Trifecta of players show their love for BillsMafia

Photo of “Pinto Ron” from tailgateideas.com.

It’s not a secret that Buffalo Bills fans, or the #BillsMafia (as we like to call ourselves) are a special group of people. Long known for our raucous tailgate parties and legendary celebration doing shots from a bowling ball while “Pinto Ron” douses himself in ketchup and mustard, BillsMafia reigns supreme as the NFL’s craziest and most passionate fan base.

And while most players over the years have recognized and appreciated our effort to support them on  and off the field, several of them recently took time to acknowledge our devotion to the team.

I haven’t cried this much in one month since the Bills lost their last Super Bowl on January 30,1994. However, this time instead of mourning a fourth championship loss in a row, these were tears of joy after a fairy-tale ending to a mind-boggling playoff drought.

Then the sad news came that our beloved center Eric Wood was being forced into retirement by a neck injury. More tears. Though the announcement of Wood’s ‘retirement’ was marred by a bizarre press conference and subsequent confusion over how this will all roll out in terms of his contract, there was no confusion about the mutual love that exists between Eric Wood and BillsMafia.

And if that news wasn’t enough to empty our collective tear ducts, this message to BillsMafia by former Bills’ safety Aaron Williams opened the floodgates. His beautiful tribute took my breath away, as it likely did for many fans in Western New York and around the world as they read it.

“There was this one moment that really got me. It was when I met this young Bills fan. This kid must have been like five years old, swagged out in Bills gear from head to toe. And I’ll never forget, this kid … he was telling me how he wanted to play in the NFL one day — that when he grew up, he wanted to be just like me. And my first thought was, Wait, wait — hold up. This kid wants to be like … me? Is that really a good idea? …

And I swear, man … that summer, before the 2013 season, after I met that kid? I reevaluated everything. I realized that I hadn’t even given Buffalo a chance. And the more time I spent out in the community getting to know the city, the more I realized that Buffalo is … well, it’s just Buffalo. It’s a blue-collar city. People work their asses off, and they love their Bills. That’s the deal. And I finally started to understand what an incredible responsibility it was to play for this football team.”

It’s remarkable when a professional athlete credits an entire fan base for stimulating his or her personal growth, but that’s exactly what Aaron Williams did with his open letter ‘To Buffalo’. Massive donations to the Andy Dalton Foundation and to the Eric Wood Fund at Children’s Hospital do provide ample evidence regarding the generosity of this FAMbase.

The trifecta of love vibes for BillsMafia came in a surprising message from LeSean McCoy earlier this week in the Players Tribune.

“If only we would have won….

After the plane touched down and we were rolling down the tarmac, I looked out the window. And that’s when I saw it.

The Bills Mafia.

Everywhere.

Thousands of you.

We all felt so bad that we had disappointed you. And yeah, maybe you were disappointed.

But you were also proud.

And you all showed up to let us know that.

To show your support.

To show love.

That’s why I say: There’s nothing like Bills fans.

Whether we’re winning or losing, you always have our backs.

So thank you — for dealing with all the ups and downs … for being right there with us through all the adversity … for always sticking with us.

That hasn’t gone unnoticed.”

Like, wow. LeSean McCoy gets us. Gives me visions of Sally Field back in the day:

As the rest of the nation pays homage to Super Bowl weekend, some of us will be relishing the love showered upon us by Buffalo Bills players who understand our compassionate nature. Our future is very bright and the love we share for one another will only enhance the celebration when a Lombardi Trophy makes its home in Buffalo.

Editor’s babble: What an emotional time for Bills fans! Let’s keep the kindness of spirit going as we march out of our dynasty of despair. You can find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO if you can stand the abrasive optimism. 

*All views expressed on our blog belong the authors and not necessarily reflective of the owners of the website billsmafia.com.

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.

21 Replies to “Trifecta of players show their love for BillsMafia”

  1. Over the years, there have been players that had a hard time coming to Buffalo, but after arriving, getting to know the area and the people, it’s life changing for a lot of them. Look at Jim Kelly for example, he went to the USFL for three years because he did not want to come to Buffalo. After retirement from the NFL, Jim decided to stay in the Buffalo area.

    Great Superbowl last night, mainly because the Patriots lost, but it was a great back and forth game. Philly has an interesting problem on their hands now. Do they send Nick Foles back to being a second string QB once Carson Wentz is healthy, trade Foles or trade Wentz? And if the Eagles do decide to trade one of their QB’s, should the Bills be interested?

  2. Here’s an interesting quote from Doug Pederson and it applies to the Bills coaches: “You learn if you play passive, if you play conservative, if you call plays conservatively, you are going to be 8-8, 9-7 every year. Every year. Frank and I just having that collaborative spirit to talk about things and talk with our quarterbacks and just come up with ways of keeping this game fresh and fun and exciting for our players. And that’s really where it all stems from.”

