It’s been a somber few days for the NFL, and even more so the Buffalo Bills. Bills owner, Ralph Wilson Jr. passed away Tuesday afternoon at the age of 95.
Even though Wilson never saw his beloved team win a Super Bowl, he certainly left his mark on the National Football League. If it wasn’t for Mr. Wilson, there’s a good chance that the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots would be an afterthought in the NFL.
During the times of the American Football League, the Bills owner lent money to both the Raiders and Patriots, keeping both financially problematic franchises afloat. Specifically, during the early 1960s, Wilson gave a $400,000 loan to the Raiders. These loans liked saved the AFL from folding, which could have been problematic for the NFL considering the two leagues merged in the 1970s.
Aside from helping other teams finically, Ralph Wilson made the Bills an extremely profitable team considering what the team was when it was established. Mr. Wilson bought the Buffalo Bills in 1959 for $25,000, only $200,000 in today’s money. When Wilson passed away Tuesday, his team was worth nearly $900 million.
Without Mr. Wilson, I may have turned into a New York Jets fan. Both of my parents attended the University of Buffalo and because of that are Buffalo Bills fans, as are my brother and I. And for that I thank him.
Thank you Ralph Wilson, for everything you have done fore Bills fans in Buffalo, nationwide, and around the world. You will soon see the Lombardi Trophy come home to Buffalo.
Rest In Peace.