If you follow virtually any Buffalo Bills fans on social media, you will see a deluge of support for tailgating legend Ken Johnson, aka “Pinto Ron.”
Johnson, 62, underwent open heart surgery Tuesday.
His daughter, Danielle, updated friends and fans.
"My dad is doing fine! Everything went as planned with the surgery," she wrote on Facebook. "He is being well taken care of in the ICU as planned. His vitals are good and he should be more awake by the time I am able to see him later. I'll be putting his Bills hat on him as soon as I get there. Thank you for all the messages and kind words."
Before the pandemic led to a ban on tailgating and in-person attendance at many stadiums, including the regular season at Bills Stadium, Johnson had been to 423 consecutive Bills games over 26 years, from the 1994 season opener to the wild-card playoff loss in January 2020 at Houston.
Johnson, noted for being doused with ketchup and mustard, did travel to a number of away games that allowed fans and returned to tailgate at the Bills' playoff game.
“I’m just going to start saying – I’m at 423 right now – that I’ve been at 424 consecutive games that allow fans,” Johnson told The News before the season. “I’ll just throw a little asterisk at the end of it.”
Here is a small sampling of the outpouring of support for Johnson:
When I think “ultimate fan”... it’s Kenny. Praying for Kenny “Pinto Ron” as he has open heart surgery today. pic.twitter.com/KnHXl22HdC— Dick DeGroat “Bills Dad” (@DickDegroat) February 23, 2021
Send good vibes to the one and only “Pinto Ron” today! Ken is undergoing open heart surgery and we wish him the speediest of recoveries. Love ya Ken, see ya at the next tailgate! #BillsMafia pic.twitter.com/OGQovdInSy— Intrepid Travelers (@IT_plays_music) February 23, 2021
Good luck Pinto Ron!!! pic.twitter.com/GqLlqz6vRM— Atticus The Finch (@Spacejunk1) February 23, 2021
Prayers out to a #BillsMafia Mount Rushmore member - Pinto Ron - on his heart surgery today When he’s better maybe him and @BarstoolBigCat can share a glass of his 19-year old Milk pic.twitter.com/WUJGUcBAGa— MereBSBuffalo (@MereBSBuffalo) February 23, 2021
A special good luck to Bills superfan “Pinto Ron” who will be undergoing open heart surgery today 🙏pic.twitter.com/w38seVTKsM— BS Buff Wes (@WesBSBuffalo) February 23, 2021
Please help us send some well wishes and healing vibes to Ken " Pinto Ron" Johnson as he undergoes heart surgery today. https://t.co/52GR2yvN1K— PFUFA (@PFUFA_org) February 23, 2021
Wishing Pinto Ron the best today! pic.twitter.com/Qyg9x634i9— Brent (@BuffaloBrent_11) February 23, 2021
Everyone please pray for Ken “Pinto Ron”. He is having open heart surgery tomorrow and can use some Mafia Love! We love you!— Bills Vader (@BillsVader) February 23, 2021