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Ralph Wilson donates $1 million to local university, immediately upstaged

Ralph: sign Fitzy and Freddie J already.

blog by Ben Kirst  • 

Let’s play pretend, Buffalo.  Close your eyes, and now open them—look, you’re Ralph Wilson

Consider your situation.  You’re getting up there in years.  You go to bed every night on a gigantic stack of money.  In one of your contemplative moments, you say to yourself, “Hey, maybe I should pump some of my vast, vast fortune into the betterment of the city from which I have extracted hundreds of millions of entertainment dollars over the past 50 years.” 

Let’s be realistic—your reputation in the community isn’t exactly stellar.  The whole “being awful for a decade” issue has surfaced more than once under your ownership of the Buffalo Bills.  You’ve made some dubious personnel moves.  You seem to float in and out of the day-to-day operations of the football team more than anyone is really comfortable with.  So if this donation gets you some positive press…that’s not a bad thing, right?

So you do it.  You give $1 million to the University at Buffalo Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine.  Hey, they did a bang-up job fixing the shredded knee of one of your seventh-round draft picks, so they seem as worthy of a target as any in the nation’s third-poorest city.  Use the money in good heath, othopaedos!

You pick up the paper a day or two after your generous gift, feeling good about life, only to see that a $40 million anonymous donation to the UB medical school is now headline news.

You think one thing:


And, as if to rub salt in your wounds, news breaks on Thursday that the CEO of Citibank has donated $2 million to St. Bonaventure University.  Your $1 million officially looks like chump change.  You may as well have thrown a garbage bag full of used aluminum cans into the Student Union foyer.

My advice to Ralph—write your next big check to the Fitzpatrick Foundation.  Possibly a sizable donation to the Jackson Trust, as well.  The people of Buffalo will be extremely appreciative.

TAGGED: buffalo bills, charity, ralph wilson, st. bonaventure university, university at buffalo

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  1. Bob Crossman September 22, 2011 @ 2:27pm

    the writer of this article is obviously one of the BIGGEST loozers on planet earth…. any contribution at all from anywhere is a top of the great gesture and very much appreciative. thank you ralph wilson for that generous contribution. this person that wrote this must be one of the same asses that would drop an empty envelope into the basket at church with nothing in it and talk poop about the poorer person next to him that dropped change in it.  what a scumbag…. thanx againralph.

    Bob Crossman's avatar
  2. Michael Rukavina September 22, 2011 @ 7:58pm

    I think your missing some of the points, Bob. The article I believe is focused more on how Wilson runs the Buffalo Bills, and not as much geared toward whether or not his donation was such a wonderful thing. I’m sorry, but I laughed my ass off when I read about the $40 million donation made days later. It’s not often that happens.
    And this goes back to what the writer was trying to relate the story to; Wilson even in philanthropic efforts still looks cheap. For as long as I can remember the Bills have seemed to pride themselves on finding ‘value’ players. In today’s world and in light of the $40 million donation made days later, it seems as though $1 million donation is also a donation of ‘value’. That donation, by the way, was not made by Wilson it was made by everyone who has ever supported the Buffalo Bills. And as a shareholder in the team I would have rather seen news that Ftiz, Jackson and Johnson were all signed/extended.

    Michael Rukavina's avatar
  3. Erica Morano September 23, 2011 @ 8:30pm

    I said just about the same thing when I saw the two newspaper articles - “Woops Ralph, you sure did get shown up!”  Any donation is a great one.  I wish Ralph would donate the Bills for a fair sum to some other owner.

    Erica Morano's avatar