For the most part, every team in the NFL has some sort of nickname for their fan base but is there any better than, “Bills Mafia”? I don’t think so. More importantly, is there any better fan base? Nope!
A Tribute To You, The Fans
Here we are again Mafia, another year of excitement and angst. All the buzz around “our” team is a feeling that many of us haven’t felt either in a long time or maybe ever. From all of the hype going around the Bills being the Super Bowl betting favorites to Josh Allen being a yearly MVP candidate, we can’t just forget the past and act like it never happened. In this edition of Wings Of The Week, I personally wanted to tip my cap to the Mafia as a fan base for your commitment and undying love for this team.
The Magic Of Bills Mafia
There’s always “competition” among fan bases as to which team has the best fans. No matter the sport or the circumstances there is always an argument to be made for anyone and everyone. But we all know deep down who the real champions here are, and that’s us. A simple point that is made among these scuffles with other fans is the donations that you have all made in the name of players. Whether it was a few years ago after Josh’s grandmother passed and you raised OVER A MILLION DOLLARS for the Oishei children’s hospital or just recently raising money in honor of the passing of Dawson’s younger brother, Luke among all of the other charities you all support.
Doing all of that gains national attention every time. As a whole, you, the fans are mostly responsible for that money being given out. But has anyone taken a step back to think about how many people donated who weren’t part of Bills Mafia? Others may not be sports fans or a fan of our beloved Bills but hearing about the cause you are all trying to support gathers traction and influences others as well. So not only are you changing the lives of the ones you’re trying to help, but you’re influencing others to help those in need as well, by just being the “City of Good Neighbors” that you are.
Hot Wings With Extra Sauce, Please!
As a whole, the Bills Mafia is legendary, from jumping through tables to sitting in the bitter cold and snow all winter. But in this segment, I wanted to highlight a few members of the Bills Mafia, whether it’s their social media presence, donating presence, or just being a lifelong fan. A few that come to mind right off the bat (and please don’t take away from anyone who wasn’t mentioned) are fans like “NFL SZN Opener Bill” also formerly known as “Brother Bill”, the Bills Mafia Babes both from Twitter and you can never forget Pinto Ron or Bills Elvis or Del Reid.
Brother Bill’s Buffalo Wings
NFL SZN Opener Bill has been a fan his entire life. Growing up in Rochester he was almost destined for this role in the Mafia. From appearing in Labatt Beer and Pepsi commercials to having his own pre and mid-game Pepsi rituals with of course his incredibly well thought out and perfect game day wake-up videos, he has a special place in the Mafia that may never be replaced. Many if not all of us wait vigorously for the wake-up post every game day.
Growing up and still currently located in Rochester, he’s always known one thing and that’s Go Bills. Brother Bill is an incredible barber with a luscious head of hair himself and a personality like no other. From punting a tuna sandwich to his puppy partner in crime, and let’s not forget about Fill-In-Bill, the wake-up videos never fall short of amazing. Brother Bill is one of, if not the best player personnel recruiter that Buffalo may have. Von Biller may be doing his part to recruit OBJ, but Brother Bill works behind the scenes on smaller but important contributors like finding the Bills a new punter.
You’ll never find someone who takes rivalries more seriously than Bill. As an example, before either the regular or post-season match-up between the Bills and Chiefs, Brother Bill risked HIS FREEDOM by stealing his neighbors Chiefs flag just to prove a point if nothing else. What’s more die-hard than risking your future for a little smack talk? Nothing, that’s what.
In the short exchange I was able to have with Brother Bill I asked what his prediction for the season and he replied, “I’ll just say, this season is about finishing what we’ve waited on our whole lives. This could be the most talented group ever in Buffalo and it’s time to get our Super Bowl.” That quote alone signifies the heart he has for this team and is just another reason why he’s so beloved among the Mafia. Give Brother Bill a follow-on Twitter, @BrotherBill716.
Get These (Bills Mafia) Babes Some Wings!
Another Famous Twitter fan is the Bills Mafia Babes. The Bills Mafia Babes are known for their beauty and brains on Twitter while also helping the community at the same time. Every month the Bills Mafia Babes team up with a member of the Bills to focus on that player’s charity of choice. Whether it was being one of the spearheads with the Oishei Children’s Hospital for Josh Allen and his grandmother or donating in honor of Tre’ White to his hometown food pantry after he went down with an injury.
What these strong and beautiful women continue to do for the community with charity is impressive and unmatched among most. This month The Babes are honoring Sean McDermott and supporting The Skin Cancer Foundation, so if you are curious about what this month’s charity is, look no further! Coming up in the future be on the lookout for announcements from these babes. They will be holding multiple Bills Mafia Babes tailgates throughout the season as well as being a part of the Mafia Homecoming in a few weeks.
Also, before the Bills vs Steelers game, the babes will have a Mafia Babes Tailgate at the Mafia House with raffles and many other activities for all ages! Please check them out on Twitter, @BillsMafiaBabes.
Wings So Good They Belong On A Shirt!
The next fan I want to highlight for his position in fandom is, none other than, Del Reid. Del is one of the founders of Bills Mafia. Mr. Reid runs a store called 26 Shirts which is just incredibly well thought out and comfortable as can be. To make a long story short, he was tired of every day’s nine-to-five job and decided to take a leap of faith. After starting 26 Shirts and a dropped pass from Stevie Johnson against the Steelers, Del Reid decided the fans of Buffalo needed a nickname, kind of like the dog pound in Cleveland or Raider Nation for the Raiders.
After coining the term #BillsMafia, Del Reid created the Twitter handle, BillsMafia, and little did he know that day would change his future as much as it has. Since then, other teams have tried becoming “such and such mafia” but it’s never caught on as it had in Buffalo. Along with helping create the actual term we continue and will always use; Del does his own charitable work as well which is directly affected by our fellow fans.
A percentage of all the shirts that Del Reid sells goes to charity. So far to the date of writing this, 26 shirts along with the help of everyone who has purchased from them have donated almost one and a half MILLION dollars to local families in need. So, if you’re going to buy any new Bills gear anytime soon, please consider buying from 26 shirts. Del Reid is one of the reasons the Mafia is where and what we are today. You can find Del on Twitter at @DelReid and @26Shirts as well.
Order Me Classic Wings With A Side Of Ketchup And…Mustard?
We can’t talk about some of the best fans around without mentioning the likes of the one and only Pinto Ron. Pinto Ron for those of you who don’t know, started a tradition like no other many moons ago. He stands at the base of his pinto with either a hot dog or burger and selects two fans to get on top of his car and spray him with ketchup and mustard. Yes, this is true and looks as crazy as it sounds and reads. It’s one of the best traditions that we Bills fans have that will hopefully continue for years to come.
Lastly thank you Bills Mafia, for everything. Whether it’s all the charitable donations you continue to do or the absolute craziness that ensues at a tailgate no matter the lot. We all have preferences on where the best place to party and park is, but when it all comes down to the nitty gritty, we’re all there for the same reason. To slam some tables and drinks then go inside and root on the best team in the NFL no matter what. Whether it was during the glory days of the 90’s, the drought years or now, you’ve all stood by this team’s side and never gave up.
These are all among the many reasons why I believe Bills Mafia is the best fan base in all of football. So, from myself to you, enjoy your wings and go Bills.
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