by Paul "Closer" Wanecski
As turmoil continues to brew in over the future of the Buffalo Bills, new players are entering the game. Morgan Stanley, the investment bank handling the major financial piece of the new ownership puzzle, is welcoming a bid from the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres previous owner, Thomas Golisano. As the pool of potential bidding parties continue to dwindle to a select group of finalists, it has become apparent that no initial bid of ownership was considered enough for the National Football League franchise here in Buffalo.
Enter Golisano, with a history in Buffalo, NY of being the savior of a failing franchise.
Aside from everything that Golisano did to raise the Sabres from the dungeon of the NHL, it is important to remember the most crucial component; Thomas Golisano is a businessman first, Buffalo enthusiast second. That is not to downplay the fact that when Golisano sold the Sabres to current owner Terry Pegula in 2011, it was written in the terms of the agreement that Pegula was to never move the Sabres from Buffalo. In an article from the Associate Press, published on ESPN.com February 3rd, 2011, Golisano is penned as having informed the media that he was offered a bid for the team that would have relocated the Sabres and the bid was nearly $70 million dollars more than the $189 million that Pegula paid. All this history bodes exceptionally well for the residents of who love the Bills.
Enter Roger Goodell. Over the last several years (although it seems like an eternity), the NFL Commissioner has been promoting that an NFL Team could be in London in the near future. On July 20th, 2014, Mike Coppinger posted an article on NFL.com stating that Goodell was praising the support and demand the league was finding for a football team in London, quoting “it could be five or 10 years away.”
Enter Monica Seles. The former tennis star and current fiancé of Golisano, she adds a rather interesting variable into the future of the Bills in Buffalo, NY. As most people know, Seles traveled the world during her tennis career winning 53 titles until she played her last professional match in 2003. She will celebrate her 41st birthday this year, while Golisano will turn 73 in November. Needless to say, he will not be around forever. With Seles’ and her international contacts (having be a native of Yugoslavia until she became a citizen of the United States in 1994), it does stand to reason that she may be drawn back to her days on the grass court at Wimbledon. It is with great sensitivity that you need to review Goodell’s statement and the possible triage of the Bills ownership lineage if Golisano and Seles were to wed.
I hate to mention it, however, the correlation is just too much to ignore. With an investment bank accepting new bidders outside the structure of a non-disclosure agreement, you have to wonder if Roger Goodell has a greater plan in mind that involves relocating the Bills to London via Seles.