To put it simply: Super Bowl. End of article. The real answer is a bit more complicated than that for fans of the Buffalo Bills. As written in a previous article, hope hasn’t been this high in Buffalo in a long time. There’s established talent on both sides of the ball along with promising young players and potential. Plus, head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane have created identity and direction. There’s a lot to be excited for, but Buffalo Bills fans want more than excitement. They want more than hope. They want results, and for their faith to finally be rewarded.
2019 Buffalo Bills Fans and What They Want
Full disclosure, I am a Buffalo Bills fan. An objective and realistic Buffalo Bills fan almost to a fault, but a fan nonetheless. It’s not fun year after year seeing the lack of prime time games the Bills get. Or how little attention the Bills receive in terms of media coverage and how they’re usually doubted or mocked. But it’s understandable. The stain of four straight Super Bowl losses and the Music City Miracle (which was a forward pass by the way, fight me) have defined the franchise. This season, Bills fans want a step towards re-defining the franchise and attaining sustainable success. A step towards respect and recognition and winning a Super Bowl.
Respect and Recognition
Did you know the 2018 Buffalo Bills defense was second in the league in total yards allowed per game, and first in the league in passing yards allowed per game? Or that Josh Allen was out breaking records in his rookie season? If you didn’t know that, I’m not surprised. If you did know that, I just gave you an air high five and we’re now best friends.
Point is, there have been accomplishments made by this Bills team that have gone largely unnoticed. The sad part is it will continue until the team starts winning, and that makes sense. Buffalo is largely viewed as a joke or a death sentence in the NFL community and it’s hard to turn something like that around. Especially when you don’t help yourself. Small case in point, the Bills haven’t been able to find a franchise quarterback since Jim Kelly left. Their best chance was probably with Doug Flutie and they went and screwed that up with Rob Johnson.
Each and every failed season and each and every loss continue the narrative that people have about the Bills and it causes real accomplishments to go overlooked. Despite making the playoffs in the 2017 season, the Bills still aren’t taken seriously as a team. This year, fans want that to change. This year, Buffalo Bills fans want their team talked about in circles as a threat or as a team to watch out for. Or at the very least, having the team mean more than a punchline for pundits and talking heads.
The goal for every team every year is to win the Super Bowl. However, let’s start small here and ask for the playoffs. Playoff football was a regular occurrence in the 90s for Bills fans, but now there is a whole generation who have only seen the playoffs once, maybe twice. Each NFL season produces several teams that “come out of nowhere” and take the league by storm or make the playoffs. Bills fans want that this year for their team.
Making the playoffs in any sport is awesome. Do or die playoff atmospheres are incredible and it’s something every fan base in any sport should be able to feel. Clinching a playoff birth this year does several things in the eyes of Bills fans.
First and most simply, they get to see playoff football. Secondly, it’s another step towards re-legitimizing the franchise. Two playoff appearances in three seasons would be a very positive step in a very positive direction. Also, it would be another step away from the zero playoff appearances they had between 1999 and the 2017 seasons. Lastly, it would give fans more faith and confidence in McDermott and Beane. The fans like what the two have done in constructing and developing this team, but they’ve been down this road of excitement and potential before. Another playoff appearance this year allows Buffalo Bills fans to take a breath and be more assured of their team and the direction it’s headed.
Freeing Themselves From Past Failures
Bills fans are tired of the negative connotations attached to the franchise. They’re aware of all the losses and bad moves both on and off the field. If this season goes to plan, it begins to shine new light on the Bills and allows the fans to establish a new identity with the team.
Most Bills fans either lived through the Super Bowl losses and Music City Miracle or had the knowledge passed down to them. It’s what they know. It’s what defines them and their team. Having a winning season this year that ideally leads to the Bills in the playoffs, creates a new narrative. As the old saying goes “winning cures everything” and that’s what this would be.
Winning could begin to move fans away from talk of curses and missed opportunities. It would allow for tragic seasons to be things of the past. Bills fans need more “haha remember when we lost” instead of “oh man here we go again”. The sports paranoia and PTSD Bills fans have from what they’ve been through or been told is very real. This season, fans are looking to exorcise the demons of season’s past.
Last Word on What Buffalo Bills Fans Want in 2019
This current Bills team has captured fans hearts and minds and they believe in it. They want their faith rewarded. Buffalo is a city of loyalty and family, a traditional community type of feel, and that extends to the sports franchises. As they’ve shown, Buffalo Bills fans will continue to support their team through all the losing, heartbreak, and bad weather. This year they want tangible evidence that their support was not in vain. Evidence that things have actually turned for the better. Evidence that the team is on the right path towards finally delivering a Super Bowl to the city of Buffalo. No table in the world is safe.