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Gratitude with an Attitude: A Sports Fan Reflects on Thanksgiving

By: Passionate Buffalo Bills fan, Patti Bax

Original Date: 11/20/22

Hello sports fans, and welcome back to the IE Sports Radio Blog. Thanksgiving, the time for us to reflect and give thanks for the bounty of blessings in our lives. The love and support of family and friends, the inspiring beauty of nature, opportunities to share our gifts and talents, and even gratitude for being a sports fan, give us so many reasons to be grateful. Being a sports fan is a privilege. Once you sign on to support the team of your choice, you learn quickly you’re about to experience blessings you never imagined. This Thanksgiving, I’m sharing my top ten reasons (in no particular order) I’m thankful to be a sports fan, especially as a dedicated member of Bills Mafia. No matter your team, I hope you can identify with my reasons and even add some of your own. Number 10: Meeting New Friends As a sports fan, you’ll encounter numerous fans at the games, on social media, and even at the local supermarket. You’ll strike up conversations with strangers who become “family” because of your common bond for the team. I’m blessed to continue meaningful friendships with former players, their families, and Bills Mafia I’ve met at games and on social media. We will always be “One Buffalo.” Number 9: Food and Celebration Every game day experience is enhanced by celebrations with food and camaraderie. Whether Buffalo chicken wings, chili, sliders, or secret family recipes are featured at tailgate or home parties with friends and family, food always seems to taste better before and during the game. Number 8: Fan Attire When you’re a fan, you have a dress code, complete with lucky shirts, socks, and team bling. Birthday and Christmas presents for you are a no-brainer, because everyone knows your attire bleeds your team colors. I’m thankful for my Bills hoodies, tee shirts, jackets, jewelry, sneakers, and anything red, white, and blue. Number 7: Travel Teams travel for their games, and so do many devoted fans. Bills Mafia is known for having fans all across the United States and in almost every country. It’s never a surprise when stadiums are filled with Bills fans who always make their presence felt. Thanks to the Bills, I was able to travel to places I never thought possible, including London, England on my birthday. I encourage every fan to travel to an away game, as you’ll always be grateful for the experience. Number 6: Enjoyment of Collecting All true fans know you can support your team and favorite players by purchasing memorabilia. Sometimes, you buy collectables from a sports show, team store, online, or you may even receive it from a player. Whatever the item, you cherish it because it holds a special place in your heart. Number 5: Opportunities to Support Charities Just like daily life, there are those unexpected events which make us realize others need our support. There is no better fan base for supporting charities than Bills Mafia, which has become a role model for other teams and their fans across the country. Not only have Bills fans donated to their own players, including Josh Allen, they’ve also contributed unselfishly to players’ charities from other teams, among them, Andy Dalton (former Bengals’ Quarterback) and Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens’ Quarterback). Number 4: Memories It’s often said a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to sporting events, whether you create memories as pictures in your mind, or capture unique moments with a camera lens, you have encapsulated a special experience. You might just witness a Hail Mary touchdown, an interception, or a one-handed reception for the winning score. Number 3: The Joy of Winning One of the greatest feelings in the world is experiencing a team victory. It never gets old, whether it’s last-minute heroics, or a complete blow-out. When teams win, communities are brightened by the smiles on fans’ faces, and the entire mood is lighter. Winning brings hope and the promise of a new day, especially when your team has suffered more losses than victories over the years. Number 2: Lessons Learned from Losses Pain is never an emotion anyone asks for in life, and when your team loses, it’s challenging to find any gratitude. Often after a loss, the players themselves provide lessons we can incorporate into how we accept defeat. Losses help us become more appreciative of wins, and they provide us with perspective as we move through our own life experiences. Number 1: Inspiration and Motivation Perhaps the greatest blessing of being a fan is witnessing the inspiration and motivation players demonstrate every day as they practice, sacrifice, and give their all to the team, each other, and the community. Many players take time on their days off to visit fans at charity events, schools, and various community drives. In Buffalo, we witnessed this firsthand when players from all the Western New York sports teams came out to support the East side of Buffalo after the Tops tragedy in May, bringing flowers, serving food, and talking to the people. They sported “Choose Love” T-shirts, and players continue to assist in the healing process for the entire city. As your family, friends, and you gather around your Thanksgiving table, I hope you also take time to reflect on your blessings as a sports fan. This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful to celebrate the holiday with my husband, family, and thousands of Bills Mafia, in Michigan, watching the Detroit Lions take on my beloved Buffalo Bills. As I take in every moment of this experience, I appreciate the opportunity to be a sports fan, and to reap all the benefits and more which come from this lifelong journey. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Patti Thank you for reading and I welcome your thoughts and comments. Please feel free to tweet me at @BuffaloHudl_IE. For more sports content, please don’t forget to listen to our IESR family. Be in the know and join in the fun by listening to all the podcasts. Huddle up with me on Tuesday nights at 7pm EST, for The Buffalo Huddle W/Patti Bax! Shout out to our Patreon supporters for their support, and we will see you next time on IE Sports Radio; your direct feed for ALL that is sports.

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