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Buffalo Bills an adopted part of the Maple Leafs family?

Well, at least we could give up any hopes of the team ever making the playoffs.

But seriously, the prospect of the Bills playing more and more games in T.O. is not necessarily a good thing from a purely sporting perspective.

It does, however, present interesting possibilities for those who think our future as a region hinges on our ability to hitch our wagon to Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe. I'll hold that thought for another day, however.

I'm not one to wring my hands over the future prospects of the Bills -- I think we as a community worry way too much. But developments this week are worth pondering, so here goes.

Stephen Brunt, a sports columnist for the Globe and Mail, has a thoughtful perspective that envisions the Bills eventually pulling up stakes and moving north for good, perhaps under the ownership of the group that owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, which is making money hand over fist. 

Says Brunt:

It wasn't hard to find someone who would suggest with great certainty that Rogers Communications was looking to get out from under its commitment to the Bills, that it was ready to wave the white flag, that at least this phase of the plan to bring the NFL to Toronto had been a dismal failure.

The fact that Rogers instead appears poised to considerably increase its commitment -- and increase its risk -- suggests something very different indeed.

It is a clear statement of intent. Instead of backing off, it wants to get in deeper, in a very challenging business environment. And since no one believes the Bills in Toronto series is a cash bonanza unto itself -- ticket prices will be adjusted downward, starting with this year's game -- there must be some larger goal in mind.

Yeah, something that might involve a maple leaf.

Here's another post from Brunt from last May that's worth a read.

Meanwhile, Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons has a somewhat different take.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has told people that Rogers Centre is acceptable as a temporary home for a franchise but not a permanent one. Without a new stadium plan, Toronto likely would not be deemed acceptable by the NFL.

I want to return to the prospect of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment eventually buying the Bills.

Boy, it sure fits the profile.

Rich: Assets of $1.75 billion.

In the sport business: It owns the Maple Leafs, the Raptors of the NBA, the Marlies of the American Hockey League, and Toronto FC, a soccer team.

In the media business: It owns a television station focused on the Leafs and Raptors and recently bought a digital cable channel devoted to soccer.

In the sports property business: It owns and/or manages Air Canada Centre, home to the Leafs and Raptors, as well as the facilities in which its soccer and minor league hockey team plays.

That's some 900-pound gorilla, eh?

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