The Los Angeles Lakers had Jack Nicholson, the New York Knicks could count on Spike Lee — until the big blow-up with James Dolan — and Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner remain among the Boston Red Sox faithful. But now the Buffalo Bills can finally claim a superfan on that same level: Dog the Bounty Hunter.
ESPN’s Chris Berman used to be the most prominent Buffalo Bills fans
Western New York isn’t nearly as densely populated as New York City and the tri-state area, but that doesn’t mean its beloved football team couldn’t count on some celebrity love, according to radio station WYRK, before Dog the Bounty Hunter professed his affection.
Longtime ESPN SportsCenter anchor and Sunday football host Chris Berman qualified as the No. 1 fan of the Buffalo Bills for a good many years. “No one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills” became Boomer’s go-to line when talking about the team before a big game … or even a little one.
Other media types have also been prominent Bills fans. In fact, Berman couldn’t lay claim to top status until the passing of Tim Russert, the Buffalo-born host of Meet the Press who died in 2008.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, raised in Buffalo, and CBS News’ Jeff Glor, who was born there, have also voiced their support for the Bills over the years.
Among athletes who haven’t suited up for the Bills or Sabres – Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly remains the franchise’s leading booster among former players – the big-name boosters are two female superstars. All-time great soccer star Abby Wambach grew up 90 minutes from Buffalo, and 1992 Olympic swimming champion Summer Sanders became fond of the four-time Super Bowl runners-up because her husband was raised in the Buffalo area.
Dog the Bounty Hunter’s unexpected connection to Buffalo
Duane Chapman, 67, better known to reality television viewers as Dog the Bounty Hunter, would seem to be an unlikely candidate to root for the Buffalo Bills considering that his roots and home base are in Colorado. The only thing more unlikely would be why the city of Buffalo shows up on his radar to begin with.
Chapman, his family, and his associates began an eight-year run on television in August 2004 on A&E’s Dog the Bounty Hunter. Spinoff show Dog and Beth: On the Hunt and the more recent Dog’s Most Wanted would follow.
All of that reality TV work, not to mention the promotion that goes with it through appearances in public and on TV talk shows and newscasts, requires Chapman to maintain that trademark look of rugged handsomeness. His hairstylist is Traci Estrada in Castle Rock, Colorado, and it just so happens that she is the wife of podcaster Sterling Furrowh.
Furrowh used the connection to bring Chapman onto his The Hoof Podcast to talk about quarterback Josh Allen and the Bills, favored by numerous NFL observers to dethrone the New England Patriots in the AFC East this season.
“Dog and I have built a friendship and always talk Bills,” Furrowh told New York Upstate.
Dog the Bounty Hunter is picking the Buffalo Bills
Just like every other football fan, the man who chases down bail absconders is anxious over whether defensive ends will have the opportunity to chