We Are All Buffalo Bills Fans

hand-written text: With 1:43 remaining in the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s divisional playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills kicker Tyler Bass missed a 44-yard field goal that would have tied the game. The Bills lost, ending their season. Maybe you care, maybe you don’t.

hand-written text: I love the Buffalo Bills. Or rather, I love the Buffalo Bills’ fans. Even though I don’t actually watch much football.

hand-written text: For one, these people* are crazy. They also use their incredible, fanatical might to raise money for good causes. *some of them anyway

handwritten text: But mostly I like Bills fans because they come back every year to root for a team that has never won an NFL championship*, and that lots of people think is cursed to never win one. When I was growing up, they made it to four straight Super Bowls from 1990 to 1993, and lost all of them. After a long playoff drought, they’ve made the playoffs every year since 2019, but no Super Bowl. Does that make the Bills, and their fans, “losers”? *they were AFL champions in 1964 + 1965

handwritten text: I’ve been really into running for several years now. I run a lot, and I participate in a few races every year, mostly trail ultramarathons with only a few hundred other entrants, but sometimes races like the New York City Marathon, with around 50,000 other runners.

handwritten text: These are, technically speaking, contests of speed, made up of a few winners—overall winner, gender division winners, age group winners, et cetera. But most of the participants are, technically speaking, losers. Like me. I have now lost a few dozen races. If I were running to win some sort of championship, I probably should have quit by now. And yet.

handwritten text: The Monday after the Bills lost to the Chiefs, there were lots of articles and social media posts talking about how sad/frustrating/disappointing it must be to be a Bills fan, because again this season, they are not NFL champions. I mean, how can Bills fans carry on?

handwritten text: Most of us, Bills fans or not, runners or not, are going to keep going to work, doing our best, being there for our friends/spouses/kids/neighbors/pets when they need us. We probably won’t get voted Employee of the Month, or be named 30 Under 30, or 40 Under 40, or 60 Under 6’0”, or NFL MVP or Parent of the Year or whatever.

handwritten text: We just keep at it, showing up every day, every year, just like the Bills will next year, and their fans, because although a guy famously said one time, “Winning isn’t everything—it’s the only thing,” (Henry Russell “Red” Sanders, UCLA Football Coach, 1949-1957) we all know that’s not true.

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