Inside The Bills

A special day from start to finish

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2014 – 7:26 pm

With so much positive news packed into one week for Bills fans, the 73-thousand plus at Ralph Wilson Stadium Sunday were just hoping the team would cap the week with a win. Doug Marrone’s men obliged taking a day when the man who founded the franchise was honored, and two of the team’s most famous alumni presented the late Hall of Fame owner’s wife, Mary Wilson, with an honorary Wall of Fame ring. That combined with the Pegula agreement to purchase the franchise and keep it in Western New York brought the week to a fitting conclusion.

“Sunday was a very emotional time,” said Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon. “Not only the tribute to Ralph and to honor Mary Wilson who has been a rock for all of us, and to see Jim (Kelly) and Thurman (Thomas) and all the guys out there. To be out there when Jim (Kelly) got up to the podium was pretty cool. I’ve seen this stadium rock a lot of times, but I’ve never felt it like that, it was awesome.”

When asked what Mr. Wilson might’ve thought of the performance Sunday, Brandon believed his former boss would’ve loved it.

“That’s Ralph’s kind of football,” Brandon said. “He would’ve loved it. He absolutely would’ve loved it. It’s been a tremendous week; it’s a great, great time to be a Buffalonian. Great credit to so many people, governor Cuomo and his staff, and our group and were working together. Football is the ultimate team game. The teamwork that went into making this all culminate to the sale this week, then to cap it off (with a win). It’s going to be a big party in this town (Sunday night) for sure.”

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Mrs. Wilson honored with game ball

Posted by Chris Brown on September 7, 2014 – 9:24 pm

There was a lot for the players to concern themselves with heading into their season opener. On a larger level than just the game was the fact that it was first game for the team without their founder and owner Ralph Wilson, who passed away this past March. After their overtime victory however, Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon made sure Mr. Wilson’s widow Mary was properly honored.

Brandon presented Mrs. Wilson with a game ball in the locker room after the victory.

“Yeah that was huge to come here first and win against another team who has been in the NFL since the origin of the NFL,” said EJ Manuel. “I know Russ Brandon gave a game ball to Mrs. Wilson today and I know that was a very momentous time for her and Russ. So we’re very happy to get this ‘W’ for Mr. Wilson today.”

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Mrs. Wilson thanks fans for paying respects

Posted by Chris Brown on April 5, 2014 – 3:02 pm

Mary Wilson, the widow of Bills founder and Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson spent almost an hour thanking fans as they made their way through the Memorial Celebration set up in the Bills Fieldhouse Saturday. The first two fans she thanked were Dennis Brown and Regina Moultrie.

“That’s was a big shock. She came up and said, ‘I like your outfit’ and I wasn’t really paying attention because I’m waiting to sign the (registry) book and I’m like, ‘Oh thank you.’ And then I’m looking at Regina and she’s making this face and I turn around and say ‘Oh God,’” said Brown. “But she was really, really nice. That was really, really nice.”

Brown, who made his way to Canton back in 2009 to watch Ralph Wilson’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony was touched by Mrs. Wilson’s presence as was fellow fan Regina Moultrie, who also felt the display in the Bills Fieldhouse was a fitting tribute.

“I think they did him well. There’s a lot of history here that I didn’t know,” Moultrie said. “For all I knew he was just the owner of the Bills. I found out a lot of things in the past week and a half from the news reports. It’s just amazing to see so many people come out and then Mary Wilson gave me a hug, so that was pretty amazing.”

“It feels real good to be a Bills fans today,” said Brown.

For those fans that Mrs. Wilson could not personally thank Mrs. Wilson issued the following statement.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank Bills fans and people everywhere for their tremendous outpouring of love for Ralph. Their heartfelt condolences and warm wishes have truly been a comfort for me, Ralph’s daughters Christy and Dee Dee, Mary Owen and the entire Wilson family during this difficult time.

“Ralph loved his life and he had a great full life that touched so many people in a variety of ways. He loved his family and his many friends. He loved his Buffalo Bills and he loved the fans. Before he passed, he told me that he wanted people to celebrate his life after he was gone. He wasn’t big on tears. And so that’s why we are referring to events such as the one today as “celebrating” the life of Ralph Wilson.

“This man accomplished so many things during his time and most of them have been well documented in the past couple of weeks. But the one thing that everyone has mentioned in their kind words was his sense of humor and that certainly was one of his most endearing qualities. Ralph most likely would have offered a funny quip about today’s event. But at the same time, he would have been profoundly touched by the fans outpouring of emotion.”

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