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Bills Fans Near and Far: Social media gives @Bills_Chick a way to share her fandom

Today, she’s known as @Bills_Chick on Twitter. But back in 2005, she was a young student, away at law school, just looking to connect with other Bills fans. She felt disconnected from her hometown sports teams and from the city’s sports bubble as a whole. That’s when she decided to jump on the internet. She created an anonymous online moniker that referenced Bills legend Steve Tasker, and became active on Bills forums and message boards. It was an easy way to stay involved in the team conversation and engage with other fans, even though she was living out of state.

“It was fun at first,” she said. “But whenever I’d weigh in with a comment or some analysis about a player or game, people assumed I was a guy. That bothered me a lot, so I changed the name to @Bills_Chick. Once they saw that I was a woman, they’d throw the whole, ‘you’ve never played football, you don’t know what you’re talking about’ out there. But it got better.”  

Fast forward a decade, and @Bills_Chick’s social media presence doesn’t include message boards and forums anymore. Instead, she’s become a football staple on Twitter. Most fans in the Bills Mafia follow her as well as some old Bills players and members of the national sports media. To date, the @Bills_Chick account has over 6,000 followers – not bad for a 34-year-old lawyer who considers her Bills fandom a “fun hobby.”

“Over time, I think people just started respecting my opinion, especially when I talk X’s and O’s. I’m not trying to be that funny ‘sports guy’ or some ‘nerdy blog person.’ I’m just trying to share my opinion and do what I think is fun.”

Twitter handle: @Bills_Chick
Age: 34
Current location: Grand Island
Been a Bills fan since: Middle School
Favorite Bills Player: Thurman Thomas
Most memorable moment as Bills fan: In 2011 when the Bills beat the Patriots

Her foray into the deeper analysis of football started around the same time that she joined the internet forums in law school. Having grown up in Buffalo and being a Bills fan since middle school, she couldn’t understand what was happening with the team. What were they doing that other teams weren’t? Was it poor drafting? Was it coaching? A lack of a franchise quarterback? The message boards and forums gave her a variety of answers, of course. And eventually, she started weighing in with her own, too.

@Bills_Chick is seen outside New Era Stadium before the game against the New Orleans Saints.

“It’s something I never thought I’d be doing in a million years. But it gives me an outlet to express my feelings during games and connect with other fans, whether they agree or disagree with my opinions. Sports is improved in my opinion when it’s a communal experience, there’s something about being with other people in a group when you’re watching. And to be able to do that through social media is a fun thing.”

If you follow @Bills_Chick on Twitter, you already know what she thinks about the 2017 season so far. In the beginning, she thought they were going the tanking route and tried to stay neutral. But, as Bills fans know, that’s not the easiest thing to do.

“It’s a natural reaction to not want to get invested emotionally in this team, thinking they are going to finally turn the corner when we’re so used to being let down,” she said. “I went into this season determined not to do that and to just have fun with it. Then they started winning and it’s like we can’t help but buy in. Next thing you know, here we are all over again.”

No matter how this Bills season ends or the season after, she still plans on keeping the @Bills_Chick profile going for as long as possible.

“Who knows what technology will be like 10 years down the road, but if it involves virtual reality then I’m all for it.”

If you or anyone you know is a diehard Bills fan and has an interesting story to tell about rooting for Buffalo no matter where you or they might live, email LynsD21@gmail.com.

Lyndsey D'Arcangelo is a freelance writer. Visit her website at lyndseydarcangelo.com or follow her on Twitter @darcangel21.

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