I was raised a Bills fan and often I get the jokes along the lines of “Your parents should’ve been arrested for child abuse” or just a simple “Really? Why?” One thing I’ve learned growing up a Buffalo Bills fan is loyalty, how to fight through let downs and most certainly a love for something greater than myself. That sounds extreme but the Bills are something I love because of the memories attached to them growing up. Every Sunday after church my Dad would have them on the radio until we got home and I’d race inside the house and turn on the local station to watch my Bills…win or lose. Ever since I can remember, I knew about the Bills and have been a fan. I wasn’t forced to be or persuaded to be, but I saw how much my own father loved the Bills and it certainly inspired me to be a Bills fan.
Now that I’m older living 650 miles and 10 hours away from Buffalo, I still follow them on ESPN.com or listen to Murph and Kelso call the game on WGR550, because down here all you get is Washington, Pittsburgh or Carolina games. So unless Buffalo is playing away at one of those locations, I can’t watch them. Then there’s the rare nationally televised game, which the Bills haven’t had a good history of winning. People ask me how I can be a Bills fan and my answer is quite simple – I love the Bills. But that love is deeper than just a team and its players, it’s the memories I have attached the team.
When I was younger, I’d pretend to be Doug Flutie in my back yard throwing passes to Eric Moulds and Peerless Price (my brother and friends). I’d do the iconic roll out and throw on the run. I’d pretend to be Thurman Thomas breaking a huge run after juking Bryan Cox out of his shoes while doing the legendary “Whoop!” from Chris Berman. I’d pretend to be Andre Reed catching a huge first down pass across the middle and sprinting to the end zone while yelling “He. Could. Go. All. The. Way!” The Bills were such a huge part of my childhood that I’d be foolish to abandon them now.
I remember getting my first Bills jersey (Steve Tasker) when I was 11 years old. I remember being in awe and speechless when he signed that jersey and some of my football cards at a Dairy Queen in Oswego, NY. I remember always wanting the newest Bills hats such as the Paint Splash hat and the Puma hat Flutie always wore. I grew up in a different era of Bills players but I always knew everything there was to know about the history of the team. My Dad had plenty of VHS tapes of the games, which included the Comeback Game, the 51-3 win over the Raiders and every win over the Dolphins during that era. I will always be a Bills fan and my oldest daughter now says she is too. I’m proud of that fact because hopefully she’ll learn the same things from this team that I did, and I’m thankful for that.
So yes, it’s been 16 years with no playoffs but just imagine how much sweeter that first Super Bowl is going to feel after all these years of let downs. That feeling of satisfaction for sticking with this team through thick and thin will be worth the gut-wrenching feelings we get before the end of a close game. It’ll be worth it after all of the times of standing in the cold at the Ralph, just to see our team lose. I don’t know about you but I can’t abandon the Bills now. Not when we’re close to becoming a relevant team again.