So Russ Brandon couldn't wait to get off that podium and get to Arizona to start the process of interviewing head coach candidates for the Bills. Fair enough. Love the enthusiasm. Don't love the rush to interview guys from a five-win team the Bills actually beat this year, but that's another column for another day.
Brandon's initial legacy is going to be all about who ends up getting hired as the head coach. Then it moves to getting a quarterback.
But as epochal as Tuesday's announcement of the torch-passing from Ralph Wilson to Brandon may have been, I have one gnawing thought.
Brandon had better not be Buffalo's next Larry Quinn.
We all remember him. Two terms near the top of the Sabres' hierarchy, including one as minority owner. Neither ended well. It was a classic case of a guy with plenty of business acumen having no business being involved with what happened on the ice.
Quinn's background was in real estate and urban planning. And First Niagara Center, still one of the top arenas in the NHL, was his vision at a time when the city desperately needed someone to come up with one.
It was early in 1996, back when he was trying to boost Big 4 basketball as an important piece to fill arena dates, that Quinn gave me a personal tour of the under-construction arena.
We went through the pavilion and I interrupted Quinn's speedy descriptions with a simple question: “Larry, how in the world are 18,000 people going to come in through one door?”
Quinn explained the pavilion would be a signature element, a grand community meeting place. He rhapsodized about throngs of cheering fans entering before events and exiting triumphantly after them. He was so right.
Quinn did plenty of good, like running with the NHL's idea of an outdoor game and making it a spectacle. The league should have taken him seriously about bigger nets too. But he didn't belong in the John Muckler-Ted Nolan mess. And his man-crush on Chris Drury helped the club deem Daniel Briere expendable in that fateful summer of 2007.
At least Brandon's background is in sports, dating to his days with the Rochester Red Wings and Florida Marlins. Brandon is a brilliant marketer. The Bills' training camp setup at St. John Fisher is the envy of many NFL teams, as is the money they rake in from that disgraceful selloff of a game to Toronto.
Under Brandon, the Bills have sold hope better than any franchise around. Remember Terrell Owens?
I loved what Brandon said about the Bills' record being unacceptable and about the brand being tarnished. In terms of relevance to their league, the Bills have become the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NFL.
Forget 13 straight non-playoff seasons. My scorebook says it's been 17 years since the Bills' last playoff win (the 37-22 wild-card thumping of the Dolphins on Dec. 30, 1995).
Brandon needs to trust his football people but his first move was to keep Buddy Nix, a 73-year-old who admitted Tuesday he didn't know a lick about the analytics the new president was talking about. Uh-oh.
So it appears Brandon is going to make heavy football decisions here. You'd like to think he's ready but it's scary stuff. Look what happened to the Sabres when Quinn got too involved.