The Buffalo Bills won their first playoff game since 1995 on Saturday, breaking the third-longest playoff win drought in the NFL. It was a special moment for many members of an ardent, success-starved fan base – but it was particularly important to one fan.
At the end of the Bills’ 27-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, the telecast caught Jay Poch in tears, decked out in head-to-toe Bills apparel. Poch’s photo turned into a meme, symbolizing the joy and pain for fans of the long-suffering franchise that allowed 6,700 fans into the dramatic g ame.
The Buffalo News spoke to Poch, and asked him about his now-viral moment. Poch said it ran much deeper than the Bills winning a game.
“I’ve been a season ticket holder for 20 years – going to all the games with my dad, my aunts and uncles and my late grandfather. I even visited my grandpa’s grave on Friday to tell him I was going to this one,” Poch said. “So when it was over, I was overcome with emotion. It just hit me.”
Sports often symbolize family, friendship and community, and perhaps no team exemplifies that more than the Bills, whose fans are so devoted they are often referred to as “Bills Mafia.” Those fans flooded Poch’s tweet with supportive comments after his photo went viral.
The Bills have another home game this weekend, this time against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. If they win two more games, they’ll make it to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1993, when they lost their fourth title game in a row. One can imagine finally securing that elusive Super Bowl win would mean infinitely more to the fan base.