A Production of WNED-TV Buffalo-Toronto
RALPH is a half-hour biographical documentary on Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., one of Buffalo’s most iconic sports figures. Wilson was the founder and long-time owner of the Buffalo Bills. After his death, the Bills were sold for a record $1.4 billion. The money from the sale was used to create the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, cementing a powerful sports and philanthropic legacy. RALPH premiered on WNED-TV December 15, 2017.
Influenced by the Midwestern values of his father, Wilson was a successful businessman. The wealth Wilson amassed allowed him to occasionally mix business with pleasure. That was the case in 1959 when he became a founding member of the American Football League.
Wilson had the choice of several cities in which to locate his new franchise. His choice of Buffalo started a relationship with the city and its fans that lasted more than half-a-century. During his time as owner, the Bills won two AFL championships in the 60’s and went to four straight Super Bowls in the 90’s, unfortunately losing all four.
But Wilson’s relation to Buffalo and the Bills went beyond football. He championed many community causes and organizations during his life. He did the same for his hometown of Detroit.
RALPH uses interviews and archival material to tell the story of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Included in the program are former coach Marv Levy, former players Thurman Thomas and Jim Kelly, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Buffalo Bills President Russ Brandon, long-time Buffalo News reporter Vic Carucci, football historian and Bills collector Greg Tranter, former Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Enertprises CFO Jeffrey Littmann, niece and former Bills Executive Vice President Mary Owen and Mary Wilson. The program is narrated by former ESPN announcer Chris Berman.
Major funding for RALPH provided by New Era Cap Company with additional support from Five Star Bank.