Buffalo Fan Alliance Advisory Board confirmations

Beginning May 21st, Buffalo FAMbase, Inc. began a partnership with the Buffalo Fan Alliance to spearhead a search for two fans-at-large to join the BFA Advisory Board.

This search operated in two phases. First, we solicited fans for written submissions as to why they thought they were a fit to serve on this board. We received a huge response to this. Buffalo FAMbase then sorted through all the submissions and through a blind review process, came up with ten that we thought were worthy.

The second phase concluded last night at midnight. For the past two weeks, you the reader voted for the person you thought was the best fit.

The top two vote-getters will be joining the advisory board of myself, Andre Reed, Steve Christie, Luke Russert and other prominent members of the business and political community dedicated to keeping the Bills in Buffalo.

Without any further adieu, here are the winners’ names, followed by their original written submission.

Celeste Albone

The Bills being in Buffalo means everything to me. I was born and raised a Bills fan and to think they would be moved elsewhere (and possibly have their name changed) is complete blasphemy. This community has supported the Buffalo Bills the best we can and we aren’t called the best fan base in the NFL for no reason. It’s a pretty committed marriage between the Bills and its fans. For better or worse, in sickness and health and til death do us part.

I am prepared to volunteer my time in any efforts to actively help keep the Bills in Buffalo. The first step is to be a part of the Fan Advisory Board. To know that I’m doing everything I can and therefore help others do everything they can so we can all be a part of this effort would mean a lot. Between being able to write articles for the website I write for (buffalobillievers.com) and talking about the efforts and the Advisory Board on my podcast (The XO Factor) I have a couple of outlets to continue to get the word out there. Since I moved back to the area (what a mistake to move away) it has always been my goal to get more involved in things with the Buffalo Bills. I purchased season tickets (to help support the team and my excitement!). I’m helping out and volunteering for Billsmafia events as well as the upcoming Sammy Watkins Pro Camp. What better way to really feel like I’m doing something than being a part of the Board.

I also think having a female member of the board will help with drawing in more of the female Bills fans and it will help make them feel represented. If the Bills were moved out of Buffalo I think it would be completely devastating to the fan base. I think it would make everything in the past seem pointless. All that struggle and everything that Ralph Wilson built would just be taken away with the blink of an eye. I want to be a part of making sure that doesn’t happen. We can’t let someone take away our past memories and we certainly can’t let them take our future.

Brian Smith

My Buffalo Bills fanhood began the same way as so many others. My father grew up playing football and, being from Buffalo, was a die-hard Bills fan. He bestowed his love for the Bills upon me and for most of my life I was your typical fan.
At some point, two things accelerated my passion for the Buffalo Bills: first, my love for my city; second, the impact the Bills made on my relationship with my father.

I love Buffalo. To me, the Bills are essentially “Buffalo Incarnate,” the physical manifestation of everything I love about this city. When the Bills play the Jets or the Dolphins, it is not a bunch of athletes from all over the country playing against each other; it is the City of Buffalo being measured against NYC and Miami.

My passion and love for Western New York runs so deep that I decided to pursue a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning in the hope that one day I could work somewhere my effort would directly and positively impact this area. After a lot of hard work, I was fortunate enough to be recommended for, offered, and to accept a position with an economic development group in WNY.

My father and I have always been close, but not until recently did I realize how much of our relationship has been built upon the time we have spent watching and discussing the Buffalo Bills. It’s no coincidence that my favorite memory with my old man is also my favorite Bills memory, jumping, hugging, and screaming as Drayton Florence crossed the goal line after that Patriots interception. We cannot allow future generations of WNYers to be stripped of the bonds that are created between family and friends through Buffalo Bills fanhood.

Everyone in this city can feel the positive momentum growing in Buffalo and throughout WNY. This city is on the upswing, and simultaneously so are the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have been here for us and for this city through the bad times. We must ensure that they stay here to represent us through the good times as well.

It was a dream come true for me to accept my current job and be able to see my hard work and dedication directly benefit WNY. To have the opportunity to do the same for the Buffalo Bills, and help ensure that they are here in the future for my relationship with my children, and my children’s children would be another dream come true. I am motivated and ready to do everything I possibly can to keep this team here.

Congrats to Celeste and Brian, and thank you to everyone who has played a role in the process up to this point.

I’d like to make a point here of stating that before this whole Buffalo Fan Alliance thing is all said and done, EVERYONE will be needed in some way to help ensure that it will be a success. Whether you were a finalist that was voted on the past few weeks, someone who submitted a written submission, or a fan who has just watched this whole process unfold, your participation is going to be vital.

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.