Seventeen years ago today, on April 7, 2007, SB Nation launched its brand new Buffalo Bills blog: Buffalo Rumblings. The esteemed Brian Galliford spearheaded the grassroots endeavor that started with “tens of Bills fans the first day.” We’ve certainly come a long way over the last 5,844 days and four different Editor in Chiefs / Site Managers.
For those of you who’ve been around since the beginning, you’ll likely recall Brian’s first football-focused post was an opinion piece contemplating whether or not the Buffalo Bills should have flipped two second-round picks to the San Diego Chargers for backup running back Michael Turner (they did not make the trade).
Brian came on board as editor in chief mere weeks before the NFL Draft, in which the Bills selected running back Marshawn Lynch, linebacker Paul Posluszny, and quarterback Trent Edwards in the first three rounds. We know how those decisions panned out, with each being jettisoned in 2010 — only a few seasons after their arrival.
Over the years, Buffalo Rumblings has benefited from a constantly evolving SB Nation platform that’s allowed us to bring the best Bills-centric content to the fans. But more importantly, our blog remains one of SB Nation’s best due to you, our readers — the Bills Mafia community who inspire us to write and produce each day.
When Brian took leave from Rumblings, many wondered how he could be replaced. None other than Chris Trapasso came on board and dutifully guided the wagon until an opportunity on the national level as an NFL Draft writer for CBS Sports came to him. At that point, Matt Rich Warren (MRW) took over as editor in chief and helped accelerate the growth and variety of content offered to our audience. MRW led the team at Rumblings for just shy of 11 years, until moving on to the role of Associate Director of NFL for SB Nation.
We were sad. Matt was leaving — and just as our Bills were finally, consistently good! Then joyous, as news broke that Brian was coming back into the role. It was quite a sea change for Brian, who began the blog in the throes of an eventual NFL-record 17-year playoff drought. He had come back to cover a team with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations. To no one’s surprise, Brian picked up right where he left off, and the blog continued pumping out high-quality content.
At some point during this offseason, Brian decided he was most interested in writing, and made the decision to step back into a role that would afford him more time for his family and regular work. He wanted to write, but not as EIC. That’s when I was promoted to editor in chief — the fourth such person to take the reigns as Site Manager for Buffalo Rumblings.
I’m thrilled to now lead a team of more than 20 very talented individuals who are content creators at heart, be they writers, analysts, podcasters/video personalities, social media mavens, artists, or stewards of civility among our high-quality comment section.
Much like Brian back in 2007, I became editor in chief in the spring, just weeks before I’ll have the opportunity to cover my first NFL Draft in this role. Interestingly, the Bills’ first pick during Brian’s first draft was of course a RB (Lynch) followed by LB (Posluszny). There remains the very real possibility of One Bills Drive selecting a RB (Bijan Robinson) and LB (insert name here) with their first two picks. Some might say it’s fate that such a situation occurs at the end of April.
I first met Brian and MRW during training camp at St. John Fisher University many years ago. They were together, doing football things. I was shooting photos of players like J.P. Losman while hanging with my family. At the time, of course, I had no idea that years later I would come on board as a copy editor behind the scenes — the “Frank Oz” of copy — ensuring that each and every published piece adhere to lofty self-set standards.
I’ve been a part of the Buffalo Rumblings community since 2008, once a very active participant in the comments section. I feel as though I “know” so many of you without us having ever met in person. Our little corner of the internet has had its fair share of memorable moments aside from rival blog trolls, the pesky bot invasions, and TWSS stuff.
I’m of course talking about the enigmatic Geronimo, and the amazing wagon-blasting Abayarde. Geronimo was a key figure during the Dick Jauron era, and he provided Rumblers with a rare and unique perspective on the team. Abayarde was every bit the enthusiastic rally cry we needed before each game — he exemplified the spirit of Bills Mafia like few others.
It can’t be said better than what Brian wrote in this space a very long time ago:
“This community serves as an exemplar of the best of what online sports coverage has to offer: passionate, engaged and diverse discourse, and an unusually high level of civility for the Internet.”
Thank you all for your readership, your participation, and your commitment to helping us build this amazing community known as Buffalo Rumblings We can’t wait to continue growing with you — and hang on, because the sky’s the limit!