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Bills Mafia generosity amazes after Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson left game with injury

On Saturday, the Buffalo Bills met the Baltimore Ravens in western New York, facing off for their divisional playoff game. In the second half, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was forced to leave the game after sustaining an injury that triggered the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Presented with the fact that the star player of the only team standing in the way of the Buffalo Bills returning to the AFC Championship Game for the first time since 1994 was now out of the game, Bills fans responded by rallying to raise money for Jackson’s favorite charity, “Blessings in a Backpack.” After the game ended, with Buffalo winning 17-3, charitable donations from the “Bills Mafia” came pouring into the organization, which provides food for needy elementary school children across America.

“It started around 11:30 last night, and our donation box just started flooding with donations from Bills fans for Lamar. It’s just been overwhelming — in the best possible way,” Blessings in a Backpack’s Nikki Grizzle told ESPN.

Bills fans posted to social media encouraging others to donate $8 or more to the charity in honor of Jackson, who wears number 8, wishing him a speedy recovery as well.

Grizzle said that as of 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, more than 9,000 people had already donated over $240,000 to the charity. As of Monday morning, donations reportedly grew close to $300,000.

The Baltimore Ravens acknowledged the Bills Mafia for their magnanimity in victory.

Bills fans are earning a reputation for their generous giving. Last November, Bills quarterback Josh Allen learned that his paternal grandmother Patricia Allen had died suddenly, the day before the Bills were set to play against the Seattle Seahawks. Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott gave Allen the opportunity to sit out the game to grieve, but Allen instead elected to keep playing and led the team to a 44-34 victory over Seattle, throwing for 415 yards and three touchdowns.

After Allen’s outstanding performance, the Bills Mafia launched a fundraising campaign for the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, donating in Patricia’s name. Many fans donated in increments of $17, honoring Allen’s jersey number, and since November over $1 million has been donated to the hospital.

Grizzle summarized the charity of the Bills Mafia with a single word.

“Amazing,” she said. “And it just keeps rolling in.”

On Sunday Jan. 24, the Buffalo Bills will play against 2020 Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC Championship and the right to travel to Tampa for Super Bowl LV.

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Buffalo Bills fans sign petition to ban Gov. Andrew Cuomo from attending playoff games

Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s lockdown edicts didn’t allow for a single Buffalo Bills fan to attend a game all season, and now tens of thousands of fans are demanding that the governor be banned from the stadium for the playoffs.

What are the details?

The Bills capped off a historic season last Sunday by trouncing the Miami Dolphins 56-26 to complete a sweep of their division for the first time ever and secure a No. 2 seed for the AFC playoffs, but sadly, at no point during the regular season were fans allowed to watch from inside the stadium.

All season long, stringent health guidelines from the state prevented fans from entering the stadium for fear of spreading the coronavirus. Despite persistent urging from fans, both Gov. Cuomo and New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker never budged. That is, until the playoffs rolled around.

Last week, the state finally granted permission for the team to host 6,772 fans — or just under 10% capacity — for its home Wild Card game on Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts. Fans permitted entry will be required to wear masks and socially distance during the game as well as test negative for COVID-19 prior to coming and at their own expense.

It’s the team’s first home postseason game in 25 years, and one fan who plans to travel across the state to attend the game is Gov. Cuomo.

But upon hearing Cuomo’s plans, one fan launched a petition to ban the governor from entering the stadium, arguing that die-hard fans who have been rooting for the team for decades have a greater right to attend than he does.

“So Cuomo is going to attend our playoff game after telling us that we can only attend at less than 10% capacity?” petition creator Jeffrey Dorenzo wrote. “If he thinks he has more right to a seat in that stadium over people who have waited over 20 years for this opportunity, then people better be there to protest his entry. This is OUR team! This is OUR home. We don’t want you here.”

The petition, created seven days ago, has steadily picked up steam and as of Wednesday morning boasted nearly 40,000 signatures.

What else?

While a popular petition doesn’t have the power to actually ban Cuomo from games, it certainly does send a message to the governor about the Western New York community’s feelings toward his lockdown measures.

