Ralph Wilson donates $1 million to local university, immediately upstaged
blog by Ben Kirst • September 22, 2011 @ 9:24am
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 $40 million anonymous donation to the UB medical school is now headline news.
You think one thing:
ARE YOU F*&%$&^# KIDDING ME?
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.