It doesn't involve horses or gunplay, but these Buffalo Bills can put on a wild show for football fans. Buffalo Bills, Inc., operates the Buffalo Bills professional football team, one of the more storied franchises in the National Football League. A founding member of the American Football League, the team made four straight trips to the Super Bowl in the early 1990s but has yet to claim an NFL title. Buffalo has fielded teams with such Hall of Fame talent as OJ Simpson and Jim Kelly. Team owner and Detroit businessman Ralph Wilson founded the franchise in 1960; the Bills joined the NFL in 1970 when the AFL and NFL merged.
Playing in a small market such as Buffalo, New York, has presented financial challenges to the ball club. It inked a five-year deal with Toronto's Rogers Centre (owned by telecommunications operator Rogers Communications) in 2008 to hold regular-season games in Canada, kicking off the series that year with a game against division rivals the Miami Dolphins. The agreement, which met with the backing of the NFL as part of the league's overall international expansion plans, is hoped to expand the Bills market and fan base. Wilson has also been a tireless campaigner for increased revenue sharing payments to small-market teams.
Long suffering Buffalo cleaned house early in 2010 following another disappointing season. The Bills promoted interim general manager Russ Brandon to team president and promoted veteran scout Buddy Nix to serve as new general manager. Later, journeyman coach Chan Gailey was hired to lead the bench, replacing Dick Juron who was fired during the previous season. Gailey previously served as a coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs and was head coach of the football team at Georgia Tech. He also served briefly as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys during the late 1990s. Juron had been hired in 2006 after coaching the Chicago Bears for five seasons.