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Tuesday, February 20, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Bills Mafia does not represent the ‘City of Good Neighbors’

A tough playoff loss for the Bills reveals the dark underbelly of Bills Mafia

Despite being a southern Ohio native and avid Bengals fan, I still love Buffalo. I remain impressed by this community’s resilience over the last three years. Buffalo has struggled with horrible tragedy and deadly blizzards, but this city perseveres.

That being said, I am thoroughly embarrassed by the way the Bills Mafia behaved at last month’s playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

At first, I thought some of the immature behavior was somewhat amusing. I’ve been to NFL games, so I expected to see some signs trash-talking the Chiefs. I was prepared to hear booing, cussing and fighting. Thousands of drunk spectators and one of the most anticipated games of the season is a recipe for high tension.

Bills fans threw snowballs at Chiefs players any time they were in the end zone. The stunt was funny at first, but it quickly became annoying, redundant and a painfully obvious display of the Bills Mafia’s lack of sportsmanship. 

I didn’t think there was much this fanbase could do to catch me off guard. Lighting tables on fire and jumping on them during tailgates is stupid, but not surprising. Honestly, until now, I admired the passion.

But what I saw appalled me.

After the loss, Tyler Bass, the Bills kicker who missed the field goal that would’ve tied that game, had to delete his social media accounts after receiving a torrent of threats and abusive comments.

Bass wasn’t the only victim of Bills Mafia’s wrath. During the tailgate, Bills fans burned giant pictures of Taylor Swift’s face. Mafia members also displayed signs during the game, with references to Swift’s discography like “Enchanted to beat you.” One sign in particular caught attention: “Welcome to Buffalo, Taylor! You suck!”

The signs went viral on social media following the game, causing many to call Buffalo’s fan base “classless.”

Every day, I am more shocked by the lengths people will go to humiliate successful women.

Attacking the romantic partner of a player is disgusting and absurd. I was embarrassed for this city.

Most Buffalo locals I’ve had the pleasure of meeting have been nothing but kind. When I got a flat tire my freshman year, three different cars pulled over to help me. When the blizzard was at its most dangerous, multiple Buffalonians opened their homes to strangers in need. My favorite human beings — close friends, mentors and my boyfriend — are all Bills fans and all know how to support their team without being morally bankrupt.

This isn’t to say all Bills fans are the issue. It’s just the overall cult mentality of a fanbase that takes things too far.

Taylor Swift didn’t do anything wrong. Tyler Bass isn’t the reason the Bills lost. Learn to cut your losses with grace.

Kayla Estrada is the opinion editor and can be reached at   

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Kayla Estrada is the opinion editor at The Spectrum. She is an English major who enjoys rainy weather, “Bob’s Burgers” and asking people who they voted for. When she’s not writing, she can be found hunting for odd-looking knick-knacks at the nearest thrift store.  



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