We are blessed beyond words to have Del Reid, Co-Founder of ‘BillsMafia’ and 26shirts representing the Buffalo Bills fan base at the Super Bowl at Las Vegas this year. Honoring him as “Bills Fan of the Year” shows why our fan base is unique. Del and Chrissy represent who we all wish we could be… a leader, a voice of reason, a defender and all around great person. So many times over the years when confronted with an issue I would ask myself, “What would Del do?”. Pretty sure I’m not alone in that regard.
The NFL Awards seem like a nice gesture that always seem to morph into a popularity contest. So I smiled when it was announced Del Reid was selected for this award. It’s inspiring for this old fart to see role models like Del and Chrissy be genuinely showered with affection. It comes at a time when our world has become so divisive we need role models of all kinds to help us navigate these treacherous times.
The actual awards ceremony itself was cringe. Fans whipped into a frenzy for the privilege of seeing Mrs. Jerry Jones looking like she would rather be anywhere but there… so it was not exactly high powered entertainment. In fairness to the producer of this event, the overall presentation was top notch. Will just add one more thought about Prince Harry as a presenter. It was a bit of a head scratcher.
The real intent of the awards aside, the process involved in selecting winners reminds me of a high school event. It’s like the NFL has to drum up some kind of interest for the fans of 30 other teams already in offseason mode. Whatever. Social media becomes yet another cesspool of hurling insults and arguing about why player X should have won Y award.
Part of our uniqueness as a fan base is because we are so passionate about our team. For several generations, NFL football became our gladiator equivalent behavior. For those of us lifers, the attachment we have to the Buffalo Bills is often a dysfunctional relationship. I get this in a way only an elderly life long Bills fan can. Fighting about the Bills is the stuff of legends like Vincent Gallo so aptly portrayed in the movie Buffalo 66.
It seems like many of us are so obsessed with this team we become irrational about it. Also for some of us, the community we share as a fan base has become almost like a church. I also get all the ‘tribal’ comparisons and that behavior, but what seems more intriguing about our fan base is how we became leaders in finding positivity when the chips are down. Regardless of how awful a Bills team might be, we took solace (with lots of food and beverages of all kinds) with each other.
When the ‘BillsMafia’ started, it helped our fan base develop a unique personality. Because that included showing other fan bases how to turn tragedy, disappointment or being bullied into raising money for charity… we are clearly leaders and role models for other fans in that sense.
And this is where Del Reid comes in.
Del and Chrissy are sharing their experiences at Las Vegas with all of us this weekend. We can be proud about how they will continue to represent the Buffalo Bills fan base at the Super Bowl. Congratulations on being recognized as a “Fan of the Year” by our community and the Buffalo Bills organization.
Your light shines bright!
For more about Del and Chrissy’s experience at the Super Bowl, you can follow along on Xwitter… click here.
Editor’s babble: Already know Del will hate this post but I decided to do it anyway :) You can also find more of my blabber on Xwitter @RobynMundyWYO.