The Pegulas are winners. Well, it’s true for everything but sports. Buffalo fans wait patiently for their favorite couple to do for their franchises what they have for Canalside, as if there’s another choice. The elation has faded from their surprise acquisition of that other major outfit. But we should remain appreciative of our saviors as we cuss at them for hiring employees who fail our evaluations.
Fielding teams is just the start. Making Buffalo a nice place to play is part of a broader strategy, not to mention a profitable joy in its own right. People willingly cross city limits and stay for hours regardless of the time or season, which is an even more amazing development than one family owning our two beloved teams.
That same clan can take credit for the city’s resurgence even if they’re too modest for it. There are things to do for game attendees between the hockey arena and vehicle, which is a nice way for the Pegulas to prove there’s more to life than sports. It’s most important to emphasize after another 7-9 season by one branch.
Creating an exciting waterfront is the only thing harder than making the playoffs. Terry and Kim have achieved at least one seemingly impossible goal. An enjoyable downtown proves anything is possible, which spurs hopes that the Bills could win 10 games in a single season. Dream big.
The Bills are closer to the wild card than the waterfront was to being fun. In the HarborCenter’s case, development emerged out of literally nothing. I don’t really miss the parking lot. Importantly, what they’ve done for the city also helps their teams. It’s easier trying to sell free agents in a county where you can do more than hope there’ll be activities someday.
Bills fans often note you can trust us because loyalty has been confirmed a million times. But there are seven fans who hopped on the bandwagon. To be fair, they share a last name and joined at the worst possible time if you doubt their commitment. The Pegulas may be the only fans who began cheering during the postseason absence. They’ve been the bosses for a small portion of the drought, so we’ve owned something less tangible yet more painful.
It’s tough to suddenly be in charge. Getting acclimated with their teams has meant wasting a few coaching hires calibrating their instruments. A culture of mediocrity is harder to change than personnel. Sometimes, inheritances aren’t blessings.
Everything’s going great except the games. The Pegulas haven’t shown they can build winners after multiple chances with two clubs. That certainly doesn’t mean it’s impossible any more than it’s unacceptable to criticize the results so far. Fans balance gratefulness for keeping them as our home teams and the reasonable expectation they can occasionally advance.
Feelings can be complicated. An ambivalent relationship with owners leads to treasuring guardians while savaging them. Sabres backers can genuflect to previous owner Tom Golisano every day for rescuing them from the void left by the criminal who came before him while still wishing his club had re-signed Chris Drury. And the football enthusiasts know we wouldn’t have the Bills without Ralph Wilson, meaning we’d have no club about which to complain. The tradition of making us wonder if they hired the right coach this time is one bit of continuity that would be nice to discard.
The Pegulas’ personal success after starting at the bottom would be a great lesson to apply to football. The fan’s dream of getting rich enough to buy the teams they adore came true for one studious energy acquirer. This family didn’t win the lottery to get here: the only greater satisfaction than turning a company one started into a thriving concern is winning a sports championship. Now, they just have to prove it.
Western New York’s permanent prom king and queen are working on improving their teams even if the results aren’t there yet. The angry fan may feel the owners don’t care about anything more than hurting feelings by losing. Such diabolical charges may be unfounded. Losses often prompt irrationality.
Two people who haven’t been handed their empire strive to make similarly inspiring gains in their athletic pursuits. There can be no tangible returns on the Sean McDermott investment until September. So, at least know waiting could be worse: you could have money riding on it.
Fans waiting for dreams to come true should never take for granted that the Pegulas ended nightmares. The typical Bills fan has waited for an entire lifetime, so at least we’re accustomed to the frustration. But a change of pace would be sweet. Count the latest coach as a free do-over.
Fans have no reason to be impatient with those who kept our clubs in their homes, but an upgrade would still be nice. It’d benefit the beloved owners, as well, so don’t feel guilty about impatience.