A few years ago, Les Trent did a special NFL segment on "Inside Edition" featuring Buffalo Bills fans congregating at different pubs and bars across the entire country. At the time, Trent had just relocated to Boston and happened upon a bar called The Harp, which airs nothing but Bills games every Sunday during the NFL season. Every time the Bills scored a touchdown, the infamous "Shout" song blasted loudly through the speakers.
"I took my camera crew and spoke to all of the Bills fans in the bar," said the 56-year-old national news anchor. "And I also did a halftime virtual face-to-face with fans from a Buffalo Bills bar in San Francisco. The theme of story was that – from coast to coast – Bills fans love to get together and watch their team play."
Trent is a self-professed lifelong Bills fan. He grew up north of Buffalo in Ontario and graduated from Seneca College in Toronto. He says he started watching the Bills back in high school because it was unavoidable. The team was always on television and in the news, and he simply got wrapped up in the pandemonium. And his fandom only deepened after he moved to Buffalo to start his television news career.
"I started off during those heightened Bills years and I used to plan extra time for coverage on Sundays. I remember when big players came to town – like when Cornelius Bennett was traded here. It was such big news, it transcended sports. As a reporter, I was out at the airport doing a live shot of his arrival. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in that kind of excitement."
After his stint in Buffalo, Trent headed to San Francisco, where he lived and worked as a local reporter for 10 years. From there he became an on-air correspondent for King World's American Journal. In 2000, he landed at "Inside Edition."
Name: Les Trent
Current location: Newark, N.J.
Previous location: Ontario
Favorite Bills player: Tie between Bruce Smith and Andre Reed
Most memorable moment as a Bills fan: The Comeback Game on Jan. 3, 1993
For the past 17 years, Trent has reported on everything from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the devastating 9-11 attacks to Ted Williams, the homeless man with an amazing singing voice as well as the Super Bowl. He's been covering national news stories for about as long as the Bills have been in their current playoff drought – an uncanny coincidence that makes him both chuckle and shrug at the same time.
"There was just something about those Super Bowl years and the years leading up to that where you had this feeling that they could pull off something big," said Trent. "And those of us who are longtime fans come into every season now with that same belief that we had back in the early '90s – that anything is possible and that on any given Sunday the Bills could beat any team in the league.
"It’s hard to leave that kind of faith behind. It’s one of those things that never leaves you. I know people who go back to the Cookie Gilchrist days who are still fans after all this time. It's just how it is."
Although Trent isn't quite sure how the rest of this season is going to play out, he truly believes that this might be the most playoff-ready team the Bills have fielded in over a decade.
"I think they can beat New England at home in Buffalo this Sunday. I don’t think the Patriots are as good as their record shows and I don’t think we are as bad as our record shows. It will be interesting to see what happens from here on out."
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.