In an update posted Wednesday on the petition web page, titled “A message to Cuomo,” Dorenzo blasts the governor, saying “you’re not even a Bills fan” before laying into him over his handling of the pandemic.

“Lawsuits are popping up left and right because the people have had enough of your crippling effect,” he wrote. “People’s livelihoods are being destroyed. Everything they’ve worked for being taken from them. People tapping into their 401k’s, annuities, investments, retirements, and savings to make ends meet,” he wrote. “But you know who isn’t struggling? Andrew Cuomo!”

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Democratic leader dumps cold water on Buffalo Bills fans, reporters: ‘Get your priorities straight’ amid the pandemic

On Sunday, the Buffalo Bills put an absolute beatdown on the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium to clinch the AFC East Division title for the first time in a quarter-century. Upon returning home, the team was greeted by a sea of raucous fans at the airport celebrating the achievement.

Fans in the thousands bundled up and stood in the freezing cold to await the team’s arrival and let them know how much they meant to the community. The scene quickly garnered national attention and, frankly, served as a feel-good story for the whole country.

But on Monday, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, a Democrat, decided to dump a big old bucket of ice water on the party.

During a press conference, after reporters evidently asked Poloncarz one too many questions about the Bills — and whether or not fans would be allowed in the stadium for upcoming playoff games — the disgruntled politician shot back with a sharp message: “Get your priorities straight.”

“If we can get fans in the stadium, great, but our priority should be on reducing the number of cases and deaths in our communities. I announced 60 people died unfortunately in the last few days and most of the questions have been about the Bills,” snapped Poloncarz, who announced at that point that he would not take any more questions about the team, according to WGRZ-TV.

Earlier in the conference, the county executive reportedly expressed disappointment over the fact that so many people chose to gather without properly socially distancing themselves amid a pandemic.

“If somebody in that crowd was sick and they passed it on to other individuals and only increased our rates, they’re only hurting our opportunity to be able to actually put people in the stands. And what would happen if [star quarterback] Josh Allen got COVID?” he said, obviously frustrated.

While Poloncarz’s point is not totally unfounded, he failed to see that in a season of grief, the Bills have supplied the community with something positive to rally around. By scolding fans and reporters for celebrating, he likely won’t win any more supporters, especially in a county obsessed with its football team.

To make matters worse, Poloncarz, though not totally rejecting the notion, expressed doubt about the possibility that fans would be allowed in the stadium this postseason, noting that the positive COVID-19 test rate is higher in the county now than it was before the season began.

His remarks came after Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo seemed to open the door to the possibility. To the ire of Bills fans, Cuomo has barred fans from the stadium all season, but now he apparently wants to attend a game himself. Ultimately, the decision will be made by New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.

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NY Gov. Cuomo has banned fans from football games all season. Now that the Bills have made the playoffs, he says he wants to go to a game in person.

The Buffalo Bills have had a heckuva season. Under the leadership of their star quarterback, Josh Allen, who has wowed analysts and prognosticators, the Bills cliched the AFC East Division Saturday with a win over the Denver Broncos. With two games to go, the 11-3 Bills have their fans — who haven’t seen their team take the division title since 1995 — in a tizzy, with expectations set pretty high.

But unfortunately for those diehards, they’ve not been able to watch a single game in person.

The reason for that is New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s edict that no one is allowed to attend a football game in person throughout the state of New York. Which means that all home Bills games have been played in an empty stadium — the Giants and Jets both play their games in MetLife Stadium, which is located in New Jersey.

However, now that the Bills are in the playoffs, Cuomo is itching to attend a game — and Albany watchers are wondering if maybe the governor’s wish to fulfill his own desires will prompt him to open the gates to the public.

Cuomo said Sunday that he would like to be at Bills Stadium when the Bills host a playoff game in January.

“I want to attend a Bills game,” he said on a conference call, the New York Post reported. “I’ve attended them in the past.”

Noting the Bills’ dominant performance over the Broncos, the Cuomo continued gushing, “It was a great game, by the way — that was just unbelievable. I mean really incredible. You almost sense the energy and the optimism and the confidence, the way they played, and Josh Allen was just unbelievable.”

