Are the Buffalo Bills are Saving New York Football?
The Buffalo Bills clearly showed on Sunday night that they are indeed an NFL powerhouse. The other two NFL teams, that at least claim to run their business in the State of New York, showed on Sunday that they are clearly not anywhere near that level of play. Both the Giants and the Jets fell to abysmal 1 - 4 records, while the Bills improved to 4 - 1.
Records are one thing but how could Buffalo being saving New York football? Well, new fans would be a start. New NFL fans are often attracted to winning teams. Some fans of perpetually losing franchises, like the New York Jets, switch their allegiances to teams that actually make the playoffs or win a Super Bowl every 3 or 4 decades or so. Ask Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, how many of his current fanbase used to root for another NFL team prior to the Pats amazing Super Bowl run of 6 NFL championships?
The answer is a lot and many of them are people that live in southern New England and the Capital Region that used to root for the Giants or the Jets because family members did. They decided they wanted their own team and found a winner. One Jets fan from the area, used to be a season ticket holder for the Jets, he bought better seats for less money when they opened Gillette Stadium, the home of the New England Patriots. He got tired of investing his time and money to go watch a perennial loser.
Now, new NFL fans and fans looking to switch allegiances, have a new New York option, the Buffalo Bills. According to the NFL Players Association, out of the 3 New York based NFL football teams, only Josh Allen of the Bills is in the top ten of NFL jersey sales. Saquon Barkley of the Giants is #32 in sales and Zach Wilson of the Jets comes in at #42. Stephon Diggs of the Bills comes in at #47 in the jersey sales rankings making the Bills the only New York NFL team with two players in the top #50 of those rankings.
Are the New York (or New Jersey) Giants or Jets in danger of losing so many fans they'll move? No, that is never happening, at least to the Giants. But are their strangleholds on potential geographic fan bases dwindling? You bet and at least they may be losing them to the Bills. Jersey sales may not be the definitive indicator of growing fan bases but it is one. The Buffalo Bills "mafia" is expanding. They are a fun team with likable players and they win. That is a pretty good combination to grow your numbers.