A NICE kind of Mafia

Body Content

Dear Bills Mafia (a note from a Patriots fan),

A loud shout out to all you long-suffering Buffalo Bills fans.

Due to pandemic protocols only 9,000 loyal fans were allowed inside Bills Stadium, but this weekend the Bills Mafia made enough noise to echo through Orchard Park and beyond—and the nation listened. 

I used to think tailgating brought out the very best in the Bills Mafia. You take tailgating rituals to new heights, literally jumping off cars and trucks like professional wrestlers off the top rope, landing on folding tables in the parking lot. Maybe not landing as much as smashing beer pong tables to bits.

And your antics can be witnessed inside the stadium too. Many of us have seen a certain New England Patriots player pelted by a sex toy chucked from the seats above. One of the more impressive throws seen in Buffalo in the decades between quarterbacks Jim Kelly retiring and Josh Allen getting drafted I might add. (That’s 1996 to 2018 for readers unfamiliar with the timeline.) Sorry, couldn’t resist. 

Some super fan went to great lengths to sneak that tubular tosser past stadium security. Talk about taking one for the team.

While some may argue that a sex toy is a gift that keeps on giving, the Bills Mafia have greater gifts to give than their fanaticism. Gifts like the kindness and generosity that inspired me to write the following and root for the Bills during this non-Patriots playoff run.

Stay classy,

Steve

The Bills’ had just defeated the Baltimore Ravens 17-3 in the AFC Divisional round, sending Buffalo to their first AFC Championship game in 27 years. 

A Buffalo Bills helmet on a table in front of images of football players

Lamar Jackson, the Ravens star quarterback and 2019 league MVP exited the playoff game in the third quarter with a concussion.The injury to such an explosive player and team leader pretty much sealed the victory for the home team, but Bills fans did not celebrate the injury. They honored it instead.

Count these blessings: Approximately 13,600 Bills fans chose to pay their good fortune forward by honoring a charity close to Lamar Jackson’s heart. 

The Bills Mafia raised over $360,000 for Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson’s favorite charity—Blessings in a Backpack and it wasn’t the first time they’ve donated on behalf of the opposition. 

The Bills Mafia consistently show tremendous class by crossing party lines and stadium sections so to speak. They choose charity over team affiliation, the kind of gesture the U.S. needs more of, now more than ever.

Despite their imposing moniker, boisterous behavior and outrageous antics, the Bills Mafia falls on the good side of the people ledger. We can all learn from those who made this donation. 

The generosity of the Bills Mafia crossed the divide between rivals, geography and income disparity. Exactly what we need more of in this country.  

Let’s hope our nation’s leaders can learn from the Bills mafia and look beyond team affiliation too. The Bills Mafia saw past the logo, laundry and labels and “crossed the aisle” so to speak. When you’re confident enough to know you’re strong, you can support the other team without hesitation.

The Bills Mafia supporting a player on another team displays human decency and true sportsmanship we can all learn from. Just a kind and generous show of respect.

P.S. I’ll be rooting for you against reigning Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. This Patriots fan will be happy to hang with the Bills Mafia anytime. 

Just don’t expect me to smash myself into a perfectly good beer pong table. That’s an offer I will refuse.