With the start of NFL training camps right around the corner, Bills President & CEO RUSS BRANDON is spending his last real week of summer vacation with his family on Canandaigua Lake, which is just south of Rochester, N.Y., and about an hour-and-a-half drive from his home in the Buffalo suburb of Williamsville. Brandon and his wife have three children -- RJ (12), JACK (11) and GRACE (8) -- and they try to make the lake house home base in the summertime to ease the travel of the boys’ baseball schedules.
SUMMERTIME AND THE LIVING’S EASY: When I’m down at the lake, it’s all about having quality time with the kids. We’ve got some jet skis and it’s a lot of jumping off the dock and swimming and tubing and all the fun things you do at the lake. We try to get down this time of year because it’s our downtime, but it’s still not nearly as much as I’d like. The cool thing about Canandaigua Lake is, it’s very family oriented and I don’t want to say old school, but time sort of stands a little bit more still here.
PLAY BALL! The main focus of the weekend is baseball tournaments. My oldest son RJ has a travel tournament in Clarence, N.Y., and my other son Jack, he has a tournament in Lewiston, N.Y. They’re both right in the middle of travel baseball so it’s a lot of running around with those guys because they play on three different teams and they’re all over the place. One of them played in Ohio last week, so it seems like every weekend we’re going all over the place for these guys.
CREATURE OF HABIT: I can’t sleep in on the weekends, I’m an early riser. So on the weekend I try to get some stuff that I might want to do out of the way before my kids, who do a really good job sleeping in, even think about getting up. I have to get my workout in and I definitely have to have my coffee. I’m not an avid runner, but I like to go for a run around the lake and I like to lift. During the season we do some stuff at the facilities when I’m working, but when I’m on my downtime I just try to run a little bit then get to the gym and do that early in the morning to get home and spend time with the kids.
MAINSTREAM MEDIA: When it comes to reading, I’m more of a periodical guy. I definitely read the papers. I’m an avid paper reader. I’ll get on my iPad and roll through the local papers and skim a few others. Then I check out ESPN.com and all the other national sites and keep updated on all that kind of stuff. The TV is always on ESPN in my house. With two young boys -- even my daughter too -- it’s either on ESPN or it is on “SPONGEBOB” or “PHINEAS AND FERB” or some kids related show. It’s never anything different.
SUNDAY FUNDAY: On Sunday I’m having a function at my house for our coaches and their families to sort of kick off training camp. It’s a Bar-B-Que for all the coaches and their families, some of our football support staff. We all head off to training camp next Thursday, so everyone who’s been on vacation, it’s an opportunity to get back on the same page. It’s impossible not to talk football with the guys. Everyone’s been gone for a little bit, the coaches, we pretty much get from the end of June to middle of July off, then everyone’s going full speed from Monday through the end of the season.
CLOSING OUT: What I love to do, especially during the offseason now, is to take Sunday night to just sort of unwind. I love baseball, so I always watch the ESPN game on Sunday night. Then just sort of go through the week’s schedule, start mentally going through things that need to get done. Sunday night I try to keep it really low key. Usually if I’m home we’ll cook out at the house and just hang out as a family.