As a native of Buffalo, New York, I had the pleasure of being an on campus resident and commuter during the years the Buffalo Bills went to the super bowl four times.
Now, for me, that meant watching the other students and dorm residents built a tower of support for the opposing team and then grab a Buffalo Bills shirt or jersey just prior to the Super Bowl and wear it. I listened for a friend to invite me to the best party and then show up. That's it. I showed up. I considered active participation 'showing up". I also gave myself permission all season long to show up for games by third quarter telling myself nothing really happened in a Bills game until third quarter. However, that's simply because the Buffalo Bills, with Jim Kelly as quarterback had a reputation for winning during the very last few minutes of the game.
As I started to watch this video, I couldn't get past the title. I recognize this fully because the power fans have to support a team to a winning super bowl is tremendous. Instead of waiting for the crowd to roar and asking, "What just happened?" You have the chance to be what happened. Instead of waiting for Super Bowl commercials to come on and getting up to get what you need during the game, you can ensure you have everything you need including someone to help you have everything you need before, during and after the game.
Here's my summary of being a non football fan during the four years the Bills went to the Super Bowl and taking full ownership of not knowing how to be a Buffalo Bills fan and what I have learned from this experience.
First of all, I became a professional health and wellness coach after growing up NOT playing sports, so this has given me much insight into this topic.
1. If you are a fan going to the game try not to party so much that you lose your ability to play the game yourself. Imagine your a player, and you can hear the fans NOT being focused on the game, and each play that you are making to win but instead they are just distractors from either team's success. Throw away distractors who talk about everything else in their life and are just there because it's something to do. These distractors are the people who take everyone away from focusing on the win.
2. Be careful of designated passengers. These are the people who show up, drink up and have no plan in place for how they are getting home, how much it will cost them or anyone else to accomplish what they will do in ANY environment and that is to be a designated passenger. They fully rely on someone else to make the plans to get home and that is their primary role in attending the game.
3. Ungrounded fans are those who have thoughts carrying them away to places from the past, the future, the distant future and the imagined. These ungrounded fans may or may not show up with fan apparel but none the less they are inspiring enough that friends want to be around them. They are 75 % or more of the time the fan who asks, what just happened? when they hear the crowd roar, but in truth, they are at the game or watching the game because somewhere in their life they imagined that they would have friends who cared about them to invite them. Ungrounded fans can also be the hostess or host of the game because they love to be surrounded by people, but they may not stay grounded in the present moment. These fans celebrate the event, the great food and drink, the win and mourn with the losses, however in the actual game watching and play by play movement, they are going to miss all of it, because they are simply dreaming up their next dream.
4. Money makers are those in Orchard Park, NY and surrounding areas that are simply just going to make money off of you and your team. They have no preference for anything but that. They are not going to research stats, they are not even going to pay much attention to anything but the start and end time of each game. These are the parking attendants with big back yards, local businesses who have a drink and drown sale, chicken wing distributors and pizzerias. This is not true for all supporters who make money, just those who are money makers.
5. Finally, groom your fans and don't take it personally when you do this. Take time to have speaking engagements with youth in schools, all kinds of schools so you do not miss those students who are at a small school without a football team like West Seneca Christian School, graduating class of 19. Groom your fans so that they know what you need to win. That means teach your fans what you expect of them so that they know not only how you play the game, but what you need to win. Here are a few tips from experience.
I coach behavior modification and lifestyle change. Living in Florida from 1994-2012 was the right decision. In 2012, I experienced identity fraud and theft and why? Because there were distractors in my life who thought that what I had was what they wanted, when in fact, I just lived life so richly that they thought it my career was what they wanted, but in the end, they drank more, and smoked more and cursed themselves and others for the next few years when they realized, I just don't like it when she has what she has because I don't know where I fit into her new life.
This Thanksgiving, take time to ask those who are important to you, what do you need from me, to show my support for you to live life to the fullest. Be sure to surround yourself with a community that doesn't require you to lose, for them to win. That's identity theft, when you believe the way for you to get ahead requires cheating others out of what is rightfully their's.
I believe the Bills were coached to win and even played to win, but what condition were the Bills fans in when Scotty Norwood missed the field goal? It's the fans who had their peers counting their chicken wings, and the designated passengers and the spectators that were not focused on the win. Instead they expected all of the attention to be on them.
All the Best to Jim Kelly and family!
Elizabeth Nelson, MA, ED
Making the most of our life on earth includes surrounding ourselves with positive energy, positive relationships, places and when we are striving to maintain at our best, that's often when our "enemies" will try to destroy us. John 10:10