Bills Nation Mourns And Prays
Wilson Funeral: More than 100 people attended the private funeral mass for Ralph Wilson in Detroit. Among the people in attendance was Russ Brandon, Thurman Thomas, Marv Levy, Buddy Nix, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Lions Owner William Ford Jr. and members of the Hunt family. Brandon released a statement that read, “I just want to offer thanks on behalf of the Wilson family – Mary Wilson and his daughters, Christie and Dee Dee – and the entire organization and family. The outpouring of support from our fans, our community and our region has been overwhelming. Today was a tremendous tribute, in ceremony and celebration, of Mr. Wilson’s life and accomplishments, not only in the game of football but in serving his country in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. His philanthropic and community endeavors were all spoken to today, and it was truly a tribute to his incredible life. We thank everyone for their support.”
Emotions Of A Bills Fan: It has been a very emotional week for Bills fans with the passing of Ralph Wilson, his private funeral was today in Detroit, and the cancer fight of Jim Kelly. In a special column to Bills Daily Buffalo resident Christopher Whitcomb tells us his emotions which is likely similiar to the ones being felt by everyone in Bills Nation. Complete Story.
Friday March 28, 2014
Day Planned: The Bills have announced that they will host a day of celebration and remembrance for Ralph Wilson at the fieldhouse on Saturday April 5th from 1pm to 4pm. It will feature memorabilia, exhibits, and a guestbook for fans to share their respects and pay tribute to Hall of Fame Owner, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. His funeral tomorrow is private and the team will also announce a private ceremony for Bills staff, players, and coaches at a future date as well. Fans interested in making a donation in honor of Mr. Wilson’s memory are encouraged to do so withThe Hospice Foundation of Western New York, The Alzheimer’s Association Greater Michigan Chapter, St. John Hospital Medical Center in support of the Wilson Telemonitoring Program, or a charity of your choice.
Thursday March 27, 2014
Wilson Funeral Saturday: The funeral for Ralph Wilson will take place on Saturday in his hometown of Detroit. The team will hold a public memorial at a later date yet to be determined. The Bills ask that donations made on Wilson's behalf be made out to the Hospice Foundation of Western new York, the Alzheimer's Association Greater Michigan chapter, and St. John Hospital Medical Center in support of the Wilson telemonitoring program.
Bills Add To Stadium Group: The Bills announced their seven members to the new stadium working group. This group consists of 21 members with seven each being appointed by the Bills, Erie County, and New York State. The Bills were the last to add to the group the latest members are CEO Russ Brandon, Senator Chuck Schumer, Jeff Littman, Ralph Wilson's niece Mary Owen, Louis Ciminelli, New Era CEO Christopher Koch, and Jordan Levy. The group was formed as part of the lease agreement.
Wednesday March 26, 2014
Kelly Forgoes Surgery: Jim Kelly continues to battle his recurrence of his cancer at Lennox Hill Hospital in New York City. He will not undergo surgery as previously reported but will have chemotherapy and radiation with potential surgery down the line. The hospital released the following statement about his treatment, "Lenox Hill Hospital today announced that Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly will begin cancer treatment this week, under the direction of Peter D. Costantino, MD, executive director of the hospital’s New York Head & Neck Institute and a renowned skull-based surgeon. Despite earlier news media reports, the Buffalo Bills legend will not undergo surgery this week. Dr. Costantino said his likely treatment regimen will begin with chemotherapy, radiation, and potentially surgery. Dr. Costantino describes this as a well-recognized strategy designed to treat the cancer present in Mr. Kelly’s maxillary sinus and adjacent tissues. Mr. Kelly was treated previously in a Buffalo area hospital. His cancer returned in a location that requires specialized expertise in the treatment of skull-based tumors. Jim Kelly’s condition remains very treatable and potentially curable," Dr. Costantino said. "Our immediate focus is on controlling his pain and beginning the process of eradicating the cancer."
Summer Practices: The Bills and Steelers have agreed to hold joint practices during training camp pending league approval. The practices will take place in Latrobe Pennsylvania. Past coaches haven't been interested in this type of arrangement but Doug Marrone really believes in it and would have done it last year if it wasn't his first season as a coach. He feels the practices can help prepare them better for the season. The only thing left to iron out is how it would fit in to the preseason schedule. The Bills have asked the league to schedule the first two preseason games on the road to allow them to finish up the renovations at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Buffalo Pain: These are dark times in Buffalo and for all members of Bills Nation. Tony Bogyo checks in with a rare off season column to talk about the loss of Ralph Wilson and the battle Jim Kelly is facing against cancer. Complete Story.
Tuesday March 25, 2014
Rams Sign Carrington: The Bills have lost their second unrestricted free agent in two days as Alex Carrington has agreed to a deal with the Rams.
