On Sunday March 30th Bills fans held a tailgate in honor of Ralph Wilson, the man that gave us in Buffalo not only our football team but also a unique bond with our neighbors and fellow fans. Bills fans are some of the most devoted and passionate fans in the world and regardless of how good the team actually is the Buffalo Bills will always be the best team in the world to us. Buffalo Bills fans are truly a family unlike any other team in sports and that’s why #BillsMafia has been embraced by so many of us.
For those of you who don’t know #BillsMafia is how Bills fans connect on Twitter and it has a pretty interesting origin that can be read in great detail HERE. When Ralph Wilson passed away #BillsMafia naturally wanted to do something in his memory and it was eventually decided that the best way to celebrate his life and his gift to us die-hard fans was to have a tailgate in his honor.
That tailgate ended up being exactly what most of us expected it to be, the perfect tailgate. It had the feel and excitement of any other pre-game tailgate but with no fans of an opposing team, just all Bills fans coming together to celebrate the man that is responsible for consuming so much of our lives. This was the first tailgate I have EVER been to where I had to stay sober because I was driving and that did not by any means stop me from having the greatest time. I always have a lot of fun with my #BillsMafia family on Twitter but that just doesn’t even compare to how awesome it was to hang out with all of them at a tailgate. I got to finally meet a lot of people I regularly exchange tweets with including our very own cover32 writers Mike Guittar and Ashley Petty, and Mike even hooked me up with some of the artwork from Mayhem Monday (If your not jealous you should be).
Hats off to Russ Brandon for coming down and saying a few things to the fans too! This wasn’t an event put together by the organization, this was something that Bills fans on Twitter put together and he or any other member of the Bills were by no means obligated to make an appearance. The fact that he came down and got the crowd pumped up like animals shows that this team actually cares about it’s rabid fans. I think I speak for everyone at the tailgate when I say thank you Russ Brandon for coming down, it really meant a lot to us.
In all honesty I would like to see this become an annual event. #BillsMafia managed to raise over $3,600 for Hunters Hope while putting together one of the greatest Bills celebrations I have ever been a part of. We can very reasonably celebrate Ralph Wilson’s gift to us, raise money for charity and get a tailgate in when we need it this most every year. Regardless of whether that actually happens I would like to say nice work #BillsMafia, you made my year and thank you to all of you that showed up to provide a most memorable experience. Lets go Buffalo!!!