Here’s to your heart, loyalty, work ethic, and patience…
The Buffalo Bills finally did it. They made the playoffs. Just when it looked like the drought was going to reach 18 years, the unthinkable happened. Andy Dalton connected with Tyler Boyd on 4th and 12 for a 49 yard TD to put the Ravens out and the Bills in.
Bills fans celebrated the playoff berth louder and with more excitement than New Years. Champagne that was purchased for midnight was used at 8pm instead. Many fans travelled to the airport in 2 degree weather to cheer on their beloved Bills as they got off the plane at 2am. Bills fans have not stopped smiling since Sunday night. All of our heartache and agony over the past 17 years is gone. We remained loyal. It was not easy, but it was worth it.
There is one current Buffalo Bill that is universally loved by fans more than any other: Kyle Williams.
After a colorful high school football resume in Ruston, Louisiana, he chose to stay in state and attend LSU. At LSU, he started 33 games at defensive tackle and finished his college career with 16.5 sacks and 140 tackles. His senior year he was recognized as an All-American.
Despite his success in college, Kyle Williams was written off when it came time for the NFL draft. Scouts believed his lack of height and bulk would prevent him from having the same success professionally. He had to wait until the 5th round and had 133 players selected before him. The Buffalo Bills finally selected the 6’1”, 300-pound defensive tackle, a pick they surely will never regret.
Proving all the doubters and scouts wrong, Kyle Williams has had an unbelievable professional career in his 12 seasons for the Bills. He has 572 total tackles, 43.5 sacks, and 1 career interception. On Sunday night, he added a rushing TD to his resume. Bills fans went ecstatic after his one yard TD because despite all of his stats on the field, he represents something greater.
He embodies the spirit of Buffalo. A hard nosed, blue collar, lunch bucket type of guy. He shows up to do his job on every single play, every single week. When things are not going his way he continues to fight tooth and nail for his team, his fans, and his city. He is often overlooked by NFL analysts and not recognized for his efforts, because his first 11 years in the NFL he did not make the NFL playoffs. Rather than take a lucrative salary elsewhere and test the free agent market to join a winning club, like many guys do, Kyle Williams remained loyal to the team and city that drafted him, and vowed to see things through. His dedication to the team and his leadership ability is rare in the modern NFL. He is a world class guy that is not playing for awards or recognition. He plays for his team and wants to win above all else.
On Sunday night, Kyle had his two sons with him in the locker room as the playoff berth celebration ensued. At 34 years old, his days in a Bills uniform are most likely numbered. His contract is up after this season. Many worry that he is ready to hang up his cleats for good. He cried after the Bills clinched. It was chilling to see how much he truly cares about his team and the city he now calls home.
Bills executive Russ Brandon, who has survived the drought had this to say about Kyle Williams on Sunday Night after the Bills clinched: “Ultimate professional. One of the best individuals I’ve ever been around in my life. You know, sort of grew up with him in the organization, we’ve been together a long time and just to see…[playoff’s and] him score a TD… I’m just so happy for him”.
Thank you, Kyle Williams, for sticking around and giving us all of your heart. You make us proud to be Buffalo Bills fans.