In the doldrums of the offseason, NFL.com devotes a day to each team. On Buffalo Bills day, Adam Rank penned an article designed to “present a handy guide to becoming an instantly rabid fan.” Rank’s top reason to be a Buffalo Bills fan involves a feat that fans of the team and casual observers alike both surely revel in: the four straight trips to the Super Bowl by the Bills during 1990 through ‘93 seasons.
This wasn’t just a great accomplishment by Bills standards, but one that’s unmatched in NFL history. Only the Dolphins of the 1970s come close with their three straight appearances in the big game. Now, we’re all painfully aware that Buffalo did lose all of those Super Bowls, but, hey, that shouldn’t completely overshadow the outstanding effort it took to get back there year after year.
Keeping in the theme of what the Bills accomplished during that span, Rank discusses the greatest comeback in NFL history. In the 1992 AFC wild-card game against the Houston Oilers, the Bills found themselves down 35-3 in the third quarter and were without the services of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, who had been out for the game after suffering an injury the week before. Backup QB Frank Reich stepped in and helped the Bills rally for an unbelievable 41-38 overtime comeback win. Buffalo would ultimately reach its third straight Super Bowl that season.
Rank writes that Kelly doesn’t get enough due as a quarterback. In the writer’s opinion, Kelly is a top-10 all-time QB, but there’s no arguing who Rank says is Buffalo’s all-time best player: Bruce Smith. The NFL’s “King of Sacks,” Smith’s 200 career QB takedowns are 57 ahead of the next-closest active player in Julius Peppers since the stat began counting in the 1982. Amazingly, Smith put up double-digit sacks 13 times in his career that spanned 19 seasons.
Past accomplishments are all good and dandy, but live in the present, right? Rank highlights some good modern day reasons to get excited over the Bills, starting with new head coach Sean McDermott, of whose Rank says he’s a fan. He praises McDermott on what he was able to accomplish with the Carolina Panthers as their defensive coordinator, and he thinks that success will translate to the Bills, particularly on defense. Rank says McDermott is a good choice to lead Buffalo after what the franchise went endured the past couple of seasons under Rex Ryan.
On the field, Rank loves what the Bills have in Tyrod Taylor, who he refers to as “Tygod” in his piece, LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins. He mentions Taylor’s efficiency as a QB and highlights his astounding 37:12 touchdown to interception ratio the past two season. Rank believes that McCoy is one of the league’s most underappreciated running backs, and he writes that Watkins could have a breakthrough year if he’s able to remain healthy. Taylor and McCoy have Pro Bowl nods on their resume. Perhaps, Watkins, who’s heading into a contract year, could be provided with extra motivation to earn his first trip to the offseason showcase and give the Bills their own formidable set of triplets that stand up to those of other teams in the process.
But what about the fan base? Like virtually everyone else online, Rank has noticed how amazing Bills Mafia is, and how deep Bills pride runs among them. He debunks some of the negative attention Bills fans get because of the questionable actions of a segment of the fanbase. He write that “the DNA of the Bills fans is a passion for the football team. They want a winner more than they want YouTube clicks.”
As you can see there are plenty reasons to love the Bills. Whether you celebrated during the glory years, joined during the playoff drought, or just love those sweet red, white, and blue uniforms, there must be good reasoning behind why you decided to make the Bills your squad of choice. Why not share it with us? Keep the discussion going by chiming in below in the comments section on what made you decide to become a Bills fan, as well as what you might say or do to help convince someone to become a Bills fan.