Buffalo Bills Find New Junior GM With Doug Whaley

Jul 30, 2016; Pittsford, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley looks on from the field after the first session of training camp at St. John Fisher College. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 30, 2016; Pittsford, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley looks on from the field after the first session of training camp at St. John Fisher College. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 26, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan (left) and general manager Doug Whaley during the organized team activities at the ADPRO Sports Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /

Thanks to New York’s 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan, one lucky Buffalo Bills’ fan got the chance to be the Junior GM for a day!

I felt like this was the perfect time to highlight this moment at One Bills Drive. Right now, every Buffalo Bills’ fan would love to sit in Doug Whaley’s position and prove that they can do a better job than our current General Manager.

Every year, the Buffalo Bills partner with New York’s 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan and help one lucky Bills’ fan wish come true — becoming the GM of their favorite team. To enter, kids (aged 8-12) had to fill out a quick questionnaire to give the panel an idea on why they would make the best GM for Buffalo.

12 finalists are then chosen to read their answers to the panel — in person — and answer follow-up questions on the Bills’ roster — to test their knowledge on the team. Out of the twelve finalists, one winner will receive a personalized jersey, a prize pack and the chance to become the Buffalo Bills’ Junior GM for the day — which includes spending the day with current GM, Doug Whaley.

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Last year, Tyler Aitken beat out the other 11 finalists and got to spend the day with Whaley in a fun-filled day. This year, we met Jack Molino — a kid that was introduced to the Buffalo Bills when he would sit down in front of the television with his Grandpa. I think most of us can relate to that.

Just about a week ago, Molino rolled up to One Bills Drive, made his way through the doors, up the stairs and just like that he was shaking hands with Doug Whaley. It’s not everyday that a fan gets to sit down with the Bills’ GM in a seat reserved just for him. Molino got that opportunity.

As this year’s Junior GM for a day, Jack Molino better have some good advice for the team and some good ideas moving forward. Not to mention, he’s a smart kid. Not everyone will sit down and tell you their favorite subjects in school are science and math. Way to go, Jack!

“He loves math and science, so you know he’s a smart kid. And the eye for talent, he can definitely develop it, but he’s got a good baseline. He’s well advanced than when I was 12 years old,” said Doug Whaley.

When asked his favorite player on the Bills, Jack responded “maybe Tyrod Taylor.” It just goes to show you the admiration these kids have for Taylor, our starting quarterback.

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The two continued to eat breakfast as Whaley got to know Molino a bit better. It didn’t take long before the two found common ground. When asked what he wanted to be when he grows up, Molino said being a GM would be pretty cool. Well, maybe we’ll see him in Doug’s position down the road.

Even Whaley seemed to have a good time. “It’s good for us to talk to the kids like that because they look at it as just the love of football. And you get a fresh perspective, so you know it’s refreshing,” Whaley continued.

The questionnaire that Jack filled out had several questions on it, including:

  • Who is your favorite Bills’ player?
  • What is the most important quality you would look for in a player if you were the GM?
  • What qualities do you have that would make you a great GM for the Bills?

Jack seemed intent on finding players that promote teamwork in every aspect of the game, as well as finding players that are coachable. If you ask me, we could use a little bit of that right now. Actually, we could use all of it.

As the day went on, Molino was approached by Eric Wood, who was nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. He even got a look at the team’s scouting room and got to watch film with some of the scouts. Most importantly, he got to see the team’s draft room with Jim Monos, the Director of Player Personnel.

As he became more comfortable at New Era Field, he finally got the chance to step out onto the field. How many people get to say they got to play catch with their father on New Era Field?

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“I think it’s going to change the way he watches football now,” said Tony Molino — Jack’s father. It was an experience they will remember for a long time. “We expected a lot, but it went far beyond,” Tony continued.

Congratulations, Jack Molino! Maybe one day we will see you in the GM’s chair for good.

You can view the full video here.

What would be your first move if you were named the GM of the Buffalo Bills at the start of next season? Leave your comments below!