Josh Allen never was a big-city guy.
He grew up in Firebaugh, Ca., snuggled in the mountains outside of Fresno, Ca. He found a collegiate home at the University of Wyoming, a Division I member of the Mountain West with an enrollment of less than 13,000 located in Laramie, a city of around 30,000, which makes it one of the five largest in Wyoming, the least populated state in the United States, but the ninth largest land mass.
So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Allen, who the Buffalo Bills drafted with the seventh selection in the 2018 NFL draft, is a fit in Buffalo, a blue-collar community, where the weather can be a challenge, just like Laramie.
Allen and second-year left tackle Dion Dawkins participated in a fan Q&A at Dos Amigos on the Lake in Blasdell. There, Allen dubbed the fan base as his favorite reason for being a Bill.
“They show up for every game. They do,” Allen said, according to the Buffalo News*.*
“If you came in [to Buffalo for a game] not knowing football or not knowing records, you would have thought we had the best record in the league, because we showed out. If it wasn’t sold out, it was pretty dang close. The noise in there was awesome
“That builds our confidence as we go out there, so we appreciate you guys. And you guys may not know that, but you guys are a huge key to our wins at home, because it’s a tough place to play and teams don’t want to come up here in the cold, and then they have to face the Bills Mafia in the stands, as well.”
Allen was supposed to spend his rookie year on a development program, but the failures of veteran quarterbacks Nathan Peterman and AJ McCarron led to Allen being an on-the-job education.
It has had its rought spots. Allen has a 52.5 completion percentage, only 992 yards and three touchdowns to five interceptions this season. Against the Jaguars in a 24-21 win, Allen had the best game of his career to date with 160 passing yards, a Billfs-record-for-a-quarterback 99 rushing yards, and two touchdowns.
But Allen said at the fan event that things haven’t been perfect and he recognized the fans still have his back, which is why, as he explained, he feels fortunate to have been drafted to western New York.
“Listen, I love Buffalo. I already do,” Allen said. “I’m so thankful and so blessed to be able to be here. It’s my type of town, my type of city. I’m just thankful to play with these guys, my teammates, my coaches.” Allen said. “All I want to do is win football games, and that’s it. I don’t care how ugly, how pretty it looks. If we’re winning football games, that’s what makes me the happiest, and to do it with these guys makes it that much sweeter.”