Former Bill Andre Reed is enjoying Buffalo’s success
For the first time in over 25 years the Buffalo Bills of the are playing in the AFC Championship.
It has been 26 years since the Bills last won just a single playoff game. But that changed on Saturday, January 9, when they defeated the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card Round and followed that up one week later with a victory over the Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional Round.
The Bills are now one playoff triumph away from reaching the Super Bowl for the first time since 1994. Buffalo takes on the defending the Super Bowl champ Kansas City Chiefs on the road Sunday.
With the Chiefs allowing a limited fans to attend, Dieruff High School/Kutztown University product and NFL Hall of Famer Andre Reed will be there watching the organization he spent 15 seasons with from 1985-1999.
“I’ll be there rooting on the guys,” said Reed, who played in four straight Super Bowls with the Bills in the early 1990s. “I’ll be in one of the suites through American Century with [Chiefs Hall of Famer] Will Shields. I’m excited. This group has really had a special season and I know they can go in there and beat the Chiefs, whether [Chiefs quarterback Patrick] Mahomes plays or not. They’re going to be ready.”
Reed graduated from Dieruff in 1981 and then went on to play four years at Kutztown, where he set 10 school records, four of which still stand today. He is Buffalo’s all-time leading receiver in catches (941), receiving yards (13,095) and touchdowns (86). Reed was inducted into the hall of fame in 2014.
“I love that organization,” Reed said about the Bills. “They took a chance on me, drafting me out of a small school in rural Pennsylvania. Division II athletes don’t always get that chance. We had a lot of great teams and I’ve had teammates that became family, still to this day.”
Reed still keeps in touch with former Bills teammates, three of whom are also in the Hall of Fame in Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith and Thurman Thomas. They support each other to this day, making appearances at charity outings and playing in each other’s fundraising golf tournaments.
Reed has friendships with many former professional football players and special bonds from going through the same grind that is the NFL. He also still likes to attend as many Bills games as he can, home or away.
“This year was tough with the pandemic but I get to a handful games both in Buffalo and on the road,” said Reed. “I was in Buffalo for the [LA] Rams game this season (September 27). The Boys and Girls Club had a contest for the winner to be picked up and watch the game somewhere of their choosing with me. It was a lot of fun.
“But just the excitement of the fan base, not only this year, every year. The Bills Mafia is insane. They have so much passion and energy for this organization. It’s something special. They travel nationwide for games too. There’s no better fan base on the planet that supports a team from top to bottom.”
Even the common NFL fan knows about the quarterback-wide receiver duo of Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs this season. In just their first year playing together, their connection has shattered records and pushed the Bills’ offense to new heights. Allen now holds records for passing touchdowns (37) and total touchdowns (45) in a season, while Diggs set a mark for receptions (127) and receiving yards in a season (1519).
Allen and Diggs remind people around Buffalo of another duo that put up big numbers and won a lot of games in their time.
“Oh yeah, they remind me a lot of Jim [Kelly] and I when we played,” Reed said. “They’re not us, and we’re not them, but there are definitely similarities.
“As a quarterback and wide receiver you have to have chemistry and continue to develop it. They’ve done a great job with that. At the end of the day their common goal is to win, and that’s what brings them together.”
Presently, Reed lives in San Diego, California. In normal times, he works with his favorite charity, the Boys and Girls Club, which is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, but has a branch in Allentown he frequently visits.
Reed also appears on podcasts, radio shows, and tv shows, talking about football, the Bills and life in general. He has even made cameos on the hit CBS show Hawaii Five-O. He always likes to give back when he can and see family and friends back in Allentown.
“It’s been a tough year, for everyone,” said Reed. “I’m so used to being out at events, talking to people face-to-face, meeting people, but that didn’t happen this year. I’ve done a lot of zooms with the Boys and Girls Clubs for events, and have called in to ESPN and Fox Sports just to talk football. It’s been great having the Bills give some excitement in an otherwise rough year.”
And if Buffalo wins this weekend to advance to the Super Bowl, Reed will be there in Tampa Bay watching on.