Welcome to Day 5 of our Celebrity Blog Series!
As you all know, Bills fans are everywhere. In all areas of the world and in all segments of society.
A few months ago, we came up with the idea of asking some of the more well known fans in the media and Twittersphere if they’d be interested in contributing a guest column for BillsMafia.com to help kick off the 2012 season. The topic could be whatever they chose to write on. The team’s outlook, the team’s history, their thoughts on the Bills Mafia movement… anything really. One contributor will even be sharing his Fantasy Football tips.
Wait, “one contributor?” What’s that supposed to mean? Well, we’re going to have some fun with it and wait until the article is actually posted to reveal who that day’s writer is.
Today’s guest writer is Colleen Stack Lynch. Colleen is currently the associate director, technology communications at ESPN, Inc. where she oversees internal communications for the more than 1,000 technology employees at the Worldwide Leader in Sports. She began her pro sports career as an intern in the Buffalo Bills public relations department and was subsequently hired as the team’s receptionist before being promoted to marketing associate. During her time with the Bills she worked on PR, marketing and sales, and held various gameday jobs including her favorite, in-game music director…if you heard Shout! played, you can thank her.
What’s it like to have a seat in the front row during the Glory Days of the Buffalo Bills? It means you were able to see:
• Jim Kelly throwing you Gale Gilbert’s baseball hat over the third floor railing to your desk area in the lobby
• Visiting the Berlin Wall in Germany with Sports Illustrated as they wrote a feature story on Frank Reich and Jim Kelly
• Fielding a media request from the Today Show at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 3, 1993 and not being able to get through the constant busy signal on the Reich family phone so you hop in your car to deliver the request in person during the family post game party
• Becoming pen pals with “The Snickers Kid” who each week would make a sign for the team locker room made entirely from mini-sized snickers candy bars which coincided with the teams national Snickers ad campaign
These are just a few of the things I experienced working for the team in the early 1990s. It was definitely a golden era in Buffalo Bills history and sometimes I can hardly believe I was able to be a small part of it. People always ask what it was like to work there and I can honestly say at that time it was like a family. Sure, there were fights and disagreements but more often than not, there were fun times at training camp or on the road with the team for a sponsor trip. The players and staff interacted quite frequently both at One Bills Drive and at events such as the Jim Kelly Shootout or grabbing lunch together on an off day.
Not only were there amazing opportunities to travel with the team (my close friends and I still talk about how cool it was to have police escorts everywhere we traveled on the team bus) but we had access to some of the most talented and interesting group of football strategists assembled. Coach Levy always had just the right words for any situation and was a genuinely nice person. For one summer, I shared an office with Coach Walt Corey as mine was being built and I have never laughed so much in such a short time as when he would come in and joke around with me. There really wasn’t a separation between front office and players, coaches and business personnel.
While it has been awhile since we have experienced those days, I think I see the same core group being assembled in Orchard Park today. It seems that this team has the camaraderie that existed in the 1990s which is what helped push that team to the top. I can’t help but feel optimistic going into the 2012 campaign that if the team can stay healthy, maybe catch a break or two and play up to their potential, we just might be revisiting the next golden age in Buffalo football.