It has to be tough being a fan of the Buffalo Bills. The franchise best known for losing four straight Super Bowls hasn't posted a winning season since 2004 and it hasn't made the playoffs since 1999. Despite that recent track record, Toronto has poached one Bills home game per season since 2008 and that has led to plenty of snide comments the Bills will one day head across the border for good.
Maybe that move won't soon come to pass — the Toronto series was just extended through the 2017 — but Buffalo just got some practice in losing a Bills-related project, courtesy of Kevin Costner.
Yes, Kevin Costner. The actor was set to start playing the Buffalo Bills general manager in an Ivan Reitman-directed movie entitled "Draft Day" The movie was going to be shot in Buffalo until, well, the city of Cleveland stepped up and offered some better incentives for Costner to move the movie to Ohio.
Now he'll be getting his Billy Beane on by playing the Cleveland Browns GM instead.
The big reason (for the move), said Tim Clark, who heads the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission, was economics.
“At the end of the day, it was a money thing. I think Mr. [Ivan] Reitman really wanted to shoot here, but it just came down to the cost factor. What we were told is that the Cleveland incentives were better,” Clark said.
“I feel the worse for the Buffalo Bills, because they worked real hard to convince the film company that Buffalo was the place to shoot this, and that Buffalo was America’s team.”
According to Vulture, "Draft Day" is a comedy and centers around "Costner's character bustling around on draft day trying to trade the first pick of the draft into a series of better players for his flailing team." So maybe it won't end with the Super Bowl title that neither the Bills nor Browns have ever won. (Though if it does, one imagines it might look as strange as the one video game commercial that had the Cubs winning the World Series.)
Also, let's be honest: One might argue the Bills are the actual winners here. After all, you don't often hear the Arctic Circle or rainforest complaining about the time it lost out to the ocean for the chosen climate in Costner's post-apocalyptic bomb Waterworld, do you?