26shirts.com/Buffalo

Real BillsMafia Story Smashes Stereotypes

Photo from buffalonews.com.

I feel sorry for normal Elvis fans.  Those with decent jobs and conventional garments are never interviewed at Graceland on his death’s anniversary.  A beehive and ample polyester are needed for camera time.  It’s natural for those telling a story to gravitate to extremes.  Alfred Hitchcock didn’t make a picture about, say, a thoroughly normal innkeeper.  Likewise, it’s easiest to remember the dramatic loss that officially ended playoff contention yet again, as our brains enjoy tormenting us.  How else would we stay sharp?

Noting the tendency to focus on the craziest bits isn’t to express sympathy for the latest lame affront to Buffalo Bills fans.  A brief home movie by something called Barstool Sports purports to tell us who we are.  I seem to have misplaced the hyperlink.  But you may be shocked to learn that you’re probably intoxicated right now and about to damage property.

A site geared for lower-tier state college fraternity bros who use “we” when talking about teams they watch doesn’t seem like the sort of virtual journal that would present deceptively-edited content.  It’s really a shocker.

Context is everything.  It’s tough to make a blockbuster Hollywood production, which must be why this oh so provocative site left out clips of friendly Bills backers expressing how blessed they feel to support a beloved team.  Some even behave after consuming a wobbly pop or two with game day lunch.  But why record the National Honor Society meeting when the detention hall has kooky characters?  The obsession with smashed card tables borders on pathological.  It’s true whether referring to the smashers or auteurs.

Photo from 12up.com.

Should we bother?  About 15 percent of all time spent online is spent pondering whether or not it’s worth responding to pathetic cheap shots, which is known as the internet’s dilemma.

Yes, bickering with dolts makes it tough to distinguish which party can tie its own shoes.  But video trolling provides a chance to focus on what’s positive.  To counter negativity, we can remember why we became Mafiosi in the first place.  I neglected to thank the scornful fabricators for the opportunity.

What is BillsMafia?  I’d like to note I’m asking rhetorically, not a couple years after I started writing for the very site you’re presently visiting.  The goal of unifying passionate fans is as noble as it is straightforward.  Anyone unaware is free to click a link with the same domain name explaining the whole thing. It’s probably wise to do so before making a chintzy flick on us.

Official functions remind us why we joined.  There are resources for those interested in our quirky dedication such as, um, an aforementioned official website.  Also, you can check out a philanthropic tailgate where sober individuals remain vertical while aiding those in need.  You don’t need a jersey patch, although you’re certainly free to wear one.

Photo from 26shirts.com.

A group that started without a plan is bound to grow organically.  Teasing Adam Schefter turned into an outlet for famously rabid Bills fans.  It’s not a literal disease in case anyone’s confused by selective video editing.

The improvisational nature of something discovered by happy accident means some people will warp the definition, like those with football tickets who pass out by noon.  But this group is ultimately what its ardent members make of it.  I remember as a youngster thinking Ramones fans were cool before realizing that becoming one was simply a matter of learning the lyrics to Teenage Lobotomy and wearing the crest t-shirt first thing out of the laundry.  Being as awesome as us is is a decision.

Some site that thought Deadspin was worth copying focused on flaming drunks and not, say, charity work.  It’s uncanny!  They can call the tiresome footage of excessive lager consumption compelling if they’d like.  Meanwhile, 26 Shirts has raised $382,690 and counting more for those in need than the ostensible moviemakers. They left out that dramatic disparity.

Those filming are the real subject.  The unfortunate clip montage’s real twist comes in discovering whose identity has intermingled with the team they follow.  The notorious Patriots fans running that particular outlet are the ones who deserve pity.  They feel the need to defend every satanic Belichickian machination as part of a deal with I’m certain will have no adverse eternal consequences.

Take any life lessons available.  In our case, focus on how things could be okay if that team we adore loses yet again.  Sticking with it despite an extensive list of reasons to bail is a chance to display character.  If life’s dropping boulders, sigh and use moving them to build strength.  This may take a few years.

Criticizing a family is restricted to its members.  When outsiders attack, it’s time to, if I may use a pre-coined phrase, circle the wagons.  If you think we’re mean to each other, wait until we face outward.

Fans of both Buffalo and the Bills are notoriously sensitive.  Can you blame us?  It’s natural after a consistently unimpressive performance representing a city that’s persevered through hard times.  So, here’s me contributing to it.  But we ultimately know that a miserable outsider’s assessment doesn’t alter intrinsic value.  If you think the area sucks, that’s on you.  It just means fewer jerks crowding neat places.

Photo from canalsidebuffalo.com.

I’m still shocked there’s crummy behavior in an NFL stadium’w parking lot.  As one of our co-founders notes, most fans remain coherent and stationary.  But that doesn’t make for tawdry thrills by laughing at vulgarity.

That’s about enough of a response.  I don’t feel like going through Gillette Stadium with a camera for revenge.  I’m sure all Patriots fans behave.  Also, none are insufferable fools who’ve invested their egos in the results of games they watch.  I certainly couldn’t envision any of them treating obnoxiousness as a virtue, especially if they’re as polite and well-spoken as the Barstool crew.

We’ll be the same after their attempted snuff film fades.  Their derisive categorization remains as inaccurate as their claim they’ll be just as passionate after that quarterback of theirs retires.  We define what our fanbase is.  Those indulging in tailgating porn have to live with the shame.


The views and opinions expressed on this website blog are soley those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Buffalo FAMbase, Inc., and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Anthony Bialy

About Anthony Bialy

Anthony Bialy lives in New York City and acts like he's still in Buffalo. He thinks "Buffalo 66" is biographical and considers it a crime against mankind that Steve Tasker is not in the Hall of Fame. He knows every bodega in Manhattan which sells Labatt Blue. Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyBialy.

One thought on “Real BillsMafia Story Smashes Stereotypes

  1. Unfortunately, we think that the fans of Team X (Pats, Yankees, Red Sox, etc.) are asshats because we only remember the ones that stick out. The great majority of each team’s fans are good people that are not over consuming alcohol and behaving bad.