Ralph Wilson R.I.P
Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson dead at age 95
Ralph Wilson Jr., the founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills, has died, team president Russ Brandon announced Tuesday. Wilson was 95.
Wilson was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the longest tenured active owner.
"No one loved the game of football more than Ralph Wilson," Brandon said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla.
"They don't make 'em like Ralph Wilson, they just don't. He passed away peacefully at his home with his beautiful wife, Mary, and his daughters by his side."
In his tenure, the Bills reached four Super Bowls and won two American Football League titles before the merger with the NFL.
Wilson brought major sports to Buffalo in 1959, when he joined a group that became known as "The Foolish Club," eight businessmen led by Texas oilman Lamar Hunt, who founded the AFL. The initial cost to Wilson was $25,000, and it was considered a risky venture to challenge the established NFL
Wilson's team is valued today at roughly $870 million, based on estimates by Forbes Magazine. The Bills arguably are the single-most identifiable and unifying institution in Western New York, according to the Buffalo News.
"The strength of the Bills franchise is the passion of the fans," Wilson said after signing a 15-year lease deal in 1997. "Buffalo is a community of down-to-earth, hard-working families who, in large numbers, are also avid sports fans. You know how the people here feel about you because they are very straightforward. That is a quality I admire."
Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder paid his respects in a statement.
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of the great Ralph Wilson," Snyder said. "All of us have lost a NFL legend whose passion for his team was inspiring. We will always be thankful for Ralph's contributions to the development of the AFL and NFL."
R.I.P Mr.Wison, no owner loved his team as much as he did. I hope they stay in Buffalo forever.
Same here. Or move to Toronto.
Originally Posted by master_bates