Open Letter To Josh Allen On Behalf of Buffalo
I grew up watching the Buffalo Bills in the 2000s. I think my first full season as a Bills fan was the 2000 season. This was the season after the Music City Miracle Wild Card playoff game, which many Buffalonians call "Home Run Throwback."
The 2000 season was when the famous 17-year playoff drought began for the Bills, and it ended up meaning people my age knew nothing but losing football for their entire existence. My first vivid Bills memory was the Wild Card game in Nashville.
Over those 17 years, the Bills went through a dozen starting quarterbacks over those years, with some players that caused fans massive disappointment in performance.
There was a point I was not even sure the Bills would ever be good again -- like in some weird way it was my fault, that as soon as I started watching the team, the drought started.
I never missed a Bills game though. I continued on watching the team, even through horrible seasons such as 2006, 2010, 2012, 2016 and all the others in between.
I also loved college football and I remember watching highlight packages of potential NFL quarterbacks and in the fall of 2016, I saw highlights of this kid named Josh Allen out of the University of Wyoming.
I was in awe of what you could do on the football field. In the discussion for strongest arm I have ever seen. Ridiculous athletic ability for someone your size. The kind of arm talent and athleticism that only John Elway could match. Sure, the same old stuff that we have heard about before were reasonable concerns (completion percentage, decision making, mechanics), but coaching and patience could fix all of those.
I remember joking with my friends during the 2017 NFL and college football season, "boy, wouldn't it be something if the Bills actually drafted this kid in the first round? My favorite quarterback prospect I've ever seen coming to my team?"
It was still a long shot, since so many teams need a quarterback and as it turns out, the Bills broke the playoff drought in 2017 and they didn't have a top 10 draft pick, which is what everyone thought it would take to snag you or any other high-end QB prospect in that class.
But the Bills did maneuver enough through the work of general manager Brandon Beane, to get up to number 7 in the 2018 draft and the guy I've been dreaming of to come to the Bills, actually did get drafted by Buffalo.
What I'm getting at is that there are literally hundreds of thousands of Bills fans, not just in Western New York, but across the country and North America, waited 20+ years for a quarterback to come along with the physical traits and play on the field to back it up.
What happened at the end of the AFC Divisional Round against the Kansas City Chiefs sucked. There's no other way around the cold hard truth -- that game will forever haunt players and fans for years to come, or at least when the Bills win the Super Bowl.
I can't imagine how you felt then and are still feeling now. No quarterback in NFL playoff history had a better two-game stretch than you did. Nearly 800 total yards; 9 touchdown passes; 0 turnovers; over 150 rushing yards; 149.0 passer rating. Literally, played perfect and as clutch as a quarterback could be in the biggest stage with everyone watching.
Continue to play that way. The skillset comes natural, but what you have meant to Bills fans and this community cannot be put into words. There are no words or sentences strong enough to specify just how much you mean to Buffalo and this fanbase.
The Super Bowl is the ultimate prize and that's still going to be the must-set goal the rest of your career. But what you have overcome since coming out of Firebaugh High School, to having to go to JUCO college, to only getting one scholarship offer, to taking a program like Wyoming in the Mountain West Conference and making them winners, to proving so many doubters wrong out there -- people who are paid to make analysis -- to taking a team that had missed the playoff 17 of 18 years and bringing them to the postseason three straight seasons with back-to-back division titles.
Never forget the joy and happiness that you bring to so many people, because you just are who you are. The Bills will always be contenders while you're here at quarterback.
I think I speak for every Bills fan out there, when I say that you're a once in a generation playing and we're grateful you're playing for the Buffalo Bills.
I firmly believe in fate and it was fate that Josh Allen landed in Buffalo to lead the Bills.