Published November 4th, 2017
That’s right, I’m a Buffalo Bills fan… well, maybe a bit more than a fan. I love Buffalo and the Bills so much that I wrote a song and published a book about them called “Squish the Fish.” If you think that sounds crazy, keep reading.
Let’s take a step back — I didn’t even grow up a Buffalo Bills fan. So why would anyone in their right mind choose to be a Bills fan? Four Super Bowl losses in a row — torturous. The Music City Miracle — a kick in the nuts. O.J. Simpson — let’s not even go there. In the past 17 years, Buffalo has had more drunk fans fall from the upper deck of their stadium (one) and more dildos tossed on their field (one) than they have playoff appearances (zero). So again, why am I a Buffalo Bills fan?
I grew up in Binghamton, NY and, like most people there, was a New York Giants fan. I hate to admit it, but I didn’t root for the Bills in their first Super Bowl. A year later, in 1992, I transferred to the University at Buffalo for the spring semester. On January 26th, I watched Buffalo play in their second Super Bowl with my new friends in our Ellicott dorm. That year I was rooting for the Bills — admittedly, it was more like rooting against the Redskins — and again they fell short of victory. After the game, people were crying and throwing crushed beer cars out of windows — until everyone just said “fuck it” and we partied our sorrows away for the rest of the night. (Side note: I have a couple of good postgame stories, but unfortunately because of legal reasons, I’m not allowed to share them.)
The next two years of college brought two more Super Bowl losses, both at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys (F Dallas!). After I graduated, I took a job at a local company in Cheektowaga and finally went to my first game at Rich Stadium in the winter of 1995. It was a game against the Miami Dolphins and was one of the greatest days of my life. I’m not lying, it was that much fun. I loved the tailgating, the third-down train horn, the fan spirit, and the support of the team. There was electricity — and booze — everywhere. I watched Kelly, Thomas, Smith, Tasker, and Christie lead the Bills to victory over Dan Marino and the much-hated Bryan Cox (F U! You gave us the finger — we gave you 160,000 middle fingers back). That was the day I truly became a fan. The day I first watched the Bills “Squish the Fish!”
Now I live in San Francisco and gather with the rest of the Bills Backers at the Northstar on game day. There’s nothing like wearing Zubaz pants and drinking Labatt Blue with friends to make you feel at home. Last year, we met at the bar and took a charter bus over to Oakland when the Bills were in town. Our amazing organizers, Maggie and Jeff, set up an incredible spread with wings and garbage plates. But here’s the best part — Andre Reed hung out and tailgated with us! What a trip that was!! As for the game, however, I’m still trying to forget how we folded in the second half.
Earlier in the season, a bunch of us also flew down to LA for the Bills game, and I finally met the legendary Pinto Ron at Busby’s West during the Saturday welcome party. That was a great weekend and we won the game! I also was at the 49er game in Buffalo and partied in the famous Hammer Lot! It was incredibly fun! And we won that game too!!
Like in any twelve-step program, the first step is admitting you have a problem. So here it is — I’m a Buffalo Bills fan. And you know what? I wouldn’t change a thing and I’m sure-as-hell not moving past step-one. I’m a Bills fan for life and I can’t wait to celebrate in Niagara Square when the Bills bring home the Lombardi Trophy! Until then, cheers!!!