Welcome to Week 7’s Mafia Monday! Yesterday’s game was lousy but we’ll get through the bye week and be ready to face the Redskins on October 30th. In the meantime, let’s keep solidifying the faith and love we have for our team.
Mafia Monday is an interactive element where members of the community can get to know each other and build unity by becoming transparent.
This week we sit down with @JMS303. Her answer to the last question is downright inspiring, but read everything leading up to it. Let it build!
How long have you been a Bills Fan, and what’s your earliest Bills memory?
I have been a Bills fan since birth. I swear the first item of clothing my parents dressed me in was a Bills shirt! My entire family is from the Buffalo area (Depew & Lancaster) But I was born and raised in Ohio (Military family) So when I say being a Bills fan is my “birthright” or “it is in my blood” I mean it. There is no other team I could possibly cheer for- I could have switched teams once I grew up but I learned and grew to love this team. But I would have to say my earliest Bills memory is the Super Bowl against the Giants in 1991. I was 5 and believe it or not I remember the whole thing. I didn’t really understand at the time what it meant to lose that game- but I sure do now. “Wide Right” will forever be my most least-liked phrase in sports.
What is your favorite Bills memory?
This is very small, but it is something that has just stuck with me. I was 7 years old and had just experience my first ever Bills game at what was then- Rich Stadium! My family and I were hanging around the stadium after the game waiting to get some autographs. Mind you, I was 7 and very small- I didn’t fair well in the crowd of grown-ups and my other family members. I was about to give up on trying to reach some of the players, on the verge of tears- when all of a sudden I felt myself being lifted off the ground- my dad swooped me up and we were literally chasing down Frank Reich in the parking lot. After the initial look of shock wore off, he gladly signed my poster and I was the happiest kid in the world. Oh, my brother was totally jealous too!
What was the first Bills game you attended? Most memorable?
November 21, 1993. Buffalo Bills vs. Indianapolis Colts. It was my FIRST and ONLY Bills game I have ever been to. I was 7 and I went with my entire family. It was absolutely freezing and a drunk guy behind us spilled beer on me and my brother. It wasn’t an important game, but the Bills won. I specifically remember OJ Simpson was on the field at halftime of that game, the fall before the infamous white Blazer chase and murder fiasco. Overall, just the experience of finally witnessing the team I watched on TV and went to their training camps- in person- awesome. (Editor’s note: This interview was done before last week’s game, which Jenn attended. So that’s two games she’s been to. Both resulted in wins for the good guys, so draw your own conclusions.)
Do you own any Bills jerseys, and if so what ones?
I have wanted a jersey for a long time, but let’s be honest- the jersey’s we used to have were pretty ugly. New jerseys came out and I decided to splurge on a Fred Jackson jersey. My absolute favorite player. Of course I have an old Jim Kelly jersey hanging on the wall in my room at home too :)
Favorite current Bill?
Fred Jackson, hands down. Great player, athlete but more importantly- he just seems like an all around good guy. I love athletes that take part in the community and Freddy J. has certainly done that.
Favorite former Bill?
I grew up hearing stories about Jack Kemp- but I wasn’t around to watch him play- so I would have to go with the guys I grew up watching from our amazing teams in the 90’s! Cornelius Bennett, Jim K-Gun Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, Don Beebe & Steve Tasker…
What is your favorite team to watch lose to the Bills?
Well, it would be nice if it happened more often than it does- but by far the Patriots!!
Best tailgate food?
Chicken Wings, Hot Dogs & Beer!
Other sports you enjoy following? If so, favorite teams?
Huge College Football fan- Go Ohio State Buckeyes & Go Toledo Rockets
Also- GO SABRES! WE WANT THE CUP!!
Lastly, what does “Bills Mafia” mean to you?
I don’t think of it so much as what it means to me, but what it signifies. Let’s face it, the Bills and the fans have had it rough for about… 10 years! But all of a sudden this summer, there has been a sort of change in the winds. Is that optimism blowing in? I think so. I cannot remember how long it has been since there was actual optimism and positive buzz centered around this team. I think Nix and Gailey are doing big things, “re-building” takes a while and I think this year we are going to see the product of that. Bills Mafia signifies and means to me- the changes going on in the organization and the resurgence of this team we are all so passionate about. The team brings in a few new guys- they have the right attitude and character to turn this team around- and that is exactly what they want to do. I’m talking about Dareus, Barnett, B. Smith, heck even Shawne Merriman is healthy this year. Not to mention how confident the organization is in Fitzy that he will be the leader of this team- is only proof of the good things to come. We all know the saying, “Good things come to those who wait.” Well I think we as fans have all waited a long time for this, but more importantly the players have waited a long time for this. Bills Mafia is a sign the organization and fans are one in their goals of success and support. Anytime a player on an NFL teams recognizes the power, passion and support a fan base has for their team- that has to mean something. I think the players are ready to win and prove they are a force to be reckoned with. No more of this, “Their time in Buffalo was like a prison term.” Or, “The Bills don’t count” I think the fans are sick of it and the players certainly are- they want to win. I hope they want to do so not to rub it in the faces of other organizations and the league- but for their organization, our organization- the Buffalo Bills. Together, we are #BillsMafia.
P.S. In case any of you were wondering- I’m Jennifer Steck and I proudly support Bills Mafia and the Buffalo Bills from Toledo, Ohio!!