The Panthers are back in Charlotte Sunday for the first home game of the year and it feels like football season is finally back in Carolina.

Praise Luke.

Each week of the 2017 season, CharlotteFive will take a quick look at five reasons you should hate the Panthers’ upcoming opponent. We’ll leave the legitimate previews to the pros at the Observer.

This weekend’s opponent is the Buffalo Bills, the team that likes to remind you that they went to the Super Bowl four straight years. They lost all four.

While that might earn pity rather than hate from most football fans, we have a few reasons you should dislike them while you’re cheering the Panthers on to victory.

(Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. in Charlotte, and the game will be broadcast on CBS.)

(1) Transplants take over Uptown.

One of the things I love most about Charlotte is the number of transplants that have made the city their home. Not to put down Charlotte natives in the slightest, but when I hear people say they chose our city over Raleigh, Atlanta, L.A., New York or wherever, it warms my heart.

That said, I absolutely hate it on certain game days.

I’m of the firm (but controversial) belief that you give up your old teams when you find a new home. If you love your new city, you should love that city’s teams first and foremost, right? New Yorkers, Bostonians, Philadelphians, Pittsburghers, and, yes, Buffalonians seem to disagree.

On Sunday, we’ll likely see hundreds of Charlotte residents come out for the game in Bills gear. (If you’re one of them and you’re reading this, I beg you to repent of your evil ways and come into the light of Sir Purr’s graces.)

Vacationers, welcome to our fair city: You’re excused. Head to Tavern on the Tracks maybe?

Got to start those Bills Fan young! #GoBills #BillsMafia #tavernonthetracks ❤️💙🏈

A post shared by Tavern on the Tracks (@taverntracks) on

(2) The Bills employ Richie Incognito.

I’m not going to single out many athletes in these previews, but if you follow the NFL, you have probably heard of Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Richie Incognito. The fact that he’s playing Sunday should make you upset.

Four years ago, Incognito stepped over the line (not for the first time) for bullying teammate Jonathan Martin while with the Miami Dolphins. After all of the dirt came out — including repeated use of the N-word, harrassing Martin, and threatening his sister — Martin retired and Incognito was released from the Dolphins. He spent a year out of football, refuses to apologize to Martin and only got a job again when former Bills coach Rex Ryan said he wanted to “build a bully” and signed Incognito to lead his line.

If there’s one person to single out for boos in the NFL, it’s probably this schmuck. I’ll leave it at that.

(3) Not-so-great Clemson connections.

On a much lighter note, the Bills have had a history with a nearby college team you might have heard of. In the past decade, Buffalo has selected three well-known Clemson Tigers in the first round of the NFL Draft. Are they stars for the Bills? Nope.

C.J. Spiller, the No. 9 overall pick in 2010, played for the Bills for five years and made the Pro Bowl as an alternate in 2012, but he never really settled in with Buffalo. Four teams later, he currently has a contract, but no reps, with the Chiefs.

Sammy Watkins, the No. 4 pick in 2014, had a few shining moments in 2015, but an injury derailed him in 2016, and the Bills traded him to the L.A. Rams before the 2017 season.

Only defensive end Shaq Lawson, the No. 19 pick in 2016, is still with the team. An injury kept him out some of his rookie year, but he’s the starter now. But looking at the Bills’ track record, he probably won’t be in Buffalo for long.

(4) The Bills are Panthers-light.

Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott was the Panthers defensive coordinator in 2016. Buffalo GM Brandon Beane was the Panthers assistant GM and had worked for the team for 19 years.

And there are some familiar names on the field, too: backup QB Joe Webb and RB/human bowling ball Mike Tolbert. (WR Philly Brown was signed then released.)

Whether that makes them hate-able (they took our guys!) or more likable (hey, old friends!) is up to you, but some are worried McDermott’s knowledge of the Panthers playbook might give Buffalo the advantage.

(5) Bills fans are insufferable/depressing.

If you’ve ever engaged the #BillsMafia, you know what I’m talking about. Barstool Sports did an incredible nine minute video about this group, and you should probably watch it. (With headphones on — it’s NSFW with some very bad language.) If you don’t have 10 minutes this morning, at least check out the 2:44 mark.

