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“When Mammoser heard there was a possibility that the Bills could move to Los Angeles his first thought was, "This is great, the Bills in L.A. I don't have to go all the way to Buffalo to watch them," he said. "That was obviously for selfish reasons. Then I thought, wait a minute, they belong in Buffalo. In Los Angeles the Bills would be an option but in Buffalo it's a passion." That's the problem with Majestic Realty targeting the Bills and Jaguars -- the group couldn't have picked two more polar opposite teams to go after in the NFL. While the Bills sell out all their games and are as much a part of the city as spicy chicken wings, the Jaguars play in a sparsely filled stadium and are at or near the bottom of the league in attendance and merchandise sales. The Jaguars could pick up and leave Jacksonville today and the residents might not notice until September, if at all. "The Bills are huge. They're the heartbeat of Buffalo," Mammoser said. "It bonds everybody together. The common bond of Buffalo is to complain about the snow and to talk about the Bills. If they're doing great it's let's go Bills and if they're not doing well they complain about them but it's still a common bond." It's a sentiment that U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer echoed after John Semcken, the vice president of Majestic Realty, said that he and his group were targeting the Bills for a move to Los Angeles. Schumer said he spoke with Bills owner Ralph Wilson and that Wilson had no plans of moving the team. "The Bills are part of the very fabric of Western New York, and in Western New York they will stay," Schumer said in a statement. "Ralph Wilson is committed to Western New York, has had no contact with any purported suitors, and flatly told me that the Bills are staying in Buffalo." That may be true today but Wilson is 91 years old and has previously stated that the team will go up for auction when he dies. Even the most optimistic Bills fan knows that the team's foundation in Buffalo after Wilson passes is tenuous at best. Mammoser has lived in Los Angeles for 20 years and knows exactly what would happen if his beloved Bills moved here. The team would be the new hot club in town, talked about and packed for the first year before it's quickly forgotten when the next new shiny toy arrives. "I think Los Angeles would embrace a team at first," Mammoser said. "I mean everybody liked David Beckham when he first came here. I think that was the talk of the town for six months and then it kind of dwindled. One would hope that with a new stadium it would last a little longer but people in Los Angeles have so many options and you get finicky. I find myself falling into that trap too. Someone will call me to go to this new place next weekend and a part of me wants to but I kind of want to see if anything better pops up. That's the way we are. We have so much to choose from." The Majestic Realty group, however, doesn't have much to choose from and that might one day leave Buffalo without a team. If that happens, at least Mammoser won't have to travel very far to watch his team play. Arash Markazi is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.
They belong in Buffalo. In Los Angeles the Bills would be an option but in Buffalo it's a passion.” -- John Mammoser, founder of Los Angeles Bill Backers, on the group's heyday at Busby's Sports Bar