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Because your folks are away doesn't mean you can play here.

Pegula's plan would mean what for Whaley?

File this one for when all this NHL Draft and World Cup hubbub quiets down.

(Wait, what?)

I'm thinking ahead to when Terry Pegula buys the Buffalo Bills.

What will change?

Ever since March when we got into football draft-mode we tried to figure out why the bosses at the for-sale Bills wouldn't want to spend future assets on immediate needs. Turns out, they did. Sure, they haven't said as much, but Doug Whaley talked at first about "win now" and having that pick be fairly late next year, then recently called "win now" something that all teams are about. The story changed because I'm pretty sure they don't want the Sammy Watkins trade chalked up solely to a GM sneaking into Dad's liquor cabinet when his parents are away.

p.s. Jairus Byrd.

The Watkins move is one a lot of us might have made under the circumstances, and I've never blamed the Bills for making it. But, as often happens with them, they're having trouble telling the tale. Spinmasters, they ain't.

Whaley would have had good reason to think he needs a winning team this year to stick around. Sports teams get sold and executives get subbed out, especially losing ones. It's logical and there is precedent.

Ironically, however, when Pegula buys the team a competing precedent will emerge. When buying the Sabres, Pegula kept his general manager firmly in place. Not only was Darcy Regier not let go upon the sale, he eventually found his way to a contract extension. I, like most fans, didn't think the extension was warranted, but I think Pegula likes to throw his money around. Whatever you need, Darcy.

So, will Whaley's reputation impress Pegula the way Regier's apparently did?

The key, perhaps, is Russ Brandon.

When Pegula bought the Sabres, upper management was dismissed, but those men were part-owners. Larry Quinn and Dan DiPofi cashed out and that was that. I'm not sure this tells us anything about what will happen with the Bills.

I believe if Brandon stays, Whaley stays. Brandon considers Whaley a star, and he's his star. But before all that, would Pegula and Brandon choose each other? Brandon has loads of experience, much of which has been in softening fans' concerns about the team's future. Upon the sale, presumably, all that goes away.

That's the thing about these sales too -- it's not that new owners necessarily have their own sports guys in mind, but they do tend to bring the higher-ups. So you might expect Pegula to hire a new president, say. Like he did with Ted Black.

Perhaps Pegula would want Brandon to run the football department, and work above Whaley. Fine, but is that what Brandon is suited for? Would that be popular with fans? I think Brandon doesn't get a rougher ride from fans because they separate him from football. If he becomes the "football executive" that could change. After all, he's been high on the Bills' food chain throughout this 14-year playoff drought.

Also, I'm not assuming Brandon would want all that. He might, he might not. I've wondered if he doesn't move to the league level someday, perhaps even on a commissioner track. (Is there a commissioner track?)

We'll be talking about this someday soon. Just gotta let the soccer buzz settle first.

