Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills.
ESPN commentator Chris Berman coined that now-famous phrase years ago to describe the team’s culture of unity. But it also describes the team’s supporters, who are known as some of the heartiest, wildest and most loyal in the NFL.
But the stars aren’t only on the field in Orchard Park. Bills Mafia, as the fan base has come to be known, boasts its fair share of celebrities, too.
With all that in mind, Bills Wire compiles a gallery of the team’s celebrity fans below.
(Alex Wong / Getty Images for Meet the Press)
Longtime NBC journalist and “Meet the Press” moderator Tim Russert proudly wore his Bills fandom on his sleeve during his years in the public eye. He regularly shouted out the team with a “Go Bills!” proclamation during “Meet the Press.” After Russert’s death in 2008, the Bills renamed the former 12th Man Walk of Fame in his honor. Russert’s son, Luke, follows in his father’s footsteps as a television journalist and dedicated Bills fan.
(AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Actor Christopher McDonald is probably best known as antagonist Shooter McGavin in the movie “Happy Gilmore” among his scores of television and film roles over the years. He also appeared in “Thelma and Louise,” “Quiz Show” and “The Perfect Storm.” McDonald grew up in the upstate New York town of Romulus and attended Hobart College in Geneva. McDonald is a friend of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly and proudly repped the Bills during a 2015 visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Former Olympic swimmer and media personality Summer Sanders became a Bills fan because of her husband, Erik Schlopy, who grew up in the Buffalo area. Sanders, who won gold in the 200-meter butterfly and the 400-meter medley relay at the 1992 Olympics, regularly shouts out the Bills on social media.
Like Tim Russert, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer is a longtime television journalist with Buffalo roots. Also like Russert, Blitzer is a hardcore Bills fan. Blitzer has spoken about attending Bills games as a child with his father during the team’s formative years in the AFL. And his fandom has remained strong over the decades since. “The Bills are still my team,” Blitzer said in an NFL.com video series on celebrity fans. “And they always will be.” Blitzer even hosted Bills coach Sean McDermott on “The Situation Room” earlier this year.
(Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
One of the most accomplished soccer players in American history, Abby Wambach hails from Rochester, New York, and stays true to her upstate roots by rooting on the Bills. She explained in a Twitter post a few years ago that the team’s 2017 run to the playoffs rekindled a fandom that was hurt by the four painful Super Bowl defeats in the 1990s. “I think it broke my heart a little bit for those years,” Wambach told the Bills Pod Squad podcast in 2020. “It was so hard to root for a team that could never follow through in the end.”
(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Summer Sanders isn’t the only Olympic gold medalist who became a Bills fan because of a spouse from the Buffalo area. Wrestling champion Jordan Burroughs, who won gold at the 2012 Olympics, grew to follow the team because his wife, Lauren, hails from Elma, New York. Not only that, but her uncle just happens to be Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas. It’s pretty clear in the photo below that Jordan and Lauren are raising their children to boost the Bills, too.
(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Actress Christine Baranski is a Buffalo native who has appeared in dozens of roles during a decades-long career in theater, television and movies. The Emmy and Tony Award winner might be best known for playing attorney Diane Lockhart on the CBS legal drama series “The Good Wife” and “The Good Fight.” In a recent appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” she discussed her Bills fandom by contrasting her passion for the team with the sophisticated roles with whom fans identify her. “These characters that I play, they think that’s me,” Baranski said. “They should be in a room alone with me when I watch the Buffalo Bills. It is loud.”
(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Actor William Fichtner became a Bills fan while growing up in the Buffalo suburb of Cheektowaga, New York. He even learned to drive in the parking lot of Highmark Stadium, back when the venue was first being constructed, as he explained on “The Rich Eisen Show” in 2019. Fichtner, who counts “Black Hawk Down” and “Crash” among his myriad film credits, told Eisen of his admiration for former Bills special teams ace Steve Tasker when asked for his favorite player.
(Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Comedian, writer and producer Nick Bakay is another Hollywood type who has stayed true to western New York as a Bills supporter. The Buffalo native attended games at the old War Memorial Stadium and explained his ongoing loyalty to the team years ago on “The John Murphy Show.” “I watch every snap,” Bakay told Murphy. “I’m fairly obsessed.” Bakay recently served as executive producer of the CBS series “Mom,” which featured fellow Bills fan William Fichtner. A former writer and producer of “The King of Queens” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” he currently is the executive producer of the sitcom “Young Sheldon.”
(AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Logan Couture makes his living on the ice as captain of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, but his gridiron loyalty lies squarely with Buffalo. He grew up near London, Ontario, and inherited his love for the Bills from his uncle. Couture has expressed admiration for the blue-collar ethos and numerous charitable efforts of Bills Mafia. Couture also is a friend of former Bills player Stevie Johnson and visited the team as a guest of the wide receiver in 2012.
Chad Michael Murray
Last but not least, Chad Michael Murray is yet another actor with Buffalo roots and loyalty to the Bills. The former “One Tree Hill” star has described himself as an “enormous, diehard Bills fan.” Indeed, he reps the team relentlessly on social media. In an NFL.com video, he recalls “living and dying by the Buffalo Bills” as a youth and feeling a larger sense of community among the fan base.
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