Tonawanda News

December 4, 2013

OUR VIEW: Bills' Toronto experiment not working

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Come play in Toronto, they said. It’ll be good for everyone, they said. 

They were wrong.

Maybe the annual Bills “home” game in T.O. is good for the NFL, although we’re not entirely convinced. It may be good for Bills’ management’s bottom line. But you’d be hard pressed to convince us that it’s good for the team. Or for the fans.

Sunday’s loss against the Atlanta Falcons was just the latest in a series of disappointments for Buffalo in Canada. More than a disappointment, it was an embarrassment.

Watching the game on television, it was difficult to tell which was the “home” team. It certainly wasn’t a crowd of Bills fans like we’d have in Orchard Park. The fan base was 50/50 at best. And by that we mean 50 percent for the Bills and 50 percent against them. It’s doubtful there were any actual Falcons fans there, although the cheering when Atlanta kicked the game-winning field goal in overtime might make you wonder.

The idea of a Buffalo-Toronto region is appealing for many reasons. But our sports fans don’t really get along. Have you ever gone to Toronto wearing a Sabres jersey? They just don’t like us. Why would we think they’d like our Bills? 

Six years ago when this idea was proposed it had its merits. Even if we had our doubts, we were hoping to be proved wrong. But we didn’t understand the logic of renewing the arrangement this past January. We’d like to see it nixed altogether now.

As if the cheering for the Falcons and booing of the Bills weren’t enough, we had to watch Toronto Mayor Rob Ford eat chicken wings. Great, now he’s the face of the Buffalo Bills. As if the Buffalo Bills being the face of the Buffalo Bills wasn’t bad enough.

It can only be assumed that the ownership of the Bills has no real interest in winning games or making the fans happy. Otherwise, they’d play their home games at home where they have a slightly better chance of winning them — like we would have Sunday against Atlanta.

Maybe some day Bon Jovi will buy the team and move it to Toronto. Until then, let’s keep the Bills’ home games in the Buffalo area where they belong.