Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)
I got an e-mail from NFL.com today, promoting the upcoming Hall of Fame inductions. As a Bills fan, you know that Thurman Thomas will be one of those inductees on August 4th. If money were not an issue, I am pretty sure we’d be there. The e-mail that was sent had each player in their uniform as a collage of NFL players for the header of the e-mail. It was neat. Seeing Thurman with that group of great players… just brought back memories.
But one of those players, Bruce Matthews, is shown in a Tennessee Titans uniform. Now, I remember Bruce Matthews. I believe he mostly played for the Houston Oilers, am I correct? I realize that the Houston Oilers moved and are now the Tennessee Titans, but can’t you give the Houston fans something to remember their team by? Yes, they have the Texans now… but come on. Do they even compare? Not yet, they don’t.
That got me thinking about the Bills. Rumors have abounded since I first became a Buffalo Bills fan way back in 1988 that our team “might not be here much longer”. Rumors of moving the team to L.A., to Toronto… and maybe some other places. But for now, the Bills remain in Western New York, and I remain a Big Bills Fan.
But what if Mr. Wilson passes on in the not-too-distant future? I’m sure he’s making some plans… but, you can’t know what will happen when someone else is calling the shots. Will they keep the team in Buffalo? With the new contracts that players are signing, I really don’t see how the Bills can remain a viable franchise in this region. (Note. I am no financial wizard. So, take my “business sense” with a grain of salt…) I do know that as player price tags rise, the only way to compensate is to charge more money. Who mostly gets charged? Western New Yorkers. Bills fans.
If nothing changes, and the Bills get moved to a larger market to survive, what will you do Bills fan? Will you continue to follow the team? (Any Clippers fans out there still?) Or will you root for the Browns, the Steelers, or whatever team (if not the Bills) shows up just north of the border?
I have to say that if no team were here in Buffalo… I might follow them in whatever town they were moved to for a year, maybe two. But, I really don’t think I would continue very long. I am a BUFFALO Bills fan. I am (sorry NFL) not an NFL football fan. Yes, I like football, but my allegience is to my team here in my area. I really don’t care much at all about any other team. Ask my wife. She’s the one watching the other games on weekends, while I find something else to do around the house.
What would you do if the Bills left town, and 10 years down the road they are still inducting members of those Buffalo Super Bowl teams into the NFL Hall of Fame, but instead they are shown as Toronto Loons, or Los Angeles Gang Members? “This year’s Hall of Fame class includes Steve Tasker, from the Toronto Loons.” Ouch.
No, Bills fans, I’m sad to say it… if the Bills ever left town, I would quickly forget about the NFL. I would move on to other things. (There actually is more to life than football, though with only nine days to training camp… it’s hard to remember that!) I just wouldn’t care if the NFL did not have a team in my area.
So listen up, NFL. If you want fans from this area… don’t expect us to root for our Bills if they are based in Toronto. Don’t certainly don’t expect us to latch on to the Browns, Steelers, Jets, or Giants. We’re Bills fans. BUFFALO Bills fans. I know I am. And forever shall be.