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Topics : Sports
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People : Dan DiPofiDarcy RegierDoug WhaleyLarry QuinnRuss BrandonTed BlackTerry Pegula
06/24/2014 8:24AM
Pegula's plan would mean what for Whaley?
Please enter your comments below.
06/24/2014 8:28AM
Will someone explain to me how Pegula can bid on the Bills if he already owns another professional sports franchise? I thought one could not do that in the NFL?
06/24/2014 8:42AM
You mean to tell me that you haven't been fired yet? Is that a picture of Bulldogs liquor in his basement bar?
06/24/2014 9:26AM
Pegula and the Bills
Pegula buying the Bills would be huge. Clearly, he is building the Sabres from the ground up, and that's what I suspect he will do with the Bills as well. I am crossing my fingers that he will actually buy them. Thank you Mr. Pegula.
06/24/2014 9:27AM
.... Toronto! Sorry folks, the Bills are out of here in the next year or two. (No they're not! There's this lease thing, and Cuomo wants them to stay, and Goodell is from Jamestown, and...) They're gone folks. The NFL isn't about yo friends, the NFL is about yo business! The NFL wants to be on the world stage, and this is their opportunity to test the fertile grounds of Canada. This team won't be supported just by the Toronto market, but the better part of Canada. The investment is WELL WORTH the half billion dollar fine for moving the team out of Western NY before 2020. (But legally there's no way...) Money talks folks. Erie county will get a nice little consolation prize in the millions of dollars over and above the fine. (But Pegula won't be outbid!) He's a business man. His investment needs a return so his cap is 1.2 billion. And even if he did put the highest bid in, NFL owners want a nice return too - and that's with a team in Canada so they won't vote Pegula into the club. Meanwhile, the Toronto group will plop down 1.9 for the team, including the half billion penalty. So, stop talking about new stadiums, and what owner will best make this team into a winner. After the "Save the Bills" rallies, and meaningless petitions... they're gone. I'll even name the new team for you - the Toronto Soul.
06/24/2014 9:28AM
Will Pegula lead the Bills down a wrong path like he did the Sabres?
Probably so, he is a meddler with very little sports acumen. If Pegula buys, the Bills are doomed just like the 5year plan Sabres.
06/24/2014 9:54AM
You're primarily a hockey guy.
So; drawing a conclusion about what Pegula might do with the Bills is something one might expect from you. But, since you've made many really dumb statements about the Bills over the years, demonstrating time again that you don't know football or Bills football, what you say here is something I can easily disregard.
06/24/2014 10:39AM
There will be an awful lot more "yapping" about what they are "going to do"...
If we go by the experience thus far with the Sabres, I expect to hear a ton about how much effort will be put in to make the team better, how much effort will be put in to making sure the team has the best administration and personnel, how much effort will be put in to make the fan experience better, how little money means to the owner, and how much the owner is willing to spend on everything under the sun to make (insert name of team here) the best organization in the history of (insert professional sports league here). THEN, they will go out and make darn sure that NONE of that ever really happens but oh boy will they TELL you about how much they are doing. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you what they will surely do as well: your costs to attend that team's events will increase as well. Every year. And they will smile while raising your prices, too! You then will receive plenty of graphs and charts telling you how well they are doing with whatever their plan is at that point in time.
06/24/2014 12:01PM
Ah yeah....
Doesn't that sum it up? He's been high in the admin and associated with the 14 yr steak. Or is it he NOW can make appropriate changes/decisions and Whaley was his 1st good one?
06/24/2014 12:05PM
06/24/2014 12:08PM
...why the picture of the liquor cabinet? Cause you were drinking it when you wrote this article? Odd indeed!
06/24/2014 12:24PM
You OBVIOUSLY wrote this column AFTER consuming the liquids in your picture, correct? WELL HERE'S A S-O-B-E-R-I-N-G FACT: THE NFL OWNERS WILL NEVER LET PEGULA IN, NEVER! BECAUSE THE NFL OWNERS ARE "BIGTIME" and not interested in small potatoes like... WALMART= "THEEE BIGGEST NICKLE AND DIME LOoSER FRANCHISE IN ALL OF PRO SPORTS"!!!! You know WHO'S ELITE, right? SAY MY NAME.
06/24/2014 2:31PM
to the guy above me...
you realize pegula has more money than almost all the other NFL owners, right? Also, how is he nickel and diming? He trading assets for picks. Not the best strategy for fans, but you wont be complaining when the sabres are good again. PS. sweet caps, dork.
06/24/2014 2:42PM
it's amazing how clueless most of you are...and no this is not Mike Schopp. I love how people that "think" they are moving to Toronto, know for a fact that they are moving.
06/24/2014 3:47PM
Re: So...
That is a picture of Bulldogs booze.
06/24/2014 4:06PM
The Liquor Display
That's in The Bills Post Game Show War Room on game days.
06/24/2014 4:19PM
If anyone wants to believe that, they are on crack. Not happening. Ill go with Donald Trump getting them before anyone, he has the cash. And the lawsuits in court will hold up any move out of here for quite a while, plain and simple. And doesn't the trust have a say who gets the team? does it say it goes to the highest bidder? does any of Ralph Wilson's requests mean anything as they are written in the trust? Do the other NFL owners, the majority for that matter have any say in a move when most want the team to stay here? CANADA is a foreign country and does not want an NFL team, they have the CFL which will also file lawsuit after lawsuit, etc, etc,...
06/24/2014 4:20PM
why is this schopp silliness guy yelling?
06/24/2014 4:22PM
Why Pegula can own 2
Pegula can own 2 teams as long as they are in the same city. Jacobs can't because he is in two different cities.
