I love the San Francisco 49ers. I grew up in the Bay Area, and instead of cheering for my father’s favorite team — the then-Oakland Raiders — in Super Bowl XXXVII. I cheered for the Bucs, a team I had zero affiliation with just because I didn’t want to see San Francisco’s cross-town rival win a chip. Albeit, I was six years old at the time.
I might not be the most diehard. I don’t go to every single game. I don’t paint my face or have a shrine dedicated to Kyle Jusczcyk and/or Kyle Shanahan. Hell, I don’t even have a Frank Gore jersey in my closet. Still, I’ll gladly sit through this team’s thick and thin, whether it’s Nick Mullens, CJ Beathard, Solomon Thomas, Shaun Hill, or the 2015 offseason, and cheer them on for 16 (now 17) games and then complain to anyone who’ll listen about how this should’ve been the year they won it all.
Will I drive to a player’s house during an unprecedented snowstorm just to shovel snow out of their driveway so they can play a game at a neutral field? No. That’s probably where I draw the line. For Bills Mafia though…that’s just par for the course this week.
In case you’ve been living under a rock the past few days, West New York has been hit with historic snowfall recently, so much so that upwards of six feet came crashing down in some areas over the last 48 hours, according to CNN. Meanwhile, the Bills’ starting running back, Devin Singletary stands at 5’7″. The Bills were supposed to host the Cleveland Browns tomorrow, but the game got moved to Detroit due to the weather. Still, despite the new venue, the Bills had no way of getting to Detroit. Sure, the Buffalo airport reopened this morning, but the roads were so blocked off that driving every player on the Bills to the airport was a problem in and of itself.
Thanks to the good will and determination of a few Bills’ fans though, the team’s starting right tackle Spencer Brown was able to get out of his driveway and should be able to make it to the game tomorrow.
Like I said earlier, I would never do this. The players don’t know me. They don’t care about my day. I haven’t developed an unhealthy parasocial relationship with these grown men who represent a city I identify with. Also, because I wouldn’t want to get waist deep in that snow. I lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan through two winters and a polar vortex. I’ve seen my fair share of heavy snowfall, icy roads, and jack-knifed trailers. I would never want to put myself in harm’s way just so one player can play in one game. If they lose once, so what? It’s the Bills. They’ll be competitive the rest of the season. Sure, every other team is competitive in that division, but it’s not like they’re going to miss the playoffs. What’s one game in the grand cosmic scheme of things, right?
I know it’s become sort of a popular trend to say Bills Mafia is overrated, but every time I see a clip of Bills’ fans, I can’t help but think “Wow! It must be awesome to play for this team.” No matter what, the city and your fans have your back. To think, just a few years ago, former Bills’ receiver Jordan Matthews said “There wasn’t anything to do [in Buffalo] except each other.” Looking back on everything Bills’ fans have done for that team, the lengths they’ll go to help their squad, I can’t help but think Matthews didn’t appreciate what he had. How could you be bored with so many people near you who care this deeply about seeing you succeed? That’s on you, Matthews.
Keep doing you, Bills Mafia. You’re remarkable.