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If you are a fan of football, you are probably very familiar with one of the top rising teams in the NFL, the Buffalo Bills. Not only have they developed into quite the football powerhouse, but they have quite a loyal fan base following as well. If you're wondering what Buffalo Bill Fans are called, you are about to be educated about some of the greatest fans there are - the Buffalo Bills Mafia.
Don't let the "mafia" part of the name throw you for a loop. This simply means that they are a bit exuberant and over the top at times with their love for their Buffalo Bills, but when it comes to football, aren't we all?
This post will give you a bit more education and information about the Buffalo Bills Mafia so that you can compare the loyalty of your love of football and quite possibly even consider becoming part of the Buffalo Bills Mafia yourself.
Why are they called the Buffalo Bills?
Before jumping into the Mafia facts, it is important to start with a bit of information about the football team. They are actually called the Buffalo Bills because of a public contest that was run back in the '40s. The winning entry that was selected meant that the football team's future name would be "Buffalo Bills," which was chosen in honor of Buffalo Bill Cody.
And since the football team has always been located in the Buffalo, NY area, it just makes sense that that is the first part of this NFL team's name.
What is the Buffalo Bills Mafia?
It is hard to believe that the term Bills Mafia has been around for a decade!
It started in a Stevie Johnson tweet (since deleted) after a dropped pass in a big game:
"I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO..."
Many hours later, ESPN’s Adam Schefter retweeted Johnson. A few Bills fans took to Twitter to mock Schefter and his "breaking news." The original term #BillsMafia was used by Del Reid on "Follow Friday" on Twitter back in the spring of 2011. It was a whimsical reference to how big and bad a small group of Bills fans were that their jokes caused them to be blocked by Adam Schefter for their #SchefterBreakingNews teasing in response to his late RT of Stevie Johnson.
When linebacker Nick Barnett said he liked the term in August of 2011, #BillsMafia took off as a movement.
If you think of the most boisterous fans you know, multiple that by thousands, and you have a good representation of the Bills Mafia. They are loud, proud, and are some of the truest die-hard fans in professional sports.
Bills Mafia Facts versus Fiction
A point that confuses many people about the word "mafia" in the name of a sports fan base is because the term "mafia" is associated with illegal activity and thought of as dangerous and out to cause trouble. Nothing could be further from the truth in the case of the Buffalo Bills fans! In fact, Bills Mafia was a tongue-in-cheek lighthearted joke directed at an ESPN professional that has grown into a fan base that is embraced for their passion by players, fans, and ownership alike.
Are they loud? Sure.
Are they a bit wild at times? Of course - what football fans aren't?
While their voices might be loud, they want people to know that they're really focused on providing good quality support for the Buffalo Bills football team because of their love of the game.
And last but not least, the Bills Mafia fan base is actually quite generous with their donations. Over the years, they have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to pediatric hospitals and organizations and foundations that are supported by opposing players and teams.
Not only do they have tremendous pride in their football team, but they also have a huge giving spirit.
© Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Why do Bills fans break tables?
This is actually one of the most common things people think about when they think about Buffalo Bills fans. There was an instance, or maybe quite a few instances, where this was a "thing." Maybe it was a publicity stunt, or maybe it was just because they were drinking a little bit too much at the tailgate - but regardless, this is not the norm for Bills fans.
It is also important to note that table jumping is not directly tied to the Bills Mafia, although there could have been some that did participate in the occasional table slamming/breaking.
If you are a football fan and have a true love of the game, you know what it's like to be a fan. Whether it is watching games, going to the games, wearing branded sports material, or just vocalizing their support, Buffalo Bills fans are among the world's greatest fans. Bills Mafia is a true "family" in the sense that they stand by their Buffalo Bills through thick and through thin. It is pretty safe to say that there have been some pretty rough years for the Buffalo Bills, and by extension, their fan base.
However, millions of Bills Mafia fans are standing by, and standing with, the Buffalo Bills. They know that every weekend during football season has the potential to be a chance to grow, upset, and win - and those are three things that are worth betting on and supporting every single week.
The next time you are ready to see a loyal fan base that has stood by their team through the good, the bad, and the ugly, take a peek at the Bills Mafia to see how it is truly done.
Come join the best fan base in professional sports.