Hate is such a strong word. However, since Bills fans traditionally go all-or-nothing with every facet of life it makes terms such as “dislike,” “loathe,” or “don’t typically care for” irrelevant when it comes to this topic. So, without further interruption, here is YOUR “Top 10 Sports Cities Bills Fans Hate” as decided by me.
10. Detroit. The mere fact that a fan got a tattoo as a reminder of the most abysmal season in the history of professional sports warrants a spot on this list in and of itself. However, Detroit rears its ugly head on this list because of the “Rust Belt” rivalry the two teams share. Detroit is one of the only other cities that Buffalo can talk down to as far as football is concerned. In fact, I recently bought a T-Shirt that reads “Buffalo Football… At least we’re not Detroit.” That little phrase serves as a microcosm of our attitude regarding Detroit. Other factors that play into Bills fans hating the Motor City is the fact that our owner still lives there and holds a minority stake in the team and having the pleasure of sharing that annual Preseason game with them. Congrats, Detroit! You came in last place in one more thing… this list.
9. Philadelphia. OH NO THEY DIDN’T!!! No… Just no! I was going to put up the tried and true picture of an Eagles fan booing or punching somebody or throwing snowballs at Santa but then this picture came up and it nearly resulted in the Eagles skyrocketing up this list. That is our saying and you can’t have it, Philly! Basically, what this rivalry boils down to is that Philly fans are so awful and ridiculous that they deserve to be hated on. Buffalo fans are often labeled as being self-deprecating, self-loathing, sorry individuals but that is merely not true. That designation belongs to the sordid individuals of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and not the “We’re Talkin’ Proud” people of Buffalo, New York! The fact that Philly doesn’t appreciate their team coupled with their blatant theft of a certain term originated in Buffalo lands Philly at number 9.
8. Pittsburgh. Haha! Look at this guy! “Yins” would probably see this in Buffalo, but of course we would be doing it better. Why am I so sure? Because there is no other team in the National Football League whose fans live more in the past than those of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They forget about their old, decrepit shell of a team they are left with and continue to remind everyone that they have 6 Super Bowl wins even though nobody cares. They continue to remind everyone that they’re the best, even though they lost to the Bengals and the lowly Browns last year which clearly disproves their theory. They continue to remind us of their 1970’s Dynasty and the Immaculate Reception as well. Still, nobody cares. Finally, what could POSSIBLY be more annoying than the Terrible Towel and Myron Cope? Nothing. To top it all off, in that past where their fans currently reside, this team is responsible for two of the ugliest moments in recent Bills memory. The first was when their 3rd string ousted our best shot at the postseason in the past 13 years and the second involves a certain Bills Wide-Receiver, Overtime, and God. This plethora of unpleasantness places Pittsburgh at number 8 on the list.
7. Cleveland. Indeed, sir. That would be nice, wouldn’t it? But like many other things surrounding Cleveland’s existence, it simply isn’t going to happen. Santa gave you a new football team once already and look how that worked out. The Cleveland rivalry is most likely due to the fact that they are so close in proximity to each other. I personally look forward to the “Battle (or lack there-of) of Lake Erie” every time that it happens and take every opportunity I can to travel to Cleveland every time the Bills play there. Don’t think of this as a rivalry? Then tell me why their game against each other this upcoming season is a Primetime, Thursday Night Football game. Still not convinced? Here is an article excerpt out of Cleveland involving a statement from Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson following the Browns’ Week 3 loss last season at their home turf to the Bills in which the Bills and their fans overwhelmed Cleveland:
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns were steaming after today’s game not only because they lost, but also because Buffalo Bills fans enjoyed themselves too much on the North Coast. An impressive number of Bills fans drove west on Interstate 90 and had a blast despite the rain and blustery weather. Their team beat the Browns 24-14. Toward the end of the game, Bills players waved their arms to summon loud cheers from the crowd. “I don’t like it,” Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said. “I don’t like it whatsoever. I’ve been here for a long time, and I’ve never experienced that. And it’s embarrassing. It’s frustrating, and it’s embarrassing.”
