WYO’s Field Notes #3: Why Some Bills Fans Yell at Clouds

Featured Photo Credit: Buffalo Bills fan Darryl Russell of Brantford, Ontario Canada shows off his outfit during the NFL Draft Experience at Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit on Thursday, April 25, 2024. © Ryan Garza / USA TODAY NETWORK via, LLC.

It’s a constant joke among my elder friends in Wyoming. We “yell at the clouds” like Abe Simpson from The Simpsons show. Furthermore, we are proud of it. It’s a great meme and discussion point for those of us at a certain age… and particularly relevant for elder fans of the Buffalo Bills.

Anyone with a birth date in the 1930s, 40s, or 50s knows exactly what I’m referring to here. We were alive when the Bills were born in 1960 and lived through the Rockpile, Rich Stadium and it’s iterations, and now a new upcoming “Highmark Stadium”.

Back in the day our dads, uncles and cousins in my family worked at Bethlehem Steel and couldn’t afford to see the Buffalo Bills play in person. A couple of my cousins did get to go to a few games every now and then. They told stories about cigar smoke and kegs of beer brought into the Rockpile when Buffalo had a home game.

I was around 10 years old then, and I was hooked.

Every Sunday after church it became a tradition for the men in the family to gather around my Uncle Steve’s color TV to watch the Bills play. Being the weird kid I was, I immediately gravitated toward hanging out with my beer drinking, pipe/cigar smoking uncles instead of playing with my cousins in the backyard like I was supposed to be doing. My Aunties hated it and constantly told my Uncles to shoo me out of there because their swearing was a bad influence on me.

Too late.

Right there I can pinpoint the birth of my potty mouth. Between the official Buffalo Bills Message Board (RIP BBMB) and Xwitter, the potty mouth image has been my avatar for 22 years for a reason. My first memories of the Bills were old men in my family yelling at the TV like they were yelling at the clouds.

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These days it’s more than just our elder generation yelling at the clouds regarding the Bills.

Change is hard, and it’s coming fast and furious. The new stadium will be completed in the next couple of years and the experience fans will have will signal the beginning of the next era in Buffalo Bills history. As an elder, it’s mind boggling to think how far the franchise has grown since the Bills were born.

Time marches on and waits for no one.

Big decisions have to be made by season ticket holders regarding the ominous “PSLs” (personal seat licenses) and how much it will cost to pay thousands of dollars for the privilege of owning a seat at the new stadium. I know what my long since passed uncles would have to say about the NFL extorting fans the way they do today.

The marketing plan is in place for dealing with season ticket holders who are dubious about PSLs. Dan Alexander of Forbes wrote an interesting article about PSLs as an investment and whether they are worth the price. But somebody has to pay for these luxurious (by comparison to the Rockpile) stadiums and the people who use the facilities will bear the brunt of the cost, certainly not the billionaire owners who will continue to find ways to extract even more money from fans.

While this “marketing plan” to make PSLs become more palatable may be necessary, it runs the risk of major hypocrisy. The marketed image of “BillsMafia” is that we are a blue collar, beer drinking bunch of hard working people who know how to tailgate. When the cost of buying a season ticket includes thousands of dollars for a PSL, it no longer becomes affordable for the very people who are promoted as “BillsMafia”.

This is why Bills fans (especially older fans) are yelling at the clouds right now. Our love for this team has evolved into a marketing plan to usher in the next generation of Buffalo Bills fans. I hope our unique culture will not be destroyed in the process.

Editor’s babble: Change is inevitable. Yelling at the clouds is our way of venting frustration over things we have zero control over. Enjoy each moment along the way because they go by fast, friends. Go Bills. is sponsored by 26 Shirts

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