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The Bills Don't Suck at One Thing

by on April 18, 2011

Leave it to the Buffalo Bills to screw up home-field advantage. The success dodgers are 39-46 at the erstwhile Rich Stadium in the 11 ludicrously atrocious seasons since the last time they made the playoffs. Maybe all that cheering puts too much pressure on the poor fellas.

Even worse, locals support a team that can’t even win half its home games whether they want to or not. The involuntary transfer of over $7 million per season from taxpayers to a billionaire-owned club explains why one of the parties struggles so much.

They get their government cheese even if there’s not going to be season. The prospect of a lockout remaining in force won’t hurt Buffalo’s “pro” team, as they’d be getting paid for doing nothing. Cue jokes about how they’d do no worse without fielding players:

Erie county taxpayers, as reported by Matt Spina of, will be shelling out $640,000 to the Buffalo Bills by May 1, and another million by Aug. 1. The money is for “game-day and operating expenses,” covering things like utilities, garbage, cleaning, maintenance and pest control.

“Pest control”? You don’t want to make poor Ralph Wilson stomp cockroaches himself, do you? Until the county forces him to scrape together enough to pay an exterminator, Western New Yorkers are paying for the Bills.

In exchange, the public should have at least gotten a say on whether the defense should have maintained the 4-3 alignment. The coordinator tried a change to a four-linebacker set without taxpayer feedback, with predictably disastrous results. The poor value for the money offered by the coaching staff is one of countless reasons why Erie County’s contribution is a bad investment even under the best circumstances.

Public funding for private businesses distorts economic circumstances during boom times. It’s just more inexcusable while the area is stuck in a rut. Buffalo’s remaining residents who tire of paying for failure might use this as one more reason to consider packing their belongings and reuniting with erstwhile neighbors in one of the Carolinas.

The Bills are the GE of teams, as they figured how to score a sweet deal with the government that shields them from the rotten economy.

Alternately, the football subsidy also resembles the folly of giving tax dollars to NPR: if you think the product is so cool, pay for it yourself. Store your Brian Moorman jersey in your tote bag.

For now, the side is set to receive another small fortune taken from those who earned it. Say farewell to seven figures of currency that Erie County residents won’t be able to spend as they wish, even at Bills games.

Cutting off the footballers from welfare has nothing to do with being a fan. If residents want to experience the brutal frustration that accompanies supporting the Bills, they’re free to do so. That includes opening their own wallets. Get a T.O. shirt before they’re gone!

Many fans might wait to see if the team is foolish enough to draft Cam Newton before willingly surrendering more dollars to Wilson. But having to earn money would encourage the Bills to finally make half-wise decisions about personnel.

As it stands, the Bills are insulated from the free market. They get their operating costs covered regardless of whether they lose three times as many games as they win. In fact, acquiring guaranteed revenue is one of the only areas at which they thrive.

The franchise may be criminally incompetent at fielding a squad that doesn’t embarrass itself, the area, and the sport. But they nonetheless remain proficient at raking in automatic income. They may not even have to play crummy football to get paid.

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