Time To Think Differently – An Open Letter To Bills Fans Over 35
Dear Bills fans,
Something clicked the other day and I feel like it's time again that us Bills fans need to have this moment. It's something I haven't felt for years.
I've seen the open letters to Bills fans who are younger. The people who have never seen the Bills in a Superbowl. They don't remember seeing wide right, or the music city miracle. I feel bad that you missed out on that stuff....really, I do.
I remember every minute of it. I became a fan when I was a kid. Most people will tell you they remember Thurman and Kelly...Reed, and Bruuuuuuuce. Sure...who doesn't remember them?
I remember watching "The Duel on Dirt" when a wide-open Ronnie Harmon dropped a pass in the end zone with :09 left on the clock against a nasty Cleveland Browns defense in 1989. (Yes, that's the last time the Cleveland Browns and the Bills were both in the playoffs at the same time until this year). I remember listening to Van Miller on the radio as the Bills were getting hammered by the Houston Oilers, only to force the greatest comeback in NFL history. I remember watching a guy named Rob Riddick jump over piles and sacrifice his body on the goal line to score and Don Beebe bouncing off of his head in one of the most incredible plays ever. I remember Leonard Smith and Mark Kelso before he was an announcer when he had an oversized helmet. I remember a guy named Cornelius Bennett that we called Biscuit and a beast of a linebacker that wore spiderman clothes under his pads named Darryl Talley.
I studied them. I watched every game. And every week, I had no reservations about betting the last $10 I had in my velcro wallet. I had faith in that team. I expected them to win. They were the best. They were the feared Buffalo Bills.
You know the story from there. We went on to play in 4 consecutive Superbowls after that. We came up short on every single one. Yup...I said we. We were there every week. In the stands or on our couches in our living rooms. We didn't miss a game.
Suddenly it became normal to be let down. So we've been holding our breath for years. We are always wondering if THIS is the year that it could happen. Could this be the year that the curse is broken? Which team is going to knock us off and steal our hope again this time?
The other day I read the letter from Dion Dawkins where he mentions that he's done with all that. If you haven't gotten a chance to yet, read it. It's worth it. In the letter, he mentions that it's different now. And for some reason, I'm willing to believe him. I have faith. If you will...I BILLieve.
What was the moment that solidified that? I was talking to someone just the other day who is from New Orleans. A team that has been successful for the last couple of years and is once again in the playoffs. I told them that it would be cool to see them in the Superbowl against the Bills. His response..."I hope not. I'm kind of afraid of Josh Allen."
What?!? People fear the Bills again?
They sure do. It's because they really are good and they believe in themselves. And it might be time if you haven't already that we change our train of thought too. It's time to stop holding our breath. It's time to stop looking at the past. As much as we loved those Buffalo Bills, this isn't the same team. I picture some kid writing a letter like this someday talking about all the incredible plays that made them a Bills fan in 2020. They'll remember Allen, and Diggs, and a crazy little guy named Cole Beasley. Only they won't have those stinging memories of being let down. It's the first time in a long time that I've seen where these players want to win this thing not just for them...but for us. The fans that have stuck with them Sunday after Sunday when most other fans would have given up.
You can call me a fool if you'd like after the season is over if I'm wrong. But until then, I'm willing to give up my last $10 for this team.
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