Buffalo Bills fans are everywhere. Here is a sampling of why they have embraced Josh Allen:
Jeff Glor, CBS News and Tonawanda native
I think Bills fans have embraced Josh Allen because he’s embraced them.
Nick Bakay, actor, comedian, producer and Nichols School graduate
I think it all boils down to enthusiasm and arm strength. We finally have a guy with a Jim Kelly level belief that every play will work, and the raw talent to throw a dart no matter how hard the wind and snow is blowing. That's why Josh has earned our highest honor: "He's a Buffalo guy."
William Fichtner, actor and Buffalo native
Josh Allen from the day he got to Buffalo has embodied the spirit and character of a true Buffalonian. It's not what he says, it's what he does, that seems to matter most to him. That's called not putting the cart before the horse and if that's not a Buffalo trait I don't know what is. We like that. Go, Josh, Go, Bills, Go Buffalo.
Del Reid, 26 Shirts founder
From the moment he was drafted, Josh Allen has shown all the intangible qualities a fan wants to see in his or her favorite team’s franchise quarterback. He says all the right things in interviews and his conduct with fans (from the limited amount I’ve seen over the past year) seems to fall right in line with the demeanor shown in those interviews. The man has embraced Buffalo, and as we all know, after the athletic performance, that’s what fans want most. As for the on-the-field stuff, he’s an underdog in the national media’s eyes, which I think just pushes Bills fans to invest in him more.
Wolf Blitzer, CNN lead political anchor, Buffalo native and UB graduate
For Bills fans like me, hope always springs eternal. In this case, we have high hopes for Josh Allen. We hope he has what it takes to become another Jim Kelly and re-create the glory years. Go Bills!
Kevin Connors, ESPN analyst and Bills fanatic
At our core, we Bills fans are optimists. We are passionate and authentic and we demand the same of our team and when that buy-in is reciprocal ... you're one of us forever! That's why I've embraced Josh Allen, because from Day 1 he's been the genuine article. The way he's handled himself with the organization, his teammates, the community and our fans has been first class – and that matters. Couple that with the incredible potential we've all witnessed, and our decadeslong thirst for a franchise QB, and it's easy to see why Bills Mafia is all in on Allen!
Bennett Graebner, Buffalo native, big Bills fan and one of the showrunners and producers of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette"
Bills fans are a knowledgeable bunch, and they are keenly aware that the team goes as the quarterback goes. Thus, all our hope for a successful season and beyond lies with number 17. But why the fan base taken to Allen more than, say, Tyrod is due in part to the investment made in Allen by management, but more likely due to Allen’s outgoing, larger-than-life personality. Allen’s cut from the Jim Kelly mold, intent not only on winning games, but on crushing chicken wings and beers along the way. What’s not to like? Now just get us to the playoffs, Josh. Please!
Ryan Nobles, CNN Washington correspondent
As Bills fans we should know not to get too excited about a quarterback, but Josh Allen seems to have that “IT” factor. He has that unique will to find a way to win that we haven’t seen since Jim Kelly. I keep telling myself to remain “cautiously” optimistic, but as the season gets closer I seem to be losing the caution, and am ready for him to lead this team to a winning future. That is usually a recipe for disappointment, but such is the life of a Bills fan.
Kevin Polowy, Yahoo Entertainment senior correspondent and writer/producer and Buffalo native
The guy is just irresistibly likable. Great football player, too, or at least he has the potential and the tools to be a great football player. You can tell he's got a deep competitive fire, and you can tell he genuinely loves not just the team and his teammates but #BillsMafia and the City of Buffalo, and badly wants to win for us. We've seen so many QBs rotate through town since Jimbo, and we're always hopeful (blindly optimistic) that the next one's the franchise savior. But with Joshy (I like to call him Joshy) it feels more personal. Plus, you know, he looks great in shorts. What can I say, if loving him is wrong, I don't want to be right.
Tom Calderone, former VH1 president and MTV and Spotify executive
I think Buffalo has embraced Josh for several reasons. He is fresh to the league has tons of upside. No baggage or preconceived notions if he come from another NFL team. The respect he gets from seasoned veterans on both the Bills and other teams. And finally, he is type of player and personality that root for both on and off the field. That is a hard achievement to accomplish.
Breyon Harris, co-founder of Bills Mafia
As many times as the Bills have burned me at the QB position ever since Jim Kelly, my hesitance at that position is warranted. With that being said, there's something about Josh Allen that I simply can’t shake. Most Bills fans like Josh the person. But for me it’s that "thing." That "thing" that you can’t really describe but you know it when you see it is. I see it in Josh. His competitiveness, toughness, his desire to win and the belief that he can complete any and every pass is what stands out the most to me. ... Josh Allen will be the next good if not great QB.
Brian Blessing, sports talk host, KSHP Radio Las Vegas (broadcaster for Channel 4 and Empire Sports Network from 1980-2004)
He’s athletic and tough. Nice quality for a Bills QB that fans have long been waiting for. Naysayers only talk about his subpar accuracy. He’s disrespected like the city and he seems to embrace it on both fronts. Help from O-line and the (Cole) Beasley safety valve should expedite his development. And leaping linebackers with a single bound always endears a QB to the fans.
Pete Weber, Nashville Predators radio voice (former Bisons and Sabres radio voice)
I think the reason for the embrace of Josh Allen is that he represents legitimate hope. The fans see someone who has ambition, ability and a high level of competitiveness. This is not Nathan Peterman, JP Losman or EJ Manuel. Josh Allen represents a great chance to succeed, if they can keep him upright.
Luke Russert, journalist
I was quite skeptical of Josh Allen when the Bills drafted him due to his lack of success against good teams while at Wyoming. However, by the end of last season, I found myself completely enthralled with Allen's style of play and off-field demeanor. When the Bills offense was faltering, Allen, single-handedly made it move with his legs. Often, with no regard for his own body. In the community, it seems Allen has time for every kid wanting an autograph or every fan wanting to talk shop. That combination of strong-willed toughness and easygoing kindness goes a long way in Buffalo. This is a big year for Allen, but in the areas of effort and attitude he's already a winner.
Mike Buczkowski, president of Rich Baseball Operations/GM of Buffalo Bisons (Bishop Timon and Canisius College grad)
The No. 1 reason Josh Allen has been embraced is because he is very talented and fans see him as a player that can lead the Bills to a championship someday. Just as important though is that we see him as a genuine person who has embraced our community in a very short time, as well as his role as a team leader. He has guts and grit, just like the people of Buffalo.
Robyn Mundy, editor in chief, BillsMafia.com
As a native Western New Yorker who transplanted to Wyoming almost 30 years ago, one constant has been my passion for the Buffalo Bills. When the Bills drafted Josh Allen it was like two gigantic pieces of my life were sewn together. Here's why Josh Allen ending up in Buffalo is a match made in heaven. A significant number of NFL analysts threw Allen under the bus before he ever played a single down in the NFL. Bashing Josh Allen has become a sport in and of itself, not unlike the negative commentary often spewed about Buffalo by people who likely have never been there. Who would be a better representative for Buffalo than a quarterback unfairly written off before he's had a chance to prove himself one way or the other? Allen's story coming from the University of Wyoming to the NFL is a perfect fit for an underdog city and its people. It would be fitting for Josh Allen to quarterback the team who finally brings a Lombardi home to our great city.