The Curious Case of My Bills Fandom; Plus Overall Thoughts on Bills-Chiefs Showdown

I wish I could tell you a good story. I wish I could say that Jim Kelly saved my life as a child, and therefore, I pledged my lifelong allegiance to the Buffalo Bills.

Or perhaps my story could be much more believable: that my dad was raised in Buffalo or that my uncle worked for the Bills and gave me lots of Bills’ memorabilia. Both would make sense. But both are false.

Instead, I’m continually asked a question for which there is no good answer: How did you – a kid from Kansas – become a Buffalo Bills’ fan?

Here are the facts:

  • My favorite colors are blue and red.
  • As a child I thought buffalo (the animal) were really cool.
  • The Bills were very good when I was first introduced to sports, and they received lots of media attention.
  • My parents did not have a favorite football team and, therefore, never discouraged this quirk of mine.

Some combination of these four things led to me becoming a Buffalo Bills’ fan around the age of seven. Then I never looked back.

Image may contain: 3 people, including Rye Addis, text that says 'If I Were A Buffalo BILL 42 1 30 00K5'
I was given this book in grade school. Yes, that’s a picture of me as a child.

Soon after I became a fan, the Bills stopped being dominant. Then a few years later, they stopped being good all together. However, this Kansas boy never wavered from a team more than 1,000 miles away. I somehow endured 14 consecutive seasons without a winning record, 17 seasons without a playoff appearance, and 25 years with a playoff victory…

And that brings us to 2020. I won’t bore with an entire recap of the season, but here are the cliff notes…

Bills play well. Quarterback becomes great. Media finally notices. Team wins 13 games. Bills FINALLY win a playoff game. They win another. And now they play the area’s most popular team for chance to play in our nation’s biggest sporting event.

I cannot describe what this season has meant to me, but a true sports fan will understand. I had become so used to losing that I honestly haven’t known what to do with my emotions all month. I have been in a perpetual state of shock. Which brings us to the January 24th showdown with the Chiefs…

Image may contain: Rye Addis, standing and beard, text that says 'BILLS'
This was a common ‘look’ for me in 2020.

I believe the Kansas City Chiefs are a truly great team… a “team of the decade” type of team. For all intents and purposes, they only lost 1 game all season. (Week 17 doesn’t count.) I believe Arrowhead Stadium (even with 22% capacity) is one of the best home field advantages in all of sports.

That being said, my Buffalo Bills are — dare I say — an excellent team themselves. They are not as good as the Chiefs in my opinion but perhaps just a notch below. The amount of Chiefs’ fans who’ve told me this week they are “nervous” only confirms that. I believe if the Chiefs and Bills played this game in these exact same circumstances 100 different times, the Chiefs would win 67 of them.

However, this game will only be played once. And it will be played in about 24 hours.

This is going to be so much fun… As cliché as it may sound, win or lose tomorrow, I already feel like I’ve won.


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