An open letter to Mr. B. Thomas Golisano
Hello. Can I call you Tom? Okay. How about Tommy? No? That’s fine.
Anyways, Tom, you’ve got yourself in the news, haven’t you? You’ve said all along that you would be open to sell, and, well, here’s your chance. There’s this guy named Terry, who, while we don’t really know him that well yet, wants to buy the team. He seems like he’s a hockey guy. He’s a local guy too, and he loves the Sabres. I mean, he had season tickets!
We know you got into this mess without really being a hockey man yourself, and that’s alright. You were approached because you cared about our community and had the money to do good things. And you’ve done good things. Look at all the hospitals and universities in western New York that are better places thanks to your generosity. We appreciate that.
When you came in 2003, things looked bleak. We almost lost the team. But you came in, brought your business skills, streamlined the operation, and turned the franchise around. The organization went from bleeding money to sustainable.
You had a good run. We got to see probably the two best seasons in franchise history under your watch. We were a contender. At least until the business side of the operation got in the way of the hockey side of the operation. Things haven’t been as good since, but things are still alright. Hey, at least we’ve had a bunch of new jerseys to go and buy! Thanks for that!
You’ve had your share of bad moments in this whole thing as well. Some of them, well, most of them, can be blamed on the guy who you have running the show, but that’s not all on you. But Larry Quinn was smart enough to get you involved in the first place, so all the dumb things he’s said and done aren’t your fault. I’m not even gonna use the words “eat” or “microphone” here.
But Tom, things have changed. You’ve got an opportunity here to be a hero again. I know it’s a fun toy to have in the arsenal. Professional sports can be pretty sweet. But the fans in Buffalo want a guy who’s not just here to save the team, or be profitable. It seems like this Pegula guy wants to win. That might be cool, right? Winning? I know winning is fun, but we get the sense that you’re not willing to lose a few bucks for a few more notches in the win column. Not that we can blame you, but can you blame us?
You’re gonna get a solid return on your investment. This guy has money, and he’s willing to spend it. You’ll be able to relax in Florida with your beautiful woman and enjoy retirement. You’ll forever be remembered as a guy who stepped in and saved the team. You can also be remembered as a guy who was willing to step aside when his work here was done. So, we’re asking you to do that.
This is not kicking you out the door. We’d be happy to have you around whenever you wanna stop in. Leaving on good terms can cement a reputation. Be remembered as an important part of our beloved Sabres’ history.
But, for the same reason you stepped in, we’d like you to walk away.