Mafia Monday Interview with @Mr_Professor

Welcome to Week 11’s Mafia Monday. It’s been a tough couple weeks but we’re a family and we’re going to stick together through this. Let’s start the healing process by getting to know another one of our members better. Nick Harrison is an instructor at Grambling State University, a radio personality at ESPN 97.7 FM in Louisiana, and a HUGE Bills fan.

Mafia Monday is an interactive element where members of the community can get to know each other and build unity by becoming transparent.

How long have you been a Bills Fan, and what’s your earliest Bills memory?
I’ve been a Bills fan for 21 years. Oddly enough, it was Super Bowl XXV that brought me in as a fan. But my earliest memory came before that. I remember getting on the bus for school before the AFC Championship game that year and all of the guys on the back of the bus saying that the Raiders were going all the way that year. Even though I wasn’t a fan as of yet, I felt like they weren’t giving Buffalo much of a chance. I proceeded to bet each of them 5 bucks that the Bills would beat the Raiders. Well, we all know how that turned out…

Nick posing with Donte Whitner back in 2006 after the game in Houston.
Nick posing with Donte Whitner back in 2006 after the game in Houston.

What is your favorite Bills memory?
My favorite Bills memory was on November 19th, 2006. Houston, TX. It was the first (and sadly only) Bills game I had ever been to, which I’ll talk about in a bit. My favorite memory came after the game. The Bills had won and me and my friends were leaving Reliant Stadium. I looked over, and there were a line of Bills fans going into some tunnel underneath the stadium. I walked over to investigate, and they were giving Bills fans that came to the game friends and family passes to go and meet the team. I got one and got the chance to meet Dick Jauron, Craig Nall (another Louisiana guy), Marshawn Lynch, Donte Whitner and my boy Kyle Williams.

Nick at his first, and only, Bills game.
Nick at his first, and only, Bills game.

What was the first Bills game you attended? Most memorable?
My first game was the one I just mentioned, and if anybody remembers that game…it was quite memorable. I remember pulling into Reliant Stadium and seeing a sea of Bills jerseys. Being from Louisiana, it was the first time I had been around that many people who were fans of my team. I loved every second of it. The beginning of the game saw Lee Evans doing his thing, but the Bills trailed for most of the game. J.P. Losman engineered a comeback that was capped with Peerless Price getting a remarkable catch in the back of the end zone with only seconds remaining to pull out the victory. It was the coolest thing I ever saw live, and I can’t wait to go to another Bills classic.

Do you own any Bills jerseys, and if so what ones?
I currently have a throwback Jim Kelly and a Roscoe Parrish. I also have a Kevin Everett t-shirt and a Billsmobile t-shirt. I’ve also had Willis McGahee, Donte Whitner and Angelo Crowell jerseys, but I don’t know what have happened to them.

Favorite current Bill?
My favorite current Bill is without question Kyle Williams. Being from Louisiana, I’ve got a bit of a connection with Kyle. We grew up in the same area of North Louisiana (me in Grambling, him in Ruston), he went to LSU and now he plays for my NFL team. On top of that, I work for and ESPN Radio affiliate in the area and got the chance to interview Kyle once. Getting his jersey for Christmas this year.

Favorite former Bill?
This is a tough one, but if I’m forced to pick I would have to go with Bruce Smith. I remember watching Bills games as a kid and focusing on Bruce when they were on defense. Watching his moves, watching him work. A thing of beauty is a joy forever. My man John Keats said that.

What is your favorite team to watch lose to the Bills?
It’s a tie between the Cowboys, Redskins and Giants. I’m big on revenge, and even though some of the guys on the team don’t even remember those Super Bowls… I do. And it hurts. So anytime the Bills can beat any of those teams, it’s a good day.

Best tailgate food?
I’m a fan of barbecue chicken, ribs, smoked sausage, all that stuff. But to pick one tailgate food, I’d have to go with Bratwurst. A good juicy Brat on gameday makes for a happy Nick.


Other sports you enjoy following? If so, favorite teams?
Working for ESPN, I like pretty much every sport. My favorite teams to follow are the Houston Rockets, Houston Astros, and just about any Louisiana college football and basketball team. I’m honestly not a huge hockey fan, but when I do watch…I’m watching the Sabres!

Lastly, what does “Bills Mafia” mean to you?
Bills Mafia means so much to me. It’s a family mentality. It’s brotherhood, it’s bonding. Coming from the South, there aren’t a lot of people that share the same feelings about this team that I have. But now that I’ve found the Mafia, I feel like I’ve found a home. That my belief in this team is shared and accepted by people who have the same belief. I thank the man upstairs for the Bills Mafia, my extended family.

Thanks, Nick!

About Del Reid

Del Reid became a Bills fan shortly after coming into this world, having been raised in a home that actually had a framed picture of OJ Simpson on the wall in the living room (until it came down in 1994). Del has always had a passion for bringing people together to celebrate things they share in common. As a result, he (quite accidentally) ended up co-founding the #BillsMafia movement among Bills fans in social media -- which to this point is the coolest thing that has ever happened to him aside from his relationship with God, his wife, and his two awesome kids. Follow him on Twitter at @mrdeadlier.