Rochester, N.Y.—It’s been 13 years since the Buffalo Bills have gone to the playoffs. For lifelong Bills fan Dan Borrello, it’s been a painful 13 years. He says over the years, he’s kept his expectations low.
“I personally don't try to put too many expectations in the season,” Borrello says “I try not to get my hopes up. Last year, I fell back into that trap and look what happened. They finished under 500 again. This year I've been trying to temper my hopes.”
Borrello grew up in the 80’s and 90’s when the Bills were at their best. He hopes the Bills can return to those glory years, but meanwhile his support of the Bills has waned. Borrello says he has not purchased Bills merchandise or purchased a ticket to a game in the last few years.
“My form of protest was to not buy tickets to games or to buy any of their stuff,” he says. “Why spend money on something that's not going to return your investments?”
Other fans say they are contemplating not buying season tickets next year.
Borrello says he worries about the next generation of Bills fans.
“The kids who are five, six, seven now….growing up over the last ten years, they haven't seen a winner,” he says “Why would they root for the Bills?”
Seventeen-year-old Bills fan Matt Phillips says some of his friends have already thrown their support to other teams in the NFL.
“A lot of my friends like the other teams,” he says. “A lot of my friends still are Bills fans, but a lot have drifted off to other teams. They want to see them win.”
Phillips says he still remains a Bills fan and will always be one.
“I’ve grown up a Bills fan,” he says. “My parents are Bills fan. It just runs in the family. I'm always going to be a Bills fan. It doesn't matter.”
Mark Kruzinski, a lifelong Bills fan, believes most people will stick with the Bills through these tough times. He has hope the Bills will become a better team.
“People are still loyal enough to watch them,” he says. “They’re hoping that they can turn around and they can do it.”