Commissioner Statement: Roger Goodell released a statement on the death of the Bills owner, “Ralph Wilson was a driving force in developing pro football into America’s most popular sport. He loved the game and took a chance on a start-up league in 1960 as a founding owner of the American Football League. He brought his beloved Bills to western New York and his commitment to the team’s role in the community set a standard for the NFL. As a trusted advisor to his fellow league owners and the commissioner, Ralph always brought a principled and common-sense approach to issues. His lifelong loyalty to the game was instrumental in his richly deserved induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We are grateful for his many contributions to the NFL and offer our heartfelt sympathy to the Wilson family.”
Team's Statement On Wilson's Death: CEO Russ Brandon released a statement for the owners meeting on the death of Ralph Wilson. "I speak for everyone within the Bills organization when I say that we are all suffering a deep and profound sadness with the passing of our Hall of Fame owner Mr. Wilson. We have lost our founder, our mentor, our friend, and this is a very difficult time for us all. We extend our deepest sympathies to his wife Mary, his daughters Christy and Dee Dee (Edith), his niece Mary and his entire family. Mr. Wilson had a relentless passion, a deep love for his Buffalo Bills, the City of Buffalo and the National Football League. He also loved the Bills fans and all of the people of Western New York who embraced the Bills. This incredible man was the personification of the Buffalo Bills. His life was grit, determination and resolve. He was bigger than life in many ways and yet he was the everyday man, driving his Ford Taurus to the local store and greeting everyone as they called out 'hi Ralph!' He will be greatly missed by those in our community whose lives he touched. Mr. Wilson was a man of true integrity, charisma and a hero in every sense of the word. His service to his country in the South Pacific in World War II is well documented. He was a pioneer in the American Football League. He was instrumental in forging the merger between the AFL and the NFL. Mr. Wilson will long be remembered as a man who was true to his word and did countless acts of kindness and generosity for so many, while never seeking the limelight in doing so. More than anything, he wanted to bring a Super Bowl Championship to Western New York. He wanted it for the players, the coaches and the franchise. But mostly he wanted it for the fans. No owner has wanted a title more for these reasons than Mr. Wilson. In the end, he was extremely proud that his Bills are the only team to have played in four consecutive Super Bowls. For those of us fortunate to have worked for him, we’ll miss his kindness, his insight, his leadership, but mostly his sense of humor. He possessed the unique ability to turn a negative into a positive. Our organization, our league, our community has lost a great man. Right now all of us are absorbing this tremendous personal loss. We are performing our day-to-day functions as we normally would. We understand our fans’ curiosity in wanting to know what the future holds for our organization and that will be addressed in the near future. But at this time, we are committed to honoring the life and legacy of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., the man who delivered NFL football to Buffalo.”
Ralph Wilson Dies: The Bills announced that owner Ralph Wilson has passed away at the age of 95. The hall of fame owner kept the team in Buffalo against some tough odds in a small market. He helped keep the AFL afloat by loaning money to Al Davis to keep the Raiders afloat. This is a sad time for Bills fans as Wilson's passing puts the future of the organization up in the air. Many have felt that Jim Kelly would be the man to succeed him but he is in his own fight for his life. Tim Graham reports that Russ Brandon said Wilson passed away peacefully with his wife and daughter by his side. Our condolences go out to the Wilson family.
Marrone At Owners Meeting: Doug Marrone addressed the media from the owners meeting today and spoke on various topics. The coach confirmed what everyone already knew, that they will be a traditional 4-3 defense this year. The second linebacker in nickel situations is still up for grabs next to Kiko Alonso. The coach said that newly signed Corey Graham has a chance to replace Jairus Byrd at safety. Graham has played corner is entire NFL career. On the offensive side of the ball, he said they are not anywhere close to where they need to be.
No Comp Picks: The NFL announced the compensatory picks at the owners meeting yesterday and, as expected, the Bills didn't receive any compensatory picks. Teams get these extra draft picks when they lose more free agents than they gain. These picks are for free agents lost in the 2013 offseason. The Bills lost Andy Levitre and Chad Rinehart last year but signed Alan Branch, Manny Lawson, Kevin Kolb, and Doug Legursky to offset those losses. The draft selection spots are now finalized and the Bills will have picks number 9, 41, 73, 109, 149, 185 and 224 in the May draft.
Monday March 24, 2014
Kelly To Have Surgery: WIVB is reporting that Jim Kelly is heading to New York City to undergo surgery for the recurrence of his cancer. His wife Jill blogged that the cancer has spread outside of the jaw and his aggressive. The report says Kelly is weak and "in bad shape". He will have surgery on Thursday at Lenox Hill Hospital because the doctors wanted to see him immediately.
Moats To Pittsburgh: The Bills officially lost their second unrestricted free agent as Arthur Moats has signed a one year deal to join the Steelers. He seemed to be no longer in the Bills plans after they overhauled their linebacker corps in free agency.
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