I've suffered through some very bad years of football. In fact I was only a little kid during the Super Bowl years and I really can't remember those teams. Despite that, I am very passionate fan.
I hate when people mock Buffalo for poor drafting, the owner, or on the field play. Though they probably have a point, they aren't part of our fan community and don't understand what the Bills mean to the region or to the fans. Yes the team has flaws, but they are our flaws to criticize.
I don't think I've ever been ashamed to be a Bills fan. Yes, the product isn't always great, but I've always felt that the Bills played hard and on some level that's the most important thing. All teams lose, you just hope your team doesn't lose because they don't care.
Whenever I hear news about some team contemplating lockout related layoffs or slashing benefits, in the back of my mind I think, "Please not the Bills." No games or any revenue-generating event have been missed and I'd like to believe the team is better than that. Ralph Wilson is often quoted talking about how he got into football because he loved the game, not to make money. Learning that the Bills were cutting salaries was a disappointment to me. Learning that the Bills would not be returning that money at the end of the lockout was appalling. Finally, learning that the team is a trailblazer in cutting non-salary benefits disgusts me. You can put a poor product on the field and I'll still cheer. Leave me in limbo about the future of the team and I'll accept it. But cutting salaries and benefits to employees before losing any money or a guarantee that games will be missed is shameful.
I'm still a Bills fan and will remain so, but for the first time I'm ashamed of my team.