Matt Devine / Devo
For as long as I can remember, I've been obsessed with the Buffalo Bills. My dad had season tickets and brought me to my first game when I was 5 years old in Sept of 1990 against Elway's Denver Broncos, the start of the Bills epic run to 4 straight AFC Championship Victories. The Bills scored 3 touchdowns in 77 seconds and Rich Stadium was so loud, the refs stopped the game and threatened to give the Bills a delay of game penalty unless the fans quieted down. Obviously the place went even more "Fandemonium". We ended up winning 29-28 and I was hooked ever since.
I wore Bills gear every day to school and my teachers noticed. In kindergarden, I was called down to the principal's office, thinking I was in trouble. Turns out that, my teacher thought I knew more about the Bills than the 5th graders and was challenged to see who could name the most Bills. I knew the entire 53 man roster at age 5 and whooped those kids no problem.
My all time favorite player is a little known reserve corner back from Tennessee and Carson Newman named David Pool. Some of the backup Bills came to my school to play basketball against the teachers and I was the only one to recognize him. He gave me his wristband and we became pen pals. He was even supposed to come over for dinner and invited me to the Bills locker room but a knee injury in camp led to him being cut and that never ended up coming to fruition. My mom contacted him several years later on facebook to my surprise and he called to wish me a happy birthday and sent me an autographed football. One of the classiest athletes I've had the privilege to meet. To this day, my favorite number and college team are #29 and UT.
Now that I'm older, I've had season tickets for 12 years. As you may have known, the Bills haven't been very good in a while and we haven't made the playoffs since the illegal forward pass game in Tennessee (I still refuse to call it that other name that its been dubbed). Due to the Bills mediocrity over the last decade and a half, I have not been able to witness a playoff game. That still doesn't stop me every Sunday, making the hourlong trip south to Orchard Park to watch my beloved Bills play at home.
The Bills are my life. If they ever left Buffalo, along with thousands of other Bills fans, I'd be heartbroken. Thankfully Terry and Kim made that nightmare scenario go away for good. And our Bills are here to stay. I'm not saying I'm the biggest Bills fan out there because that would be disingenuous and there are so many loyal Buffalo fans that bleed red, white and blue. But I will say that Bills fans as a whole, are the best fans in the world and I am right there with them. Showing up week in and week out, taking road trips to see us in away games, just hoping that soon, were going to right this ship and get back to the playoffs... and win that elusive Super Bowl.
PS I've enclosed a couple pics to show you how big of a fan I am. My living room is adorned from wall to wall with over 800 pieces of Bills memorabilia, game worns, autographs and anything else you can imagine (not exagerating, had to crop the pics down so it doesn't do it a justice). Personal favorites of my collection include 10 autographed mini helmets signed by every Bills Hall of Famer, a stadium seat from Rich Stadium, a football signed by 20 players that played in all 4 SuperBowls, and of course, my David Pool signed football.