Need even more proof? Wow, you’re pretty hard to convince. Here:
Look at all the blue in those stands! Games in this rivalry range from the glorious game mentioned above to the upset the Bills suffered at the hands of the Browns in the playoffs due to a last-minute interception to end the Bills 1989 season before the Browns, yet again, choked against Denver the next week. As much as I love this rivalry and enjoy Buffalo not being quite as woeful as Cleveland, this rivalry ranks lower on the list because silly things like the Bills 6-3 loss to Cleveland (often mentioned as the worst game ever played) and Kevin Costner taking a movie away from us in favor of Cleveland make this rivalry more of a “Dumb and Dumber” instead of a “Clash of the Titans”.
6. Nashville. As you, myself, Tim Russert, Sam Rogers (Bills player in the picture), Frank Wycheck and Kevin Dyson all know, IT WAS A FORWARD PASS!!! I don’t even think that W**e R***t gets Bills fans as angry as the atrocity that manifested itself as the “Music City Miracle”. This is, as of right now, the last moment in Bills playoff history and nothing could leave a worse taste in the mouth than that single play. That entire game was a farce. Bum Phillips’ kid decided to bench poor-little Doug Flutie after he saved our season and became one of the most loved Bills of all-time, and then Rob “Robo-Sack” Johnson actually decided to play somewhat admirably. Then, to make this entire game even more bizarre than it already was, the game had to end the way it did. Utterly disgusting. To make it even worse, the Titans have had the Bills number as of late and no matter how sorry their team is they still manage to beat us in the silliest of ways. Then they steal/thrift-shop our players. Is this all payback for the Greatest Comeback in National Football League History, you may ask? Probably. But I wouldn’t give that game, the genesis of this rivalry, up for anything… except maybe a Lombardi Trophy… I digress. The shear despicableness of the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans lands them at number 6.
5. Miami. “CRYYYYYYYIN’ BRYYYYYYYYAN!” my Mother bellowed (along with other clever nicknames you may remember belonging to Mr. Cox) from behind the Dolphins bench on one of those memorable 90’s Primetime showdowns with the hated Fish. Cox, having the temper that he did, couldn’t resist the allure of firing back at the crowd. Cox proceeded remind Bills fans what middle fingers look like (pshh.. as if we don’t already know) where after he was promptly tossed from the game to the absolute thrill of my Mom and Bills fans everywhere. I will forever be envious of her for experiencing this firsthand. Honestly, the old-school Bills fan in me desperately wants to put Miami higher on this list, but the rivalry is a shadow of its former self. This rivalry came about because Ralph Wilson hated to lose to a city that rejected his franchise. It grew larger as the Dolphins ushered in a lengthy prosperous era under Don Shula where the Bills failed to win a single game against them for an entire decade, even though they came close. In Miami’s 1972 undefeated season that they continue to remind everybody of, the Bills came closest of all teams to defeating them in a 24-23 heartbreaker in the season opener. It was games like this and the losing streak that stoked the hatred fire for the Bills. After losing 20 consecutive games to the Dolphins (An NFL record for consecutive losses against a single opponent), the Bills finally snapped the streak in 1980 by defeating the Fins in the opener and Bills fans were in such a state of Fan-Demonium they tore down a goal post and hand-delivered it to Ralph Wilson’s luxury box. The Bills took control of the rivalry in the late 80’s and throughout the 90’s by using the vaunted K-Gun offense to stymie Bryan Cox, HOF QB Dan Marino, and the hated Dolphins. However, since those days the rivalry has diminished as both teams fight for relevancy. It is for this reason alone that sadly, to my chagrin, the lowly Fish fell to number 6. But seriously, how ridiculous does that neck-brace look on Cox? Ha!
4. New York. Did I say New York? Whoops, I meant to say New Jersey. Anyway, two things to note from these two pictures: 1. Lawrence Taylor shouldn’t be smiling about anything in that picture. He was a non-factor the entire game and he got a ring because of our number one “What if?” moment. Shame on you, LT.; 2. I am so sad that Fireman Ed hates his team so much that he rage-quit. Why? Because he is hysterical and because he is awful at the same time. I also am upset that the 42 on his ugly jersey no longer coincides with the number of years since his team has won the Super Bowl or even gone to it, because that was funny. Anyway, us Bills fans hate the New Jersey teams because they still have New York in their name even though we all know New York only has one true team. We also hate them because one of them was the benefactor of “W**e R***t”, the most heartbreaking moment in Bills history, and the other team just happens to be in our division and has loud-mouth fans who think it is okay to hit women. For crying out loud, CURTIS MARTIN and HARRY CARSON got in the Hall of Fame before Andre Reed! Ottis Anderson won MVP in Super Bowl XXV even though Thurman Thomas’ performance put Anderson’s to shame. It is all these ridiculous things that put New York.. er.. New Jersey at number 4.
