Offensive tackle Dion Dawkins has become one of the Buffalo Bills' most popular players, with his larger than life, outgoing personality and his improving play that helped solidify the offensive line.
From his love for "shnow" to his macaroni and cheese recipe, Dawkins has immersed himself in the Western New York community. He recently did a virtual visit with a patient at Oishei Children’s Hospital.
Dawkins explained his love for the Bills Mafia during an interview with Jim Rome on CBS Sports Radio.
"They are family, and I treat them as such," he said. "The Bills Mafia embraced me as soon as my name came across the screen and even going through the draft process. It has been a huge family experience.
"Coming from Temple, which isn’t like the Alabamas or LSU's of the football world, I had never felt that excitement just from playing and being an athlete. Once I felt it, I respect these people. They live their life for football. They love it so much. They show us so much love and respect.
"If the least they want is for me to acknowledge them or message them back, I would do it every day to keep them smiling. I want them to understand that we are just as normal as you guys. If we’re going to win, and we are, we need this entire family and area and Western New York to circle the wagons with us."
Dawkins also touched on the derivation of "shnow."
"Shnow came into existence when I was in high school," he said. "Growing up in North Jersey, we go through all four seasons. When it’s cold outside, I would always hope for a snow day, which I would call a 'shnow day.' Because that’s where I made my 'shmoney.' I would wake up early and shovel walkways and get cars out for people who go to work even though school was canceled. I'd knock on doors. ... It’s been my bread and butter ever since so I just keep the schnow falling."
As for the upcoming season, Dawkins noted the importance of consistency and again touched on the importance of the fans and echoed coach Sean McDermott's one-11th mantra.
"Consistency and for everybody to trust in themselves and trust what they are supposed to be doing," he said of the key to the season. "All we have to do is do our one-11th the best way we can and things will fall into place.
"Josh Allen is our QB and we’re going to roll with that guy. We’re going to keep the army going right behind Sean McDermott, and keep this thing turning."