Buffalo Bills File Trademark For “Bills Mafia”
In a move sure to upset fans more than the last Bills game score, the Buffalo Bills organization announced today it has trademarked popular fan-slogan, "Bills Mafia."
WIVB reports the Bills organization filed the trademark on October 12.
According to the trademark filing, the Bills are seeking use of the phrase “Bills Mafia,” "on a series of clothing items like t-shirts and hats."
It's unclear what the trademark filing will mean for 26 Shirts, and its founder Del Reid, who's credited with originating the term. 26 Shirts has been the go-to place for "Bills Mafia" gear, and purchases made go to help out multiple, different charities.
Yahoo Sports explains the origin story of the Bills Mafia:
“Bills Mafia” began with a tweet. In November of 2010, Bills receiver Stevie Johnson dropped a touchdown pass that would have given Buffalo a shocking upset over the Steelers. Pittsburgh won in overtime and later that evening, Johnson blamed the Almighty on social media: “YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO…”
This became a big deal, to the point where “The View” discussed the tweet the next day. Then, hours later, ESPN’s Adam Schefter retweeted Johnson. A group of Bills fans thought it funny that a breaking news wizard had just discovered a tweet that had already been viral for the better part of a day. They created a hashtag mocking #SchefterBreakingNews with such bulletins as “Man Discovers Fire.” You get the idea.
The Bills fans reveled in having gone rogue and one of the leaders, a man named Del Reid, coined the hashtag #BillsMafia. Months later, former Green Bay Packer Nick Barnett signed with the team, saw the hashtag and tweeted his approval. Things took off from there, as they do in the social media age, and the zaniness grew even more when Johnson himself suggested a Bills Mafia handle. Reid launched that – @TheBillsMafia – and one Sunday morning in church his notifications blew up as fans across the region followed.
What is clear, is that Bills fans aren't having it, calling the organization greedy.