    Last night, we saw the Eagles go for it on 4th & goal and on 4th and 1 in their own territory in the 4th quarter. Those were very gutsy calls. This past season, we’ve seen some very conservative play calling by McDermott and his staff. Could it be that McDermott did not trust Tyrod in those situations? Would McDermott be more aggressive with a better QB like Foles?

  3. I think McDermott is more of an old school, conservative coach. Look no further than him punting on 4th & 2 in the Indy game and playing for the tie. The worst part is he got lucky as crap and it worked out so it only further ingrains in him that those are the right calls to make.

    As for Foles, I don’t know enough about Daboll, but my hunch is the Bills aren’t creative enough to make a QB like Foles be an asset. I also think he’s probably a bit like Cousins where once you’re paying him instead of the talent around him, your team is going to suffer for it. Foles only has one year left on his deal…

    • It’s a possibility that Foles could turn into a Cousins and Flacco. Once Flacco got his big payday and the Ravens couldn’t afford the quitter (cough, cough, excuse me) Boldin along with a host of others, the Ravens went downhill quick.

      I’m glad Torrey Smith won another Superbowl. Torrey is from the county I live in and went to my kids middle school. My daughter met Torrey when he came in for a visit a few years ago and said he was very nice. Also glad Frank Reich finally got a Superbowl on his sixth trip.

      I’m so glad the Eagles won and not the Patriots, that way we don’t have to hear all offseason long about how great the Patriots are…how great Brady is…how great Belichick is…

  4. Good morning…

    I thoroughly enjoyed the SB especially seeing the Patriots walk off the field defeated. If you want to be the champ you have to beat the champ. Pederson kept attacking the Pats but he never gave up running the ball which helped Foles immensely. It was a brilliant game plan.

    How did Brady win the MVP award for the season over Todd Gurley? Gurley had a career year last year and Brady was Brady!

    The benching of DB Butler was bazaar, sooner or later the story of why will come out.

    Nice to see the Eagles win but shame on the fans that turned to looting and being destructive–there is no call for that!!

    • I hope we’re starting to see cracks in the Patriots armor. Between the head scratching decision to bench Butler, to the rumors of problems within the organization, Garrappolo being traded, Brady’s trainer banned from the facility and now the OC and DC leaving, could this be the beginning of the end of the Patriots dynasty?

      Outside of the Bills winning the Superbowl, the day Brady and Belichick retires will be a great day as that will be the end of the Evil Empire.

  5. I really hope they do not try to sign Foles. He is really good in the right scheme, but I don’t think the Bills scheme would fit his style and would return him to looking mediocre.

  6. I’d vote Brady over Gurley, too. The Rams success had more to do with their passing game becoming a factor than Gurley taking them to another level. Gurely was a joke last year when he was all the D had to focus on. Brady is the reason the Pats are great. They were 13-3 and had a lead in the 4th Q of the SB. Without Brady they’re probably…I dunno, the Bills?

  7. Greg, did you leave GE? You were included on an email from CG this morning and when I replied I got a bounce back from your GE email.

  8. Garrappolo looks promising…whether he’s Brady’s equal, I wouldn’t go that far. One of the biggest qualities about Brady seems to be his clutch factor. I was actually surprised they came up short in the SB. I was expecting the usual…Brady making all the plays and the opposing D to crap themselves.

  9. Joma- Unfortunately, I was forced into retirement because of the bad situation in the Power industry. My email is now gstevenson@nycap.rr.com.

    Fortunately , I do get a pension and will be getting social security disability (Multiple Sclerosis), so I am luckier than some…

  10. Sorry to hear, Greg. Hope you’re able to enjoy the early freedom. I passed your email on to CG.

  11. Sorry to hear that Greg. I hope you’re enjoying retirement so far. Were you in the military? If so, there’s an extra benefit you can get through Social Security (it applies to anyone that served before 2001).

    • Steve- no military for me, not since I was in ROTC while in college, and I am sure that doesn’t count.

  12. Thanks guys. I have only been retired 1 month, and have been trying to find a job, so not feeling the relaxing lifestyle (Yet) of retirement. I am trying to find a job that I can work from home so I don’t have to be a drain on taxpayers due to disability, but we’ll see.

  13. re: Garrappolo…just heard some numbers and it made me think back to this thread. The 49ers went 5-0 down the stretch with him, but in those 5 starts he threw 7TDs and 5 INTs. Dude might end up being good or even really good, but he has a long way to go to even smooch Brady’s backside.

  14. McDaniels did a switcharoo and is staying with the Pats. Looks like he’ll be Belichick’s successor.

  15. Good morning…

    Lots of Strange Things happening in N.E., there were rumors that McDaniel was hesitant to sign with the Colts last week. The Colts announced he was in yesterday and then the hammer dropped. Something is brewing in Foxboro.

    I still would have voted for Gurley MVP with his monster year with the Rams rising from the ashes but their Coach won Coach of the year..

    It was good to hear from Connie, maybe she’ll rejoin us on this site.