You can’t really blame them. They did lose those Super Bowls, they were faced with the threat of their team moving to Canada, and the Bills haven’t made the playoffs in 17 years.

They also make some pretty horrendous videos about how bad it is to be a Buffalo Bills fan. So. Many. Bad. Videos. But this one below takes the awful cake. (Again, headphones.)

I’m so, so sorry. Not to Buffalo fans, but to you, dear reader, for having that stuck in your head the rest of the day.

Just another reason to hate the Bills on Sunday. Keep Pounding.

Photo: AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes

29289 Total Views 27 Views Today


    • When you make a new home somewhere, yeah, I think you should support your new home team. Crazy huh? You’d prefer to stay disconnected from your new friends and neighbors? Is that more “real?”

      That said, maybe I am not real… maybe I’m imagining everything… hmmmmmmmmm

      • Why?? I have lived near several NFL cities and College cities, but I still root for my beloved Bills and OSU Buckeyes. I pay attention to the local teams in a general way, but if my team is playing that team, I am not going to change my allegiance. GO Bills!!!!!!!

  1. As a Bills fan, even I readily admit that the Bills Mafia is super lame. With that being said, the best party in Charlotte this weekend is going to involve 200 Bills fans grilling out and crushing Zubaz Labatts at Tavern on the Tracks Saturday-Sunday.

  2. Born in TX, grew up in DC, and now living in CLT, the Bills, to me, were largely irrelevant. Until this article. Now I LOVE them and wish I was born in Buffalo.

  3. Firm believer of picking a new team when you move???? Wow- See you at noon when you get there to tailgate with your bonangles…. and I think you missed a zero on the end of the estimated bills fans at BOA stadium.

  4. You stay loyal to your team.
    You do not change because you wanted to/had to change cities !
    Thank you, Johnny, for presenting a rock-solid statement of sports stupidity.
    Unfortunately – it appears that you simply “don’t get it”.
    Best of Luck.

  5. Johnny, so if you left Charlotte to go to a different city, you are saying that you would switch teams? That doesn’t even make sense, unless you aren’t a true football fan.

    • Hey Nate, thanks. I’m not from Charlotte. I’ll always have a place in my heart for my hometown’s teams, but Carolina’s my home now and I’ll cheer for them over anyone. To each their own, unless no one’s allowed to have different opinions anymore? 🙂 Enjoy being a real football fan Sunday!

  6. Your #1 reason for not liking a team is because their fan base is too loyal. Really says something about Panthers fans that they’re literally only fans when it’s convenient.

    I guess I should ignore my family and friends during the season, forgetting the many memories I’ve shared with them over the years. Even though some friends I’ve made solely because of the team.

  7. As a fan of the Buffalo Bills for over 40 years, I don’t take offense to this article. In fact I find it a bit comical because every team’s city has writers that do the same type of article each week about their opponent.

    However since you look young I must let you know that Carolina was called Bills South when they first came into the league. That was because they raided the Bills roster, which was around the time of the 4 super bowl loses.

    The #BillsMafia is much different than than BILLS fans. Not all Bills fans are really #BillsMafia. #Billsmafia isn’t about acting like idiots in that video. Those fans have always been around. Read up on the #BillsMafia and how it started and what they have done for many people in need.

    One more thing, as a diehard fan, I will always root for the team I have rooted for my whole life. if I were to move to another state or city there is no reason to switch my loyalty. However I do agree that it would be nice to also feel a bit attached to the local team. Unless they are the patriots or cowboys. I could never like either of those teams.

    • Hey Patrick, thanks for the thoughtful response. Didn’t know that about Bills South, I am indeed youngish. Glad you agree about the people in the video, sounds like there are a lot of great Bills fans out there too, as I’d expect. And I hear you on the Pats and Cowboys… I lived in Detroit for awhile and couldn’t bring myself to like the Red Wings. There are always exceptions. 🙂

  8. Once a Buffalonian always a Buffalonian. Once you live here it becomes a part of you. There are plenty of people who moved to Buffalo from all over the country having negative impressions due to an uniformed and ignorant narrative only to to be won over by the arts, beautiful architecture, way of life, the closeness of the community and its spirit. Buffalo is one of the American cities that helped make this country great. Those of of us who live here know this and are proud to call this home. Some things will never change and being proud of our hometown is one of them.