06/24/2014 6:58PM
Oh Brother !
Not another Schopp ridiculous ponderance. Please someone fire these two. This is worthless drivel and Buffalo fans deserve better.
06/24/2014 7:29PM
re confused
The NFL rule is you can own 2 franchises of different sports as long as they are in the same market
06/24/2014 7:55PM
Let's just hope this never happens.
Many people don't want Pegula to take over the Bills and I'm one of them, but for a different reason. It isn't because he'll run the Bills into the ground - they've done a great job of doing that by themselves. It's not that he'll meddle in their affairs - they have proven that they can hire incompetents without his help. I don't want Pegula in the NFL because he's an NHL guy. IOW, he's a Hockey Guy. And I don't want my sport tainted by the "highbrows" at One Bums (sorry, Bills) Drive. The sooner the Bums get out of town, the better!
06/24/2014 9:54PM
How Low...
Can't believe a once proud station like WGR, at one time employing the late, great John Otto, has sunk to publishing such bilge. So very, very sad.
06/24/2014 10:29PM
is one of those guys who always thinks he is the smartest person in the room.... He is actually one of the biggest idiots in the business. Although, I guess I can understand getting to think you are the smartest guy in the room when most of the time theonly other guy in that room is Bulldog.
06/24/2014 10:59PM
Future of Brandon
You know, when this is all over, we may be indebted to Russ Brandon for helping to keep the Bills in Buffalo, but I'm not sure Russ Brandon gets a job anywhere in the NFL.
06/25/2014 8:07AM
New ownership, New management
I thought it would be an automatic, Russes' claim to fame is marketing, not football, he was brought to sell suites back in 98, not to run a football team.
06/25/2014 8:47AM
the only one drinking is you. You people need a life...find a girl and get down. Must suck to sit on the computer all day and night. LOoooser.,
06/25/2014 9:08AM
RE: Confused?
NFL owners can own multiple sports teams as long as they are in the same town.
06/25/2014 11:57AM
Pandering to Pegula
Once again we get opinions from WGR that reflect the love they all serve up for the Sabres owner. While I hope they stay too having one owner for both teams and one sports station to cover them is very comfy. Expect Toronto to make a serious and high bid which reflects the 4th largest city in North Amerca. It will also include a Super Bowl quality stadium and a pitch to become Canada's team. Nobody including Buffalo's Savior will be able to beat that bid. It is in the hands of the NFL to determine where the franchise will go. The ROI for a Toronto bid will bring the price to a level Buffalo cannot compete with regardless of the wealth of Terry Pegula. Enjoy the Sabres rebuild HarborCenter instead!
06/25/2014 1:19PM
TO THE GUY BELOW ME.... re:to the guy above me...
How do you know who and how much assets all the other NFL owners have? Please post a comparison because I would be very interested to see it. I'll be waiting... And I AM NOT COMPLAINING that LOoSERWALMART IS AN EMBARASSMENT TO THE NHL; you obviously haven't caught on THAT I LOVE IT!!! Oh and PS... Aren't you impressed that in 3 YEARS since "YOUR SAVIOR" bought WALMART he's EXPERTLY driven them firmly into "the worse team in hockey"? Yessss... very nice! So while you are researching all the NFL owners' assets, keep this in mind... WALMART WILL ALWAYS BE- "THEEEE BIGGEST NICKLE AND DIME LOoSER FRANCHISE IN ALL OF PROFESSIONAL SPORTS"! PSagain... how's the golf??? SAY MY ELITE NAME...
06/25/2014 1:26PM
Brandon has failed as GM already
Russ Brandon is gone when the new owners come in. He has already failed as a de facto GM (something he tends to forget at times) and has his mitts all over this playoff drought. Brandon-Overdorf-Littman will soon be ex-front office types. Whaley and Marrone will have to show something soon to stay.
06/25/2014 1:53PM
Please Do Something About That Walmart Guy
Since everything is supposedly reviewed/moderated before posting, can't you refuse to post this guy's blithering idiocy? It's the same stuff - day after day - thread after thread. It says nothing new and it says it in no coherent fashion. I believe that continuous, meaningless sameness is the very definition of spam, which is an excellent reason for not allowing his posts. I know people say, 'Don't feed the trolls,' but, after all this time, it's up to WGR to just say, 'Enough.'
06/25/2014 3:32PM
Pegula is a terrible owner, he like a deer in the headlights
Do any of you really believe the Sabres are better off since that bozo bought the team? You may all get what you wish for, and Buffalo will NEVER see the Cup or the Super Bowl. I have absolutely no doubt about that. Pegula has already become a joke in the NHL.
06/25/2014 4:58PM
WGR! Bring Back The Coach Please, WGR!
Where is Chuck anyways?
06/25/2014 6:31PM
Same Old
So because the Bills drafted Watkins they are going to the playoffs? Hah! Thats ridiculous. They still need somebody who can get him the ball. They need a FRANCHISE QB! Whaley has mortgaged the Bills future, and I hope that when The Donald buys the Bills that he fires Brandon and Whaley. If not, it will be more of the same old, same old. Another 15 years without going to the playoffs!
06/25/2014 6:43PM
If Pegula or Golisano gets the Bills it will be more of the same for Buffalo. Losers! We've seen this before. Trump is the kind of guy who gets results -or he fires people and brings in new people. If Bon Jovi buys the Bills it will be a disaster. It will be bye-bye Bills! Hello Toronto.
06/25/2014 9:52PM
06/29/2014 8:55AM
Re: Please Do Something About That Walmart Guy
I hate to say it, but I'm afraid that Walmart Guy is right. The biggest nickel and dime lOoser franchise in all of pro sports. Murray is ready to make trades though. Yeah, right. There are no teams interested in the Sabres players I guess. That explains why there are no rumors involving Buffalo. The analytics of these players are too pathetic. Way below NHL standard. Borderline AHL material.
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