The Buffalo Bills Taught Me To: Never Give Up.

Sarah Hummell
3 min readJan 10, 2021

I get asked all the time, “How could you possibly like a team that loses all the time?” There’s no short answer to that question. They don’t lose ALL the time. It’s my hometown team! How could I not? The Bills are more than just a winning or losing team to me. At one point even worked at the stadium!

Tonight’s win brings us one step closer to that Super Bowl win we’ve been chasing for over 30 years! It’s also the first sporting event to allow fans in the stadium since the start of this Covid-19 Pandemic we are still experiencing. It served as a working experiment on how we will achieve our new normal.

While we’re celebrating 25 years since our last playoff win, this close game reminded me of another Wild Card Game, 28 years ago. I was only 10 years old, but it solidified my hometown team spirit. Most of all, it taught me a valuable lesson, that no doubt got me through this unprecedented year. That game taught me to never give up, and the impossible is possible, because it’s not really over until it’s actually over.

Back then, the games were not televised locally, unless the stadium was sold out. After losing the first 2 out of the 4 Super Bowls in a row, fans were starting to lose faith. Jim Kelly, our star Quarterback was injured and we had to rely on a then unknown, named Frank Reich. He later would go on to coach for the Colts, the team we beat tonight.

With frigid weather conditions and low attendance, this game definitely was not televised. It was eerily similar to tonight’s 10% capacity. My parents blasted the radio on their stereo system. As usual, we ate pizza and wings, while anxiously listening to the play-by-play on WGR55.

By the third quarter, we were losing miserably to the Houston Oilers 35–3! With less then 9 minutes left in the game, I couldn’t listen anymore, it was too painful. I went to my room, still unable to drown out the noise. After what seemed like eternity, I could hear my parents cheering. My Mom burst into my room, jumping up and down screaming “They’re going into overtime! They’re going into overtime!” As if that was somehow going to make a difference. She dragged me out to the living room to listen with them.

Combined with my parents excitement and the sheer volume now full-blast on surround sound, I couldn’t help but not listen to the rest of the game.The Bill’s achieved the impossible! We won 41–38! I wish I could say I witnessed, but I listened to the biggest comeback in NFL history!

We went on to lose the Super Bowl another 2 times to the Dallas Cowboys. It was not over yet though! It still isn’t! For 30 years, there was always next year. This year could be it! If we just BILLieve!