The Post did not note whether the governor indicated that traveling across the state from Albany to Buffalo would count as “essential travel.”

Of course, the Cuomo administration still claims to be concerned about crowds and COVID spread — which is why he has continued his controversial and inconsistent dining bans that target New York City.

And it’s not just the stadium crowd Cuomo and his team are worried about, the Post noted. They’re also worried about partying members of the Bills Mafia in the parking lot should fans be allowed to watch games in person.

“The big issue here is tailgate parties,” New York state health commissioner Howard A. Zucker said, the paper reported. More from the Post:

Bills fans are known for wild tailgates before games, which have included people jumping through flaming tables. And fans have been itching to get together to revel in the Bills’ great season. Thousands of raucous fans even greeted the team at the airport early Sunday morning when they returned home from Denver after clinching a playoff berth.

HotAir’s Jazz Shaw asked, “Is Andrew Cuomo going to consider lifting that restriction before the vaccines have been widely distributed just so he can go watch a game? Even worse, would he really have the temerity to ask if he can be allowed to go sit in one of the skyboxes by himself to watch?”

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He stereotypes QB’s fans as ‘people with American flags and dogs.’ Then EPSN host gets put on blast by Buffalo Bills players.

After blatantly stereotyping fans of Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen as “people with American flags and dogs,” ESPN host Domonique Foxworth got earful from a couple of Bills players.

What’s the background?

Foxworth — a former NFL cornerback — uttered his regrettable words during a chat with ESPN’s Bomani Jones a few days ago. According to Western Journal, Foxworth noted that “I am fully aware that I have biases; and my biases are not based on Josh Allen” — and then he proceeded to rip Allen’s fans.

Here’s the audio:

“It’s based on the people that are defending Josh Allen. I would be 100% lying if I said that when Josh does something dumb, a little part of me doesn’t get happy. … It’s because the people who are telling me that Josh is the Second Coming, and Josh is better than everybody are people with American flags and dogs and skull and crossbones. … If you go just take a dip into their tweet history, it’s some really concerning retweets and likes. … It’s not about Josh,” Foxworth said.

Foxworth added that “generally, I’m pro-player, and I’m looking for ways to understand a player’s position and defend a player. But in Josh’s case, it’s not about him. He is the ground on which we are fighting,” Western Journal also noted.

For context it may help to keep in mind that the Bills are one of only six NFL teams with a majority of fans who are Republicans, the outlet added, citing FiveThirtyEight.

Foxworth took a bit of a licking for his stereotype against Allen’s fans, with one commenter saying, “Damn this has to be the most f***ed up sports take I’ve ever heard. Is he insinuating that all Bills fans are racist, or am I reading into this wrong?” Another observer declared, “Get that racist douche bag Foxworth off the air. No place for his comments … Imagine if a white dude said something equally disgusting about [black NFL quarterback] Lamar Jackson? Whitey would have been fired immediately! ESPN SUCKS!”

Bills’ players aren’t happy, either

A couple of Bills’ players — safety Jordan Poyer and guard Jonathan Feliciano — also got in Foxworth’s face over his criticism of Allen’s fans.

“Hold up bruh,” Poyer tweeted. “we not jus letting this slide, yeah?! @espn this what we on now in the sports world!? @Foxworth24 we gotta do better my brother… cause this ain’t it.”

Feliciano also hit back at Foxworth:

“Are you talking about the fans that just raise over 700k for a hospital during a pandemic?” Feliciano asked the ESPN host. “Ppl do/say the corniest things to try n get ahead.”

What did Foxworth have to say?

Foxworth replied to Poyer’s tweet and said his comments about Allen’s fans were “taken out of context,” and — presumably to make peace — he even added a waving American flag to his post:

“Nobody I respect has taken this seriously, so I’ve been ignoring it,” Foxworth wrote Wednesday. “And getting taken out of context kinda comes with my job, so I haven’t been trippin. But I respect you and the ppl in your building and it bothers that y’all have spent 1 sec thinking about this disingenuous BS.”

He added, “Feel free to DM me, listen to the full podcast, or ignore this foolishness all together and get back to ballin. Best of luck to you and my new favorite QB.”