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Did the Bills Super Bowl run in the 1990's really influence your love of the Bills?


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I'm 48 and was a Bills fan growing up like most, instilled by my family.  Even though I rooted for them, it felt like my father's team more than my own.....until I attended the Comeback game.  That changed everything to a fanatical level.   

 

Spending 3 of the 4 Super Bowls years going to school in Boston added fuel as well.  FYI it isn't the Pats SB successes that made New Englanders so annoying, they have always been that way.   It just made it worse.   

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7 hours ago, Royale with Cheese said:

I think this question is probably best suited for the those in the mid 30's to late 40's age group but certainly anyone can answer.

 

I grew up in the 80's and started really understanding and loving football right as the Bills started their Super Bowl run.  First memories of watching the Bills was Harmon's drop and then Kelly's pick to Clay Matthews.  My friend tells me if the Bills weren't that good, I probably would have followed another team.  Them being so good attached me to them because kids like to cheer for good teams.  

I disagreed.  My whole family is from Buffalo and football was just our household.  I'm positive that I would have been just as diehard if they were bad....like if my childhood was the Mularkey/Williams/Jauron years instead of Levy. 

 

If the Bills had nothing in their history like the Browns and Lions....would your fandom be as strong?  Without those great 90's teams...would your interest be less today?

What was your interest level during the drought?

Hey Royale,  interesting question.  I’m in my early 50’s so Joe Cribbs and Ferguson winning that first time against Miami just did it for me in 1980.  I just remember my big brother and dad went nuts when we won that September.  I believed in Coach Knox.  He was a hard ass but I belief in him.  The Kelly days were great and I even am in the minority liking Flutie.  That TN game but was so brutal.  I had a national sales meeting the next day in Nashville.

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Yes.  Strongly.

 

I'm 49 and I have no particular connection to western NY.  My wife and I both grew up in Indiana.  I casually liked the Bills in the late 80s because they were an entertaining team with a lot of big personalities.  And they were on television in my area quite a bit because they were good and also because they were in the same division as the Colts at the time.  After they lost SB 25 the way they did, I got especially invested in the team and went from "casual fan" to "fan" and then to "diehard fan."

 

I mean, now most of the memories I have about the Bills involve watching mostly-meaningless games with my son during the drought years.  I am absolutely loving this particular team, in part because they're just an easier group of players to root for than those 1990s teams were.  (Let's be honest -- some of those "big personalities" were hard to take at times).  But if it weren't for the SB run, I'm not sure I would be quite as fanatical about this franchise. 

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I'm an Old Coot.  I remember Tommy O'Connell handing off to Ritchie Lucas & throwing passes to Elbert "Golden Wheels" Dubenion, Jackie Kemp handing off to Cookie Gilchrist and throwing passes to Dubenion & Glenn Bass.  Ed Rutkowski (former Erie County Exec) was on that team.

 

I remember the loss to the KC Chiefs in the 1966 AFL Championship game.  If the Bills had won they would have played in the first NFL-AFL Championship game.  Somewhat later the annual game was renamed the Superbowl.

 

My interest in the Bills has waxed & waned over the years with the team's success.  It's waxing now.  Hopefully the team will win a Superbowl before I join the Choir Eternal.

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2 minutes ago, Old Coot said:

I remember Tommy O'Connell handing off to Ritchie Lucas

I neglected to mention that the clothing store O'Connell, Lucas & Chelf was founded by Tommy O'Connell, Ritchie Lucas & Don Chelf (an offensive tackle on the team).

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7 hours ago, Royale with Cheese said:

I think this question is probably best suited for the those in the mid 30's to late 40's age group but certainly anyone can answer.

 

I grew up in the 80's and started really understanding and loving football right as the Bills started their Super Bowl run.  First memories of watching the Bills was Harmon's drop and then Kelly's pick to Clay Matthews.  My friend tells me if the Bills weren't that good, I probably would have followed another team.  Them being so good attached me to them because kids like to cheer for good teams.  

I disagreed.  My whole family is from Buffalo and football was just our household.  I'm positive that I would have been just as diehard if they were bad....like if my childhood was the Mularkey/Williams/Jauron years instead of Levy. 

 

If the Bills had nothing in their history like the Browns and Lions....would your fandom be as strong?  Without those great 90's teams...would your interest be less today?

What was your interest level during the drought?


I’m in the same age bracket as you.  I always liked the Bills because they were local and my family would buy me the gear, but I started watching when the team was rolling in 1990.
 

I do think the Super Bowl years had an influence on my fandom, and in way losing 4 did as well - because they were so close and you wanted to see them get to the top.  Plus it might have been the best collections of talent/personalities in franchise history . 
 

I am pretty sure I would have still cheered for the Bills because they were local but I do wonder if my interest would be like how it is for the Sabres.  You pull for the team, want them to do well, but if they don’t it’s just like “meh.” I don’t lose my mind if they suck.  Then again NHL is not NFL.  

The strange thing for me was seeing so many fans in the 20-30 year old bracket lose their mind when the Bills made the playoffs in 2017.  For some it was the first time they could witness success as a Bills fan.  In fact I see a lot of younger fans tailgating on game days.  
 

So perhaps, you are correct and many Bills fans would be just as fanatical regardless of W-L record.  

 

Edited by JohnNord
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Definitely influenced my Fandom. I'm a Bills Fan from south alabama, if those teams didn't exist and Buffalo didn't play national games all the time when I was 9-13 years old, who knows if I would ha e ever seen them.

