If you think any fans have it worse than the fans of the Buffalo Bills you are wrong. Year in and year out the city of Buffalo, New York stands by it’s Bills and every year is once again disappointed.
Other teams are often more publicly shamed for being perennial losers than the Buffalo Bills, but their fans most certainly do not suffer as much as the people of Buffalo.
Let’s look at the facts. The most glaring one being the 17 year playoff drought. This is the longest active playoff drought among all four major sports leagues in the United States.
The NFL’s most ridiculed franchise, The Cleveland Browns, made the playoffs most recently in 2003. So despite the Browns dismal performance in recent years they have actually achieved more post season success in this century than Buffalo has.
The Bills have been stuck in what seems to be perpetual purgatory since the 1999 season when they made the playoffs.
They have never been bad enough to receive a number one pick and draft the top quarterback, but have never been good enough to break through the post season barrier. The Bills worst season in the last 17 years came in 2001 when they finished 3-13. In the past 17 years
Buffalo has finished 6-10 five times, 7-9 four times, 8-8 three times, and 9-7 two times. The Bills have even started the season with a record of 5–2 three times in the last 17 years, including this year. In 2008 they started 5-2 and finished 7-9 and in 2011 they started 5-2 and ended with a record of 6-10.
These past 17 years have given countless Bills fans hope and these fans have always been let down by the end of the season. No other fan base experiences this kind of emotional roller coaster.
The fans of Buffalo have nothing else to root for. The only other professional sports team is the Buffalo Sabres who have never won a Stanley Cup and have not won in the playoffs since 2007. In comparison, the fans of Cleveland have both the Indians and the Cavaliers.
The Cleveland Indians were most recently in the World Series in 2016 and the Cavaliers have appeared in three straight NBA Finals and even won the championship in 2016.
So, while other cities may have teams teams that lose consistently they at least have their city’s other franchise to pick up the slack.
The most glaringly cruel aspect of Buffalo Bills fandom is the four straight Super Bowl losses from 1990 to 1993. The most heart breaking of these four losses came in the first Super Bowl against the New York Giants when the Buffalo kicker, Scott Norwood, missed a game winning field goal.
This gave birth to the well known buffalo phrase, “wide right”. The four Super Bowl losses epitomize what it is like to be a fan of the Buffalo Bills. The Bills fans constantly have their hope built up only to have it smashed to pieces, they have been so close to a championship they could practically touch it only to have it snatched away.
The agony of one Super Bowl loss should have been enough, but the franchise put them through three more. The statistics can only explain so much. Nothing in this world can explain the emotional turmoil fans of Buffalo go through.
There is no fan base that suffers more.