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Robert Kraft

Wilson, Voice of the Smaller Markets



Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - One of the biggest fears many Buffalo Bills fans have had through the years is that Buffalo is a "small market" and therefore has a difficult time supporting an NFL franchise.  Well that fear has been thrust to center stage following the passing of Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson.

A new owner of the franchise could make the conomic case that it makes sense to move the team to "greener pastures".  It was always Ralph Wilson's contention that as long as he was the owner, the team would stay in Buffalo and Western New York.  That all could change now with Wilson's passing.

During the NFL owner's meeting in Florida, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft had made some comments about Wilson that substantiated his longtime support for the smaller NFL towns like Buffalo. 
 

Kraft referred to him as the "ultimate gentleman," recalling his kindness when he first took ownership of the Patriots. He also made note of his importance to the league.  "He was a man who represented the smaller markets,'' Kraft tolf The Boston Herald. "Before I got to the NFL, they made the great decision to share revenues, national revenues, television revenues. Ralph was always the voice of the small markets, making sure his loyalty to the fans of Buffalo was very special" said Kraft.

Asked how Ralph conducted himself during the owners meetings, he said, "Ralph would always in a gentlemanly way would be very clear what his position was. He was not bashful.'' "Whether it was popular or not, he had the gravitas, and the history of playing the role he played so many years. He was just a real classy guy and all of us who love this game should be grateful for the role he played and should take a moment to thank him in our own way."

Only time will tell what happens next.


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