Dec 22, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Fans start to fill the stadium before a game between the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Ralph Wilson’s Legacy: The End Of An Era


 

“No one circles the wagon like the Buffalo Bills.”

With the passing of longtime Bills owner Ralph Wilson, this  famous quote has never been more  relevant.

Win or leave home.

With Ralph’s death, the Buffalo Bills are now solely responsible for their own future. The ball is in their court. Opportunity awaits if the Bills choose to take  the next step.

The question is will they take that step?

Passing the reins down to a young organization, Ralph Wilson left the Buffalo Bills franchise with the personnel, front office, and coaching needed to create a successful team. Granted, the draft and free agency will bring a few needed pieces. But as always, it comes down to one thing.

Winning.

Ticket prices have risen. The economy is still struggling. The only thing the Buffalo Bills have going for them is the continual support of their loyal fans and the will to win if they want to stay in Buffalo. It’s beautiful really, a chance to change everything because they have everything to lose. And honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

As the 2014 season slowly approaches, there is nothing left to be said. Action is needed. Big plays must be made. Opposing teams must be sacrificed to preserve our team, our franchise, and our future. Ralph Wilson gave his last gift to Buffalo with his death.

He gave us a literal “wagon”.

He made us the ultimate underdog. The team that no one wants to play because this team has nothing to lose. He gave us a sense of urgency. We are not fighting for the 3rd spot in the AFC East or hoping to give an undefeated team a run for their money. We are playing to win. We are playing for playoff contention. We are playing for a spot in the Super Bowl. Our goals haven’t been this clear since the early 90′s.

la-me-ralph-wilson-20140326Even with the world against us, we will fight until the end. Regardless of what anyone says, Buffalonians and Bills fans alike know that Buffalo belongs here. It belongs in the cold and in the snow. It belongs in a place where tailgating is life and drinking is not just for enjoyment, but to keep one warm amidst the blistering cold. The Buffalo Bills belong in the place where O.J. ran through defenses, where the greatest NFL comeback ever went down in history, and where the Buffalo Bills became the only NFL team in history to win 4 straight AFC championships.

We shall fight until the end and if the Buffalo Bills are forced to leave, I shall still be a fan of my team. There is nothing we can do as fans but continue to support our team. It has always been this way, Buffalo against the world. Although it is the end of an era, the Buffalo Bills have a chance to become something great. They have a chance to make history or become history. And that is something every team next season will be afraid of, a team with everything on the line and nothing to lose.

Ralph left us a “spark” to rally around, just like the light left on in his stadium. Ralph knew us all too well.

Because no one circles the wagon like the Buffalo Bills. RIP Ralph Wilson.

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