 

It didn't hurt 2 kids from Buffalo relocated to my school and we became friends, but still if the team was trash at that point I would have probably chosen a different team.

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8 hours ago, TampaBillsJunkie said:

No. I was born a fan. It was embedded into my blood. Before I even realized who I was, I was in my cradle wearing Bills outfits. When I was old enough to get carted to games, I sat on a beer cooler in the Rockpile  handing out beers and sandwiches to my dad, grandpa and uncles.

 

 I went to the first game at Rich Stadium, I saw OJ running from defenders, not the law. I saw the best and worst of Bills football for 50+ years. And I'll never change my allegiance. 

Right there with ya TBJ!  First game in 1965 when I was five, I mean when you grow up in Buffalo its hard not to follow the team, win lose or draw.  The SB years were great.  The current team has that same feel....fingers crossed.

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Yes I would say so, I mean I'm sure I would be a big Bills fan regardless but some of my earliest childhood memories were the Bills Super Bowl teams and everything that came with it.  I'm a very Nostalgic person in general and everything about that time period was special to me.  I'd say for my generation it was a very unique thing to have grown up only knowing the Bills as a powerhouse team going to the Super Bowl every year as a young kid for that to shift into them being a joke every year for the rest of our life until now

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No.

First attended games as a kid in the old rockpile. That was the seed that was planted. Then, when I was old enough to grasp the nuances of the game, OJ was the biggest name in football, if not pro sports. 

Went to numerous games at Rich, including the first Monday night game in '73, the '80 opener when they finally beat the fish after 20 losses, the Bills-Rams 'encore' game, and many more.

Fandom grew through the Knox era of late 70s-early 80's, then mini-drought, part 1, then Kelly signs in '86, then the 90's, then Wade Phillips, then drought part 2.  17 of years in search of an elite QB.

 

So, having gone through some rough patches Bills' teams that had terrible coaching, awful personnel departments, and/or a tightwad owner who wouldn't retain good talent, my allegiance never faltered. 

 

Even though I've lived in Atlanta area most of my life, I can't imagine rooting for the Falcons or any other team. It's the Bills until the day I die.

 

Having stuck with them through thick and thin over 50 years, it'll be that much sweeter when they finally win it all!

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by SoMAn
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On 3/30/2022 at 6:25 AM, TampaBillsJunkie said:

No. I was born a fan. It was embedded into my blood. Before I even realized who I was, I was in my cradle wearing Bills outfits. When I was old enough to get carted to games, I sat on a beer cooler in the Rockpile  handing out beers and sandwiches to my dad, grandpa and uncles.

 

 I went to the first game at Rich Stadium, I saw OJ running from defenders, not the law. I saw the best and worst of Bills football for 50+ years. And I'll never change my allegiance. 

Ahh yes! Those were the days, TBJ.

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On 3/30/2022 at 2:31 PM, BritBill said:

I'm 42 and the teams of that era are the reason I'm a Bills fan. 

 

I must admit, it was a hard slog during the drought and it coincided with me having other distractions and the most disposable income I ever had so my interest waned but I never considered taking another team. I'd made my bed.

Im also 42, from the UK and the rest of the above about sums me up too 😀

 

My introduction to football was through the early Madden games, i knew very little about the sport until then. I picked the Bills as Thurman Thomas was a weapon in the game. I then started watching games on 'Channel 4' to see if number 34 in real life could match his Madden skill... he didnt disspaoint and I've been hooked ever since.

 

The runs to the superbowls were great and cemented my fandom. However the late nights/early mornings watching those superbowls as a kid totally crushed me.  When we finally win one my 12 year old self will roar in delight. 

 

My dad's sister lived in Toronto in the 90s so on my sole visit there i convinced my parents to drive to Buffalo and stood outside the stadium in Orchard Park in awe.  It was May/June and nothing of note happening, but I'll never forget it and cant wait to make it back for a the real thing... which I'll need to do in the next 4 years of course.

 

Go Bills. Wouldnt change a thing.

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On 3/30/2022 at 9:07 AM, Royale with Cheese said:

I think this question is probably best suited for the those in the mid 30's to late 40's age group but certainly anyone can answer.

 

I grew up in the 80's and started really understanding and loving football right as the Bills started their Super Bowl run.  First memories of watching the Bills was Harmon's drop and then Kelly's pick to Clay Matthews.  My friend tells me if the Bills weren't that good, I probably would have followed another team.  Them being so good attached me to them because kids like to cheer for good teams.  

I disagreed.  My whole family is from Buffalo and football was just our household.  I'm positive that I would have been just as diehard if they were bad....like if my childhood was the Mularkey/Williams/Jauron years instead of Levy. 

 

If the Bills had nothing in their history like the Browns and Lions....would your fandom be as strong?  Without those great 90's teams...would your interest be less today?

What was your interest level during the drought?

Mid 30's to late 40's? Who cares what the kids think?

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I'm 40 in May, from Detroit suburbs. My first clear memory I have watching a football game was the Bengals and 49ers Super Bowl in 1989. Slowly by the time the Bills and Giants played I became more of a fan and the Bills in general. I clearly recall crying myself to sleep after the Washington Super Bowl. I do not remember doing so for the Giants Super Bowl. So something happened after that game. Reflecting, I fell in love with the team and the way they played. I loved the cold weather and snow games. I identified with the fans as loyal and dedicated, all of the above as resilient. I also have no doubt I was influenced as person by those 90's teams.

Edited by KzooMike
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