Bills fans stepping up in big way

By now, everyone knows the sad story of former Bills linebacker Darryl Talley and his off-field struggles since retirement. However, many don't know just what Bills fans are doing to help

Everyone knows that Buffalo Bills fans are a special breed of person. From playoff disasters to lack of on-field success to relocation fears for the last 20+ years, Bills fans have dealt with so much yet remain so loyal to the team that represents them.

Is it the fact that the Bills are one of only 32 teams in the largest sports league in the United States that keeps them coming back for more? Probably. However, it’s also something much bigger than that.

Buffalo, as a whole, is like one big family.

Whether you’re a small-town person from just outside of the city or you’ve only been part of the community for a couple of months, Buffalo welcomes you into the mix as one of their own almost instantly. The city and entire Western New York community supports one another. Just look at what many people did during the November snow storm earlier this month as an example of that.

One group of people that this community, at times, holds in higher regard than their own families are the athletes that fight on the field with the charging buffalo on the side of their helmets.

To many, Bills players, aside from that terrible safety that will remain nameless, are viewed exactly as how Tim Graham of The Buffalo News described: they’re larger than life superheroes.

One player in particular is former Bills linebacker Darryl Talley.

By now, everyone knows the heartbreaking story of Talley and what he and his family have been dealing with off the field since the former all-pro linebacker retired from the NFL in 1997. The man who was viewed as unbreakable during his time in the red, white and blue is breaking down after multiple head injuries, as well as others, suffered during his career.

The story by Graham in the Buffalo News brought tears to many eyes on Thanksgiving Day, which lead to fans across the country to stand up for one of their own.

Bills fan Frank Croisdale, after seeing the article, decided he wanted to help raise money to show that he is still a member of the Buffalo family, even if he’s lived in Orlando for the past 17 years.

He started a Gofundme campaign for the former linebacker to help out his family during this time of need. It launched on Thursday morning with a goal to raise $100,000. What happened after launch is what’s truly spectacular.

Bills fans from all over, nearly 900 of them as of the time of this writing, have managed to raise over $40,000 for man who many of them have likely never met, but feel like they personally know from his time in the area.

The amazing outpouring of support, especially around the Thanksgiving holiday, goes to show everyone that at least some people in this world still give a damn about others, and not saving a quick buck by washing their hands clean of those who laid their bodies on the line for your enjoyment every single week.

The fact that the NFL and the Bills organization, according to the story in the news, haven’t offered help is a disgrace that needs to be addressed much sooner than later. Hopefully this story brings even more attention to it and somewhat forces the team’s and the league’s hands.

Whether or not the Bills organization or the NFL as a whole finally decide to get behind and support Talley, along with the hundreds of other players likely going through the same issues, remains to be seen. That being said, no matter what happens, Bills fans and the entire Buffalo community will make sure to help out Talley and his family in any way they possibly can.

It’s another example of just how passionate this area is for its sports teams.

Actually, wait. Scratch that.

It’s another example of how much people care about the people on their sports teams.

So keep on being incredible Bills fans. You may get crap for being the most drunk, most rude or whatever bashing poll is running this week, but it doesn’t change the fact that you always fight for one of your own. 

Buffalo is a different breed; Buffalo is friends; Buffalo is family; Buffalo is home.

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