NFL participants could just charge fair ticket prices while letting taxes remain low. Imagine people who actually like sports voluntarily providing funding. But that would mean impossibly wealthy owners would pay for their own business expenses, so why not threaten to move the team to Albuquerque?
Why can’t one of America’s most popular entertainment options attract enough investment without begging for outside bucks? It’s a mystery as vexing as Oakland’s draft strategy. Billionaire owners expect states to fund a toy case because they spent their allowances on action figures.
Encouraging football barons to build their own stands around a field unites those of differing political leanings. Those who think taxpayer money should go to other programs have some common ground with those who think taxpayer money should stay with taxpayers. Unfortunately, the coalition against big-time welfare are opposed by the fear constituency, which frets about a company relocating because we don’t bribe them enough to stay friends.
But taking money spurs development. Also, starting drives at your own 10 allows for longer touchdowns. Economic stimulation comes via conglomerates paying their own expenses, not by forced contributions from those without an ownership stake. Eventual indirect benefits are totally forthcoming just like Aaron Maybin’s first sack for the Bills.
Next, Wegmans charges Albany for building new stores because they’ll hire people.
The threat to bail is as common as missing the playoffs. Bills fans have been tormented by the possibility of transience ever since Ralph Wilson claimed he’d prefer to get drenched in Seattle than wait for Erie County to build him a new barn. Savings from underpaying the roster didn’t get reinvested.
By contrast, Buffalonians wish the Pegulas could rebuild the Sabres like they have downtown. The owners turned literal empty space into prosperity. Moving one of their teams to a city that doesn’t contain the HarborCenter would be like saying “I love you” to Buffalo before “and this is why we must break up.”
Even Goodell isn’t obtuse enough to think he could get away with letting San Antonio take a team from emblematically dedicated backers. Is he? A menacing tone during a beloved outfit’s 60th season seems like a ludicrous public relations strategy even for the NFL.
Precedent should scare off even the greediest owners. The Chargers subletting space 120 miles from San Diego really worked out for everyone but their fanbase, new city, and team itself. And any serious talk of the Bills leaving would make the Browns dashing to Maryland look like moving an indoor soccer club by comparison.
There are definitely possibilities to shift the Bills. It’s just they’d relocate to Buffalo from their suburban home.
A team named for a new frontier could fill ground in its namesake hometown with profitable excitement. The Outer Harbor could use a stadium if the abandoned Commodore Perry projects site doesn’t get one first. Attach a new convention center to generate revenue, which becomes a priority with one’s own enterprise. The Pegulas will deserve to get even richer as we enjoy the benefits of commerce.
Owners shouldn’t need a credit rating app to get financing. Kim and Terry may have a slightly greater net worth than me, but I could still recommend a bank if they need a loan. A venue their ice hockey team uses is even named after one. They’d get to keep the profits of any new office space they build, which is the nicest part of not letting someone else fund a work pit. Show Roger the paperwork.
Editor’s babble: O.M.G. Anthony just captured the precise emotion we all felt while listening to Roger Goodell vomit all over himself. We are so grateful for Anthony’s contributions to our blog. You can find Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy. Thank you for expressing what many of us feel!