When we here at BillsMafia.com began our sponsorship initiative to raise funds to become a legally recognized non-profit organization, we never expected the level of support we received. The immediate response was awe-inspiring, and we were able to raise the funds needed in a matter of days! One particular individual, Sergeant Benjamin Hunt, caught our attention, going above and beyond any of our expectations by purchasing not one, not two, but THREE platinum level sponsorships! We wanted to get to know him better, so we decided to interview the man behind the Twitter handle @benjaminjhuntjr.
How did you first learn of and become involved with the Bills Mafia?
In 2012, I deployed for the third time in my career, this time to Afghanistan. Just before all of the free agency buzz, I decided to create a Twitter account so that I could follow what was happening with the Bills through multiple sources. You all probably would have laughed at the set up I had. Because of the time difference, I had to have everything set up at night when I was supposed to be sleeping, preparing for another long day. My set up consisted of my laptop, iPad, iPod and iPhone all connected to the Wi-Fi in the area, and every device was on a separate website. Anyways, I remember reading through the tweets and I noticed suddenly a few of the people I was following were using the hashtag #BillsMafia. I loved the sound of it right away and started doing my own research. Not long after, I found the OG’s and instantly was welcomed into the #FAMbase, followed by hundreds more followers and fantastic people with the same passion as I have for the Bills.
What is your favorite aspect of Bills Mafia? What really drew you in?
Honestly my favorite part of Bills Mafia is the people that are a part of it and the good that we do for Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
I’d have to say the thing that drew me into Bills Mafia was most certainly feeling like I belonged because I had stumbled upon thousands of people, AMAZING people that have the heart, drive, and passion for a team that I have loved all of my life.
When we started our sponsorship initiative, we never expected the level of support you’ve shown. You’ve purchased three platinum sponsorships. What prompted this? What would you like to see Bills Mafia accomplish or become in the future?
Haha, I’m not really sure what prompted me to do it. The things that Bills Mafia stands for and the direction that it is going is just awesome and I really wanted to show my support and contribute any way possible to be part of something so special. I would love to see the Bills Mafia finally become a true non-profit organization and continue to grow and continue to motivate Bills fans all over the world. As for the future… Well, I suppose broadening the horizon and providing assistance to a number of local charities in WNY to help less fortunate families/Bills fans. I think that providing that kind of support for WNY would be phenomenal and right up our alley.
Tell us a bit about yourself. You live in California… How/why did you become a Bills fan?
I do live in California currently but… I haven’t lived here all my life. I actually grew up in a little town called Rathbone, NY. It’s really an astonishing little town and growing up there I was raised a Bills fan by my father and mother. I spent 18 years of my life there and then joined the Marine Corps straight out of high school. That is why I currently live in California. Living in that household made me the fan I am today. My father and I still talk about figuring out a way to buy the team and permanently cement them in Buffalo forever!
How long have you been a fan?
All my life, seriously, my earliest memory of the Bills was their first Super Bowl with the Dallas Cowboys. I was way too young (4 years old at the time) to understand what was going on, but my family was cheering on the Bills, so I was too.
Do you have a favorite memory involving the Bills that you’d like to share?
Oh my, hahaha, :) I am going to go with a more recent memory because it was the first time that I was with family and the Bills had won while I was present. This past season’s game against the Arizona Cardinals was CRAZZZZYYYYY and it was just awesome to watch. My wife and I drove down and stayed with my brother and his wife over the weekend and went to the game together. I also got to meet up with other Mafia members and I got to hang out with one of the Co-hosts of the BirdGang podcast Mario Ortiz. (He also happens to be family… Wife’s cousin lol)
Other than the Bills… What do you do in your spare time? Any other passions, hobbies, etc that you’d like to tell us about? We want to get to know you better!
Honestly it’s very rare that I get any free time, but when I do, I like to do work on my 66 Mustang and my Man Cave/Guest room/Office. I also love to go outdoors and visit different places around Southern California. I guess I’m just a fairly down to earth guy and when it comes to the Buffalo Bills I am a TRUE fanatic.
Thank you so much for sharing, Ben, and for all of the support you’ve shown to us here at Bills Mafia. We hope that we can make you proud to have been a founding sponsor!