Deal with it, America. BillsMafia is special for a reason

Photo from tailgateideas.com.

Old enough to remember the backlash during the Bills Super Bowl years by other NFL fan bases and the national media hate for the Buffalo Bills? “Anybody but the Bills” was quite a theme of the 90s.

What did we ever do to deserve the collective wrath of a nation?

Add to that era the 20 years of blighted existence and you have the general consensus about all things Buffalo Bills. The only thing we’re known for nationally these days is breaking tables and lighting ourselves on fire.

We are a misunderstood fan base. But some of that is also self-inflicted.

Oddly, no one was more misunderstood than our recently and less-than-dearly departed ESPN reporter Mike Rodak, who wrote the best article about our fan base ever written. Mike was only one step removed from our all-time love-to-hate journalist Jerry Sullivan.

I love Jerry for many reasons, not the least of which is how he fulfills his important role as a community skeptic. It’s not easy to stick to your perspective when your secondary function becomes community punching bag.

Photo of Jerry Sullivan from trendingbuffalo.com.

Being a righteous skeptic isn’t easy. I prefer the role of community rah-rah “cupcake blogger” after spending too many years working with people/families dealing with cancer. We each have a role to play and at this point I need to balance out all the sadness and challenges experienced by way too many in my life.

That’s why I don’t apologize for being a drippy optimist. We all have our reasons for attaching our passion to the Buffalo Bills .

Our passion is the glue that binds us and the reasons that bring us together ultimately don’t matter. What does matter is what defines our inexplicable love for a region and a frustrating football team – yet to bring a championship for a truly deserving fan base.

Photo from pinterest.com.

The real reason the rest of the nation hated us during the 1990s was because they couldn’t BE us. No one in their right mind who grew up outside WNY, Southern Ontario and even good Erie, PA was a Bills fan prior to the Super Bowl years.

While we welcomed a nation full of great people who stood by our team over the last 20 years of futility – it may be a more thorny journey for “outsiders” to hop on the bandwagon when the Bills rise out of the hell that has been dominance by the Patriots in the Tom Brady era.

The national narrative by Barstool and other media outlets didn’t happen by accident. There is literally a whole world out there who wonders what kind of people love their team through 60 years of the most tragic outcomes a sports fan can experience and come out on the other side with a smile?

A smile – a hug, a recognition that not only is our love pure and enduring, we are willing to actually share our limited resources with those who harpoon us. What kind of people DO that?

They must be complete fools.

No, we are not fools. We’re a special group of people who aren’t afraid to be different and cheer for a ‘loser’ team from a ‘loser’ city. And when our day comes to celebrate a championship, and it will come at some point – hopefully soon– the rest of the world will just have to deal with it.

Editor’s babble: Tomorrow my birthday will be ruined once again by the meteor shower that is sharing this special day with Tom Brady. I am truly cursed. But you can still find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.

About Robyn Mundy

Robyn Mundy is Editor-in-Chief of the BillsMafia blog at BillsMafia.com. She's a retired oncology nurse & psychotherapist who loves to write about her life-long passion for the Buffalo Bills, and occasionally something of clinical or social relevance. Robyn lives with her husband Gary and their dogs in the foothills of the glorious Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Robyn is also a proud founding sponsor. Follow her on Twitter at @robynmundyWYO.

11 Replies to “Deal with it, America. BillsMafia is special for a reason”

  1. Excellent article Robyn. I became a Bills’ fan the day my father announced that Ralph Wilson was putting a pro football team in Buffalo. He had lived through the disappointment when the NFL screwed the original Bills when the AAFL merged with the NFL and all the many times MLB promised to put a team in Buffalo. The current Bills were successful in the early AFL days, but, more importantly, in spite of Ralph’s periodic threats to move the team, they stayed.

    They stayed and gave Buffalo, forever my hometown no matter where I lived, a place on the national stage when the city was in decline and far too many, myself included, reluctantly were forced to leave the area because there no longer were any jobs or economic opportunities for us. The Bills were and are an anchor for us that gives us a common interest that we can share with the friends and family left behind.

    The fandom of Bills’ fans goes beyond the game or even the players in which we have invested such hope. Friends, family, pride in our birthplace/home that has been the object of scorn for years from people who don’t know a thing about us (people from Buffalo know what it is to be bullied) and all the emotions that are part of being a football fan all come together in us Bills fans. Sure we drink like fish (like our ancestors did!) and some do stupid things to blow off steam before games. But the bond that we have with our team and each other goes beyond this and beyond the attachment that other teams’ fans have with their team. They will never understand us. They will never understand why the moment that the Bills win the Super Bowl will be the beginning of the biggest and best week-long celebration the NFL has ever seen! Or, the kindness and compassion that we will continue to also demonstrate until then.

  2. But you’re blessed to share your birthday with the GOAT, Marv Levy!! Happy early Birthday, Marv and Robyn!!! You two had that day first, somebody had to try to steal it from you!!

  3. A Bills fan= dragging long dark weeks and months of off season in our bills bag we have flung over our shoulders, the deepest truest love, commitment, billief, in our team, living and dying with our team week in and week out, heart wrenching pain during losses, euphoria during wins especially against the hated pats, with a loss the work week is empty dark slowly drags, a win drinks out the sun and smiles while finding anyone to talk to about the win, a bills fan is committed for better or for worse no matter the situation and the billief we will win is always there, bills fans skins are thick, we’ve taken our hits from media, fair weather fans, and other cities, kick us, knock us down, spit on us, do what you will, but you will never never Break us!! The hate for us and our Bills is what drives us makes us closer, and one big family, a family that is WORLD WIDE, we are the #BILLSMAFIA family! We are everywhere, showing our Bills love, so as for the rest of the fans that hate, we’re here, and we’re not leaving So DEAL with it!!!!