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Letter: Bills are a critical piece of shared pride, identity

Bills are a critical piece of shared pride, identity

Rod Watson’s column about the Bills’ historic playoff berth was insulting and rife with unnecessary negativity. He decried the Bills “superfandom,” claiming with no evidentiary support that real issues are being ignored because folks are too busy celebrating the Bills.

The idea that no one is sounding the alarm about Albany corruption or the president simply does not reflect reality. People obviously care about those issues, and they need not abandon their hometown football team to continue doing so.

I was born and raised in Buffalo and attended those public schools Watson wrote about. I have devoted considerable time to working on local political campaigns in an effort to improve my community. And I have loved the Buffalo Bills enthusiastically throughout all of it.

The Bills are indivisible from the culture of Buffalo. The people of Buffalo, like their football team, are gritty and persistent underdogs. Our team serves as a vehicle to represent the city on a national stage. Sometimes that can be embarrassing; we’ve all seen the tailgate videos. But sometimes that stage is a force for good, like when the drought breaks and we donate over $300,000 to Andy Dalton’s charitable foundation.

The Bills are a critical piece of the shared pride and identity of our city. Their success is particularly exciting in a time when Buffalo is seeing an uptick in development, and it feels like the Bills are moving in tandem. I won’t apologize for being excited about both of those phenomena; I can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Marisa Bartolotta


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