Giving thanks on Thanksgiving is the reason for the season, or so they say. Like many holidays, Thanksgiving evolved from celebrating a fabulous meal with family to endless football and Black Friday – along with horrifying air and road travel and heaven only knows how many arguments over the dinner table.
How we choose to define “family” has changed even more than how we celebrate the day. Families today are defined by love much more than by biology alone. But it even gets more complex when you consider we now live in ‘bi-reality’; that our lives have a parallel existence online and in physical reality.
On this Thanksgiving holiday, I’d like to have a moment of your time to thank you for all you do as a member of the BillsMafia. It’s highly unlikely anyone who is not a Bills fan is reading this, so it’s probably safe to assume the vast majority reading these words are part of BillsMafia.
BillsMafia evolved from an online group of Bills fans who suffered together in cyberspace. Before the days of social media, fans like myself who live in far flung places were only connected to their Bills ‘family’ by way of Shout! magazine.
Before NFL Sunday Ticket we were left clinging to every word from Chris Berman’s mouth on ESPN. And “BB” … before Berman … it was a week-late article by Larry Felser from the Buffalo Evening News shipped through the mail. It wasn’t easy being a Bills fan back in the day.
If there’s any need for evidence to redefine the term “family”, social media’s creation of BillsMafia is Exhibit A.
We bicker like siblings, create constant psychodrama and celebrate glorious moments like no other fan base on earth. We live, breathe and bleed for the love of each other and our community – be it physically in the homeland of WNY or online by way of social media, radio and media productions.
And most of all, we support each other when one of us suffers.
On this Thanksgiving, I’m giving thanks to our BillsMafia family and for what incredible things we bring to life with our love and generosity toward one another. All the smashed tables and internet bullying cannot hold a candle to the creation of 26shirts.com or showing our love to organizations like the Andy Dalton Foundation.
I consider myself extraordinarily blessed to live in a time where I am able to reconnect with my roots in Western New York and celebrate the few triumphs and the many failures we’ve experienced that help define our collective character.
Thank you, BillsMafia. You are the ultimate FAMbase.
Editor’s babble: If too much tryptophan doesn’t send me into a food coma I might be able to figure out how to cope with this rush of success from the Sabres and my alma mater, UB. Fortunately we have the Bills to keep us from ever getting too full of ourselves. Enjoy your day, be safe and most of all, thank you for reading our blog.