by Pat Freeman
The familiarity of mediocrity is once again in Western New York regarding our favorite past time the Buffalo Bills. For the 16th straight year the hometown team will not qualify for the post season tournament. The propaganda machines will begin building on an off season of optimism to trigger season ticket holders to renew their commitments. Why is it that a team that has so much talent seems to fail year in and year out? Many of the status quo organizational holdovers are still making decisions at One Bills Drive and none bigger than now Sabres and Bills President Russ Brandon.
Losing is alright as long as you’re white- cs
It is funny to me that this gentleman has been part of the longest play off drought in team history but worked his way up the ladder in two sports that he knows nothing about. It is obvious that he has the ear of the new owners on policy at this time because it is reflective in their commentary especially when they did a 360 degree turn on the subject of a new downtown stadium. In all due respects to Kim and Terry Pegula, Russ Brandon’s history on this issue has not been in line with the best interest of the Western New York Region ,or the NFL. When Mr. Brandon was put in the decision side of football operations, he chased out a Hall of Fame capable left tackle, Jason Peters who shut down our team last Sunday in Philadelphia . He has remained an all pro while we have struggled to find a replacement. When it comes to the downtown stadium proposal which was 100% privately funded, Mr. Brandon had his secretary inform me that he would always be too busy to talk to me!! Yes, this is the President of our Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills who do not spent a dime with African-American Media outlets while 95% of their players are African American.
Brandon in a scene from the movie “Draft Day” that should have been clipped like his dual roles in Buffalo- cs
Luckily I believe our new owners are looking into revisiting some of these inherited policies of $0.00 promotion with communities of color. For years I know for a fact that representatives of African-American Media outlets have asked the Buffalo Bills marketing department about advertising, and by the time they do, the answer would change to,” We are done advertising for the season.” This year I asked Pegula Sports and Entertainment who is now overseeing marketing for both pro teams, and they were very prompt about getting back to me but unfortunately their current marketing agreements is very restrictive. So, no matter how much people of color support our hometown teams the professional sports teams have inherited Jim Crow marketing agreements. This also includes the Buffalo Bandits and Buffalo Bisons who in Buffalo do not value the economic power of people of color as well. The University of Buffalo which has long moved up to Division 1 barely can pack their arena despite producing pro’s like James Starks and Khalil Mack refuse to allocate advertising to the largest African –American Media outlets in Western New York.
Brandon, Pegula, Ryan and Whaley. Guess which one stands to be gone at season’s end?- cs
If Buffalo is truly going through a re-emergence then all inherited policies of the old way must not be carried over. African-American purchasing power in Western New York is estimated at $850 million dollars a year, much of that is spent on recreation, consumer goods and luxuries that drive the economy of this region. Why are our sports teams, both amateur, and pro reaping the benefits of African –American media outlets and you refuse to spend a dime with them?
Pat Freeman writes for the Buffalo Criterion. If you enjoy talking about the world of sports tune into the number#1 sports show in the nation every Saturday from 3:30-5:00PM hosted by WUFO Sports Director Patrick Freeman on 1080AM WUFO radio, radio app., or via the internet at www.wufoam.com. Or catch Sports Update for clbTV (ch.20 Buffalo) and YouTube. Also join us for the number#1 recap show every Monday at 7:25AM with Lee Pettigrew, and The Mighty O’Ba Pat Freeman.