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Bills Mafia: The Ultimate NFL Fan Base?

Buffalo Bills fans cheer during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

The Buffalo Bills have been in the NFL for quite some time now. The Bills joined the then AFL (American Football League) in 1960. They then joined the NFL in 1970 due to the AFL-NFL merger. The Bills did not become contenders in the NFL until the 1990s. In the years 1990-1993, the Buffalo Bills, led by Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, went to four straight Super Bowls winning none of them. Although the team has not won a Super Bowl in franchise history, Bills fans are as loyal as they come and are one of the best fan bases in all of the NFL.

The Buffalo Bills fan base known as the Bills Mafia have been the talk of the town around the NFL. Most notably after the Bills defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson exited the game with a concussion. In response to this, the Bills Mafia has donated almost half a million dollars to Jackson’s charity Blessings in a Backpack. According to Ryan Mink, staff writer for the Ravens, states that this was not the first time the Bills Mafia has done this. Back in 2017, then Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton led an illustrious comeback against the Ravens eliminating them from playoff contention which ultimately sent the Bills to the playoffs. Bills fans then donated $415,000 to Andy Dalton’s charity, the Andy and Jordan Dalton Foundation.

I feel a typical fanbase is about the sport itself and the team, whereas, the Mafia is about helping people in need, while still being a fan.”- Angelo Conti

Angelo Conti is a die-hard Buffalo Bills fan. He is also the husband of UNG’s journalism professor Shelia Conti.  Angelo has been a Bills fan since 1962. Even though he does not consider himself to be apart of Bills Mafia, he does admire their cause and supports the entire Bills Mafia campaign. “But with the Mafia, it is the Bills fans that help support the community. And it’s not just in Buffalo. It’s anywhere they see a need to help. I don’t know if it is all football related. I think it is but I’m not sure” said Conti on how the Bills Mafia is different from other NFL fanbases.

The Buffalo Bills do have a bright future ahead of them. Third year quarterback Josh Allen looked like a draft bust in his first year but took major steps in his second and third years making him one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL. The Bills also traded a first round pick for wide receiver Stefon Diggs who has been one of the best wide receivers this season. He has led the league in receptions and receiving yards this season making this acquisition well worth it.

“I’m very excited. I think they’ve got the team and the staff to bring them back to the Jim Kelly days.”- Angelo Conti


Buffalo Bills Team History

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Bills Mafia: The Ultimate NFL Fan Base?