The king and queen’s crown has started to lose its shine.
Terry and Kim Pegula, owners of the Buffalo Bills and Sabres have become royalty to western new yorkers since they bought the Bills in 2014. If it weren’t for the Pegulas, Buffalo may not have a football team right now.
Since then the Pegulas have done wonders. Downtown Buffalo has become a hotspot with the addition of the HarborCenter and Canalside. For years locals were saying how nice of waterfront could be made, it always seemed like it was just talk. But thanks to help of King and Queen of the City, it became a reality.
These developments have created jobs, pumped revenue back into downtown. Something I have never said before in my lifetime, Downtown Buffalo is starting to feel like a spot for tourism. All of these things are great, but let’s not forget one thing.
They are professional sports owners.
The honeymoon period is over for this duo. They bought a hockey team that has had its struggle to find committed long-term owners, and saved a football team that was bound to pack up and head across the Peace Bridge. But now it’s time to start acting like professional sports owners.
Time to start winning.
It may not be fair, but as the Pegulas probably already know, many things in Buffalo are not fair. These owners carry the burden of owning a football team that currently holds a record for the longest playoff drought in all of the four major U.S. sports and a hockey team that has very few and far between successful runs.
They may not be the reason the Bills haven’t made the playoffs this millennium but they are a part of it now. This disgruntled fan base has gone through the ringer, they just want to win.
Though the aura around these franchises has it feeling like things are going in the right direction the most recent seasons have produced what we have seen too many times-mediocrity.
The rollercoaster under Rex Ryan came to an end when he was fired before the end of 2016 season, but how it ended has left many still scratching their heads.
Everyone was expecting Rex would he be fired, but what was not expected was when general manager Doug Whaley came to the mic and said this.
When Whaley was asked if he ever put any thought into the firing, he responded with a simple no.
Now there are claims that Whaley lied. But whether the Pegulas had their gm go up and lie straight to the public, or they actually kept him out of the loop entirely. It is not a good look.
Let’s take you from One Bills Drive to 1 Seymour H. Knox III Plaza where the Sabres have been among the worst in the NHL this decade. They went through a tank that saw some of the worst seasons in league history. Now two years since they drafted what you could call the Prince of the Queen City, Jack Eichel, they have improved immensely. But another year without playoffs has fans starting to wonder when will things finally come together?
That’s what every Buffalo sports fan ask themselves at the beginning of the season every year. Will this be time where we get off to hot start? Can we beat Patriots, heck can we beat the Jets? Can Jack lead his team to the playoffs like Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews have now done.
These are the questions. The Pegulas talk all about a winning attitude, but the product on the field and the ice has not shown it. Buffalo is impatient Terry and Kim, time to start answering questions.