Open Letter to 25 to 35 Year-Old Buffalo Bills Fans
Dear Buffalo Bills fans who are in their mid-20's to mid-30's,
The 2023 NFL schedule was released last Thursday and it's always a fun time for fans to see when they will play these opponents that we have known about since the end of the previous season.
The Bills only have three 1 pm games at home in 2023, which is hard to even fathom if you grew up during the drought. Buffalo plays five total primetime games, with three of those night games at home (Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Giants). The Bills also have two 4:25 pm games at home in November and December.
If you are between the ages of 25 and 35 years old, then you grew up not even knowing what the Bills playing in primetime even felt like, let alone a home primetime game.
When I was growing up, almost every game during the drought was at 1 pm. The ones that weren't were on the road at 4 pm; and that's because those games were typically on the west coast.
The first night game I ever remember being in Orchard Park, while I was growing up, was when I was in high school and the Bills hosted the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football in 2007. It was the first time in over a decade the Bills were on MNF...and they lost, even with Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo throwing five interceptions.
It's difficult to explain to people that were able to enjoy the early '90s that there was an entire generation of Bills fans who knew nothing but the drought. I wasn't old enough to enjoy or know about those Jim Kelly Super Bowl appearance teams; that's not my fault, just the year I was born.
I literally started watching the Bills in 2000. That was my first season of me watching most games as a little kid, and that was the first year of the drought. My first distinct football memory was the Music City Miracle (aka: Home Run Throwback).
All I knew was Rob Johnson, Doug Flutie, Alex Van Pelt, Drew Bledsoe, J.P. Losman, Kelly Holcomb, Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, E.J. Manuel and Tyrod Taylor. For 17 years that was the football I knew in Buffalo.
Having the luxury of night games in Orchard Park is still a new concept to so many Bills fans. 4:25 pm starts are even more rare, we certainly have no experience with those games. If you don't count the 2021 season finale against the New York Jets, which was placed at 4:25 pm that week, the last time the Bills had a set in stone 4 o'clock start time at home was the week 2 home opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009...
What we're experiencing with Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Tre'Davious White, Matt Milano, Dion Dawkins, Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer and Mitch Morse is such a needed experience. It's still weird to me the Bills are one of the best teams in the NFL and have been since 2020.
With Josh Allen here and in his prime, get used to night games (and 4:25 pm games) in Orchard Park.