With the Super Bowl upon us, where do René Jones' pro football loyalties lie?
The M&T Bank Corp. chairman and CEO grew up in Massachusetts. He moved to Buffalo in 1992, right in the middle of the Bills' glory years. After his keynote address at last week's Prospectus Premiere, he was put on the spot: Patriots or Bills?
His favorite team is actually the New York Giants, and he explained why.
"It's not the Pats, because Steve Grogan was the quarterback when I was growing up," he said. (Grogan played the same position on the same team as Tom Brady. The comparison ends there.)
Jones said the Bills could be a candidate for his favorite team. When he moved here, people would invite him to Bills games, particularly against the Patriots – and typically in December. "It took me a couple of years to catch on," he said to laughter from the audience.
But Jones said his dad was a Giants fan, so he became a Giants fan, too. And there was more to the story.
"One of my best friends from high school was the all-time leading rusher for the Giants, so it's hard for me to move away from them," he said.
That star player: Joe Morris, who is now retired from football and ranks third on the Giants' all-time rushing list.
Mercifully, no one in the crowd followed up asking what Jones thought of that kick at the end of Super Bowl XXV.