by Mario "Game" Granata
Passion. Some people have it, but many people don’t. What does it mean to have passion? One can have it for their work, their family, or their hobbies. When you mention the word passion to any number of people in Western New York, the Buffalo Bills might sneak into the top selections of what they are passionate about. So, when the Bills fans decided to exercise their first amendment right, just before halftime against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I didn’t even react to it. Being in this area, you understand real quick, the passion that Bills fans have for their team, and when you combine that with a decade-and-a-half drought, new faces, and no clue who the owner is going to be, let alone if the team will still be in Buffalo long term, emotions could boil over…and they did.
Buffalo, is a small market, which serves to be a Catch-22 with the professional sports teams. We only have two of them, but because we only have two, we become very familiar with the players, their stories, and who they are off the field as well as on. Many of the fans even consider the players as ‘family’ in some respects. (Let us remember Fan is short for Fanatic). If a player is playing poorly, we as fans will let them know, that they are disappointing us. Is it because we don’t like the players? (Okay, I will give you Rob Johnson, because I am pretty sure that no one liked him).
Nevertheless, we want our beloved Bills to take us out of the darkness and into the NFL spotlight as they were before. If you go into any establishment on a Monday, anytime between September and December, you can tell if the Bills won or they lost just by the mood and demeanor of the people who are working. This is how attached the Bills fans are with tier football team.
This is why the team cannot move. This is why the team needs to win. This is why the Buffalo Bills have the most passionate fans across the spectrum of sports. We love our Bills as if they were family, and the last I checked, you were allowed to tell family members when you were upset with them, why should the Bills be any different?