Sorry to say this up front but I feel the need to: I am a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, and not just a bandwagon booster because of Tom Brady. I have been a Bucs fan my entire life, and if Bills fans are reading this, I believe you’re able to relate to my years of disbelief at how inept a franchise can operate.
In the past and currently, I’ve rooted for the Bills as my AFC team. My Canadian family roots for the them and it seemed like the Bills understood the decades of shame and frustration I carry as a Bucs fan.
This year, however, has been a great year for both the Bucs and Bills, and it’s only natural that the two franchises enjoyed their greatest seasons in the last two decades during the worst pandemic in a century. It’s just our luck.
Part of the reason I left Florida was due to the chaotic nature of the political leaders, the citizens and the weather, but mostly the weather.
Unsurprisingly, Florida was among the first states to allow fans back at stadiums. Raymond James Stadium was partially filled with red, white and pewter masks, Tom Brady jerseys and the sound of cannon fire. Meanwhile in the North, Bills Stadium remained empty throughout the entire season.
Bills mafia had the greatest showing of football ripped from them in 2020. Fanbases from around the country have known for years that Bills mafia is one of the best fanbases in sports, and through the recent donations to football player-related charities, they may just be the widely recognized as the greatest fanbase in football.
That is the precise reason the Buffalo Bills deserve to have fans in attendance when they take on the Colts this Saturday.
But let’s think for a minute about who those 6,772 fans should be.
From my perspective, they should have the most dedicated season-ticket holders — 20+ years at least. Then, the majority of the allowed seats should be filled with front-line healthcare workers. If any group of fans deserve to take in a Bills playoff game, it’s them.
The blue-collar city of Buffalo understands hard work and sacrifice more so than the vast majority of football fanbases. Think of how many Bills mafia healthcare workers had to miss a game this year due to fighting the pandemic head-on.
The nurses, doctors and EMT’s deserve a proper “Thank you” from the city and state for the endless work they have done. Being the first and possibly only fans at Bills stadium this year would be a great start.
If only a few thousand fans are allowed through the gates, healthcare workers should be the first in line, especially since they were first in line to fight COVID-19.