3. Toronto. At this point you may be saying “But Korey, Toronto doesn’t have a NFL team!” Yes they do. That team is the Bills. In this case, the picture above really does say 1,000 words. They are the Buffalo Bills! Not the Toronto Bills. These games need to stop. They take away a home game from the long-suffering fans of our beloved team, the game is populated by fans of teams that have no vested interest in either of the teams that are playing, you get yelled at if you stand or cheer, and we generally put on quite the disappointing performance in these games. Just stop the madness. Drop the series and give us our home game back. NOTE, this is the one city that isn’t really a gripe with the citizens within it, and it certainly isn’t an indictment of fellow Bills fans who hail from the Great White North. We’ve got the common bond and respect for one another that comes from loving the same team! But man, this series has got to end.
2. Dallas. Boy do I love that picture. Anyway, Buffalo Bills fans hate Dallas. Why? Because after losing their second straight Super Bowl to the Washington Redskins, the Bills fought and clawed their way back to the Super Bowl for a third straight time just to lay the ultimate egg and fall victim to the hated Cowboys in what amounted to be the largest loss in Super Bowl history. The lone bright spot of that game was the historic play Don Beebe made near the end of the game to save the game from getting even more out of hand. Other than that, just awful. It gets even better! The Bills yet again fought and clawed their way back the following year for a record fourth time in a row. They even completed the Greatest Comeback in NFL History on their way back. What was it all for? Nothing. The Cowboys came back to overcome an early Bills lead to defeat them for the second year in a row. Just awful. To make our hatred for them even worse, there was that disgrace of a game on Monday Night Football where the Cowboys somehow managed to snatch victory from Buffalo at the last second even though Tony Romo was his usual self and threw 5 interceptions! It is for reasons like this, and Michael Irvin getting in the Hall of Fame before Andre Reed (disgraceful) that Buffalo fans hate Dallas. But at least we got the best of Leon Lett.
1. Boston. Did you really think it would be anything but Boston? Come on! It is not even close. I cannot personally think of any city Buffalo hates more than Boston. I cannot think of anybody Buffalo hates more than Tom Brady. There is literally nothing to like and everything to hate. From the opening day shellacking the Bills gave to the Pats in the form of a 31-0 to the miraculous comeback victory the Bills mounted against the hated Patriots in Week 3 of the 2011 season, Bills fans suffered through loss after ugly loss to the Cheatriots. This asterisk-laden team are responsible for not only Spy Gate, but numerous other crimes against Buffalo and the NFL. These include but are not limited to: A QB wearing Uggs, Using a player from Buffalo to torment us (Gronk), Brady’s disparaging remarks on the state of Buffalo’s hotel accommodations, and Brandon Spikes doing his best Bryan Cox impersonation. You may also remember a certain Monday Night Football opener in 2009 where we all got our hopes up just to have our hearts broken due to a fumble and Benjamin Watson. You may even remember Brady’s little expletive-ridden remark caught on TV during the first meeting between the Bills and Pats* last year before them coming back from a 21-point deficit to spank us. You may even, sadly, remember the infamous play that cost Buffalo a victory in the second meeting between the two teams later that year which resulted in my girlfriend literally crying and exclaiming “WHY DO THE BAD GUYS ALWAYS WIN!”. If you are like me, your blood is boiling just reading this. Fortunately, Buffalo fans have been able to witness the Patsies lose two Super Bowls in embarrassing, miraculous fashion. We have also been able to witness their team slowly disintegrate by letting go of Wes Welker, signing Tim Tebow, Gronkowski’s injury fiasco, and the recent Aaron Hernandez situation. Hopefully, these will all result in the Buffalo Bills rising back to the top of the AFC East where they rightfully belong. Until then, congratulations Boston, we hate you the most!