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Bills

Pancho Billa continues to leave a legacy. This time, it's with an animated assist from one of the longest-running and most beloved television shows of all time. The likeness of the late Bills superfan Ezra Castro, known throughout Buffalo Bills fandom as "Pancho Billa," was included in a scene on "The Simpsons" Sunday night. The episode, the third of the show's 31…

Bills

Bills Mafia can show up in the most unlikely places. In September, local harness owner Jim Reuther and his trainer Steve Schoeffel made an innocuous $8,000 purchase of a filly pacer at the Goshen Standardbred sale in Middletown. Little did Reuther know at the time that the filly might have a bigger following than would be expected. Reuther has plans to rename Bee Tru…

Bills

The Buffalo Bills honored the life of Ezra “Pancho Billa” Castro on Sunday ahead of the home opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. During a pregame ceremony at New Era Field, team owners Terry and Kim Pegula presented game balls and No. 19 Bills jerseys with “Pancho Billa” on the back to members of Castro’s family, including his longtime partner, Veronica Borjon, their…

Bills

The parking lot was filled, tents were set up, flags were flying and there were smells of fired-up grills. Footballs were thrown back and forth, music played and cars passing by honked horns to the chant-tune of "Let’s-Go-Buff-a-lo." What felt like a typical pregame tailgate was instead a gathering of fans to pay their respects to one of their own. It was a wake disg…

Bills

This week’s Buffalo Bills mailbag is loaded with questions about what happens at running back without Devin Singletary and tight end without Tyler Kroft, a look ahead to the trade deadline and what the team has planned to honor the life of superfan Pancho Billa this weekend. A quick note: We had more questions than I could get to this week, so if I felt like they could …

Bills

The planning happened in a fitting way. Ken Johnson traveled to Dallas in May for the funeral of his longtime friend, Ezra Castro. Afterward, Johnson stopped at a hotel bar for a few beers with fellow members of the #BillsMafia, and Castro’s brother Jaime came over to say thanks and to offer a request. This was not the kind of thing you plan by PowerPoint. Jaime explain…

Bills

A celebration of devout Buffalo Bills fan Ezra "Pancho Billa" Castro will be held Sept. 21, the day before the Bills' home opener, at Hammer's Lot near New Era Field, organizers announced Monday. According to a tweet from the Pancho Billa Twitter account, the memorial and celebration of life was Castro's personal request before his passing. The event is scheduled fro…

Bills

Today would have been the 40th birthday of Ezra Castro, the Buffalo Bills fan from Texas known as "Pancho Billa" who died last month while in hospice care for cancer. His longtime partner, Veronica Borjo, stayed up until 4 a.m. today, writing this message both to Castro and to those throughout the nation – especially the #BillsMafia – who have reached out in solidarity …

Bills

State Sen. Tim Kennedy took to the floor of the State Senate in Albany Thursday to offer a tribute to Bills superfan Ezra Castro, aka Pancho Billa. Castro died May 14 after a bout with cancer and salutes have poured in from the Buffalo Bills and their fans nationwide.

Bills

Veronica Borjon and Buffalo Bills administrators talked about the possibilities for a long time. There were a few options on the table for honoring Ezra Castro, the exuberant mask-wearing Bills fan often known as Pancho Billa, who died of cancer Tuesday at a Dallas hospital. After giving it a lot of thought over the last two days, Borjon and the Bills settled on an a…

Bills

Pancho Billa didn't want flowers for his funeral. The generous Buffalo Bills super-fan wanted underprivileged kids to have backpacks filled with school supplies. That was the message passed from Ezra Castro, who died Tuesday in his native Texas after a battle with cancer, to former Buffalo TV reporter Jonah Javad, now working in Dallas, Texas. Javad shared the wish on T…

Columns

Ken Johnson, known far better as “Pinto Ron” around greater Buffalo, vividly remembers meeting Ezra Castro. It is important to read that sentence exactly as written, because Castro is being eulogized throughout the football world as Pancho Billa, the mask-and-sombrero wearing character he made famous in the stands at Buffalo Bills games. They were introduced in the crow…

Bills

A Bills fan named Ezra Castro died Tuesday. You knew him as Pancho Billa, the man in the luchador mask who endured a long battle with cancer. He was 39. Castro's fight was well chronicled. He garnered nearly as many headlines this year as the Buffalo Beauts or Bandits. Heartfelt messages poured in from fans, media, and even the team owner after the news broke. Castro's …

Bills

The hard news about Ezra Castro had just started moving Tuesday morning around Twitter when Brandon Beane’s phone began to buzz in Orchard Park. He glanced at the number and understood immediately what the call would mean. It was Veronica Borjon, Castro’s longtime partner. She was calling the Bills general manager to tell him about the death of Castro, 39, who with his …