Popular NFL pundit, Bills Mafia figure to receive themed night at Buffalo baseball game

Bills—or, Bisons—Mafia, mount up.

NFL pundit and honorary Bills Mafia member Kyle Brandt will have his place in Buffalo sports fandom immortalized later this month when the International League’s Buffalo Bisons host the Good Morning Football personality on July 20, 2024. Brandt will throw out the first pitch before hosting a 90-minute autograph session; the first 3,000 fans in attendance will also receive a Brandt bobblehead.

The Bisons announced the upcoming promotion on their X/Twitter account on Monday morning. Brandt shared his excitement in a follow-up post.

Brandt’s affiliation with the Bills organization and fanbase is a strange, if not endearing tale that has manifested into a reciprocated adoration in recent years. The host first started doing a weekly guest spot on the team’s in-house One Bills Live radio show several years ago, developing a rapport with the organization that culminated in him hosting a team-produced hype video ahead of Buffalo’s AFC Divisional Round matchup with the Baltimore Ravens in the 2020 NFL season.

The video was incredibly well received amongst the fanbase, with Brandt’s “Bills Mafia, mount up” line becoming a rallying cry amongst the Buffalo faithful. This resulted in the creation of several more hype videos over the years, with Brandt becoming an unofficial face of ‘Bills Mafia;’ he attended the team’s Wild Card round win over the New England Patriots in the 2021 NFL season before announcing the Bills’ selection of linebacker Terrel Bernard in the 2022 NFL Draft.

It’s a… unique promotion from Buffalo’s Triple-A baseball club that perhaps serves as a microcosm of the city’s relationship with its professional football franchise—a national football personality who has a soft spot for the team is beloved enough to receive a themed night at a local baseball game. If that’s not the epitome of Buffalo, I’m not sure what is.

ESPN released the nominees for its annual ESPY Awards Wednesday morning, and what the list has in star power, it lacks in Buffalo Bills representation.

No Bills players or moments have been nominated for an ESPY this year. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (justifiably) serves as the NFL’s representative in the “Best Athlete” category, and he’s also one of two passers nominated for the “Best NFL Player” award (the other nominees are Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, and Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett).

One could make an argument that Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen is a reasonable candidate for either of these awards, but it’s difficult to say that he should’ve been nominated over either the reigning Super Bowl or NFL MVP. Arguments could be had about Allen’s talent and ability compared to Mahomes and Jackson, but in terms of an awards show, it makes sense to opt for the players who have recently won major awards.

The Bills were involved in what was perhaps the most memorable and emotional moment of last year’s ESPYs, as safety Damar Hamlin presented the team’s training staff with the Pat Tillman Award for Service. The staff saved the defensive back’s life after he suffered a cardiac arrest in a Week 17 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2022 NFL season.

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