Sports fandom is special when it’s a communal experience.
Yes, it’s just a game, but it’s at its best when that game or a team is shared by longtime friends or it brings together family.
When Buffalo Bills fan Jay Poch was shown on the telecast at the end of his team’s first playoff win in 25 years, he was in tears.
— Jason Poch (@JayPochBaby) January 9, 2021
It was more than just the Bills winning a game. It went deeper than that, he told the Buffalo News.
‘I was overcome with emotion’
The Buffalo News’ Robert McCarthy tracked down Poch and asked him about his reaction that went viral.
He talked about his family. Many fans can probably relate to Poch tying Bills games to memories of his family. He said he visited his grandfather’s grave the day before the game to tell him he was going to be one of the small amount of fans let into the stadium.
"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 told The Buffalo News. "So when it was over, I was overcome with emotion. It just hit me."
Bills fans are among the most dedicated in sports, and they have had a lot of rough years before this Buffalo team broke through with an AFC East championship. Instead of Twitter being Twitter and revealing the worst of people, Bills Mafia flooded Poch’s tweet with replies that they were having the same reaction to the win.
Many Bills fans were emotional after win
The emotion from Bills fans, enjoying the biggest win the team has had in more than 20 years, was everywhere. Many were happy to react to Poch’s viral moment by saying he represented the feelings of many Bills fans.
Many fans experienced this! Wish my Dad was here to see this team. Oh wait, I am pretty sure he's watching from above. pic.twitter.com/zNxK1f9Qnd
— Barbara L (@BarbaraAnnRE) January 11, 2021
I was right there with you Jason. Not often in life you get to represent the emotions of an entire group of people. Wear it proudly buddy.
— Richard TO Lafferty (@rlaffertyatc) January 10, 2021
— Playoff Rory (@rorypresley) January 10, 2021
By Monday morning Poch’s tweet had thousands of likes and many replies that told their own stories of happiness over Buffalo’s win.
The Bills play the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night, looking to keep their postseason and hopes to reach the Super Bowl alive. It will be another emotional day, which is how it should be.
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