You usually don’t associate the words magnificent and mafia with one another. But this isn’t The Soprano’s, The Godfather, or Goodfellas depictions of the mafia that we’re here to talk about. There may be no bullets flying amongst this group. Instead, there will only be a throng of loyal Buffalo Bills Mafia members flying through some tables as they head into their AFC Championship match where they will attempt to de-throne the current Super Bowl Champions.
The Bills Mafia has been identified as one of, if not the best, fan bases in the NFL. (I mean, I would know, as a FAMOUSLY lifelong fan of theirs). The tailgates are infamous and their Zubaz pants are recognizable from miles away. And then there’s the jumping through tables that has been all too well documented. But for as famous as they are for all of the above, they’ve also made a name for themselves on a more generous front.
A Generous Nature
When the news broke after a victory over the Seattle Seahawks in early November that Josh Allen’s grandmother passed away only 24 hours before the game, fans started donating to her memorial fund in droves. It may have only been in small amounts, like $17 to in honor of Allen’s number 17, but it added up quickly and now totals over $1 million.
Their generosity isn’t limited to their own team though. After last Sunday’s victory over the Baltimore Ravens in which quarterback Lamar Jackson was forced to exit due to concussion, the Mafia funneled more of their hard-earned money into a Louisville charity, “Blessings in a Backpack”, that Jackson works with. Again proving that small gestures add up, the donations of $8 have come close to totaling half a million dollars.
And lest you think this is a new phenomenon, Mafia members also contributed to former Bengals and now backup Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton’s charity at the end of 2017 when a Bengals loss allowed the Bills to secure a playoff spot.
Should they upset the Chiefs on Sunday, it’s possible that they will also circle the wagons for Patrick Mahomes’ favorite charity, especially if he continues to battle against a toe injury that could limit him from being his otherwise Superhuman self.
I am not the first to admit that I’ve gotten swept up in the Bills Mafia Mania. But, as fellow Turf writer Andrew Mark Wilhelm and I have lamented during this particularly dry Detroit sports spell, we need to have some backup teams to help keep our spirits up. And before you come for me for hopping onto the Bills Bandwagon, I remind you that I am a (now former) New Yorker. I have spent the better part of my 11.5 years there both serving on and working with some awesome Bills fans. You could say it was because of them that I’m proudly now also a member of the Mafia. Well, that and the fact that they are the only football team that plays in New York.
They, I mean WE, might be a little over-enthusiastic, but at least our hearts are in the right places. It must be a rust belt mentality. I’d love nothing more than to see our Bills back in the Super Bowl in two weeks trying to claim the Lamar Hunt trophy that has escaped us for so long.
For more information on these organizations, or to donate for yourselves, you can follow these links:
- The Patricia Allen Foundation-https://www.kaleidahealth.org/foundations/childrens/donate/
- Blessings In A Backpack-https://www.blessingsinabackpack.org
- Andy and Jordan Dalton Foundation-https://www.andydalton.org
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