I read a very interesting article about John Rigas the former owner of the Buffalo Sabres. It was in Monday's edition of the USA Today. I know this is slightly off topic but this takes us back to a very important part of Buffalo Sabres history. I think it's a part of our history that we shouldn't ignore because we came very close to losing our team.
Bottom line: Rigas says the government's case wasn't really about fraud, "because, you know, there was no fraud." Rather, he says, "It was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If this had happened a year before, there wouldn't have been any headlines."
I'm not sure that I disagree with John regarding this statement based on the things that had transpired in the business sector around the same time. If it's true that they were making an example out of the Rigas family what a shame that would be. The country was in turmoil regarding business at this time and they really publicized the Adelphia scandal while pushing Enron on the back burner, it just doesn't seem fair does it?
I remember that while this transpired, as a Sabres fan it seemed surreal. I didn't think it was possible that the Sabres could leave Buffalo but the reality was that they were extremely close. Who thought that the Cleveland Browns would leave Cleveland, the Winnipeg Jets would leave Winnipeg, or the Quebec Nordiques would leave Quebec. The thing I didn't understand is that it seemed like the Sabres fans felt betrayed and avoided the team instead of rallying behind them.
Anyway it's really a great read about the Rigas family. It doesn't have anything about the Sabres at all but it adds a little insight into the whole scandal. It's obviously from the standpoint of John Rigas who is ready to begin a 15 year sentence in prison so of course his outlook is different than what we would hear from the feds.