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Torn between Two Worlds

I have a confession that might be a bit controversial, I live in Buffalo but I’m also a Chiefs fan. Wait! Before you immediately exit the page, at least let me explain myself. I was born near Kansas City, Missouri and grew up in the south where we eat, sleep, and breathe football. All the boys in my family play football, we watch football during meals, and we religiously watch when the Chiefs are

playing. I am a Chiefs fan by blood. Ever since I could remember I’ve been surrounded by that dark red color. Always having Chiefs gear on days before the actual game is a must. I thought I was used to die-hard football fans but then I moved to Buffalo.     

The fans here in Buffalo are no joke. The atmosphere that surrounds every game is phenomenal. The love and praise for the team no matter win or lose is amazing. The Bills Mafia portrays what true fans are. They are loyal to their team and always fly the Bills colors high. Granted, am I used to Bills fans hurling themselves onto tables? No… but I am willing to look past that. 

After watching both teams go back and forth over the years, I am faced with a difficult ongoing decision. Who do I cheer for? Do I cheer for the team that has my heart or the team that represents what true fans are? I remember watching the infamous 2021 AFC Divisional playoffs game on the edge of my seat. Before the last 13 seconds of the game, I said to myself, “Why do I want the Bills to win? This isn’t like me… I wasn’t raised to think this way”! Those thoughts quickly fled when Mahomes led a 44-yard drive which sealed the Chiefs’ victory. After the game, I will admit, I did feel bad for the Bills but I kept it to myself until this season rolled around. 

From a distance, I watched the Bills play. It felt like I was breaking an unspoken law but I just wanted to see how they were doing. Slowly this turned into an interest for the Bills. I actually got excited when the Bills were playing. I got the amazing opportunity to become an intern at Discover 716, where unknowingly, I would be surrounded by everything Bills. I became aware of how giving the fans are. The #Billmafia donates to opposing players at the drop of a hat. Throughout the years, they have also donated to hurricane relief. The realization that I would actually cheer for this team hit me like a ton of bricks… Until this past Sunday. 

I do not think I have ever been so invested in a game until I watched the 2022 Bills v. Chiefs game. I have never screamed so much at the tv. I kept going back and forth with who I was cheering for. From the Chiefs fumble recovery in the first 5 minutes to the Bills intercepting it in the endzone to the 62 yard field goal, as you can probably tell, I was very invested. When the Bills ultimately won, I actually felt happy for them! I was proud of both the teams I cheered for even though I knew one of them had to lose. Watching both teams handshake and congratulate each other at the end of the game felt like a revelation. I realized I could love and cheer for both teams since they both represent who I am. Chiefs represent my childhood in the south while the Bills represent where I am in the present. They both come together to make me… A 716er who loves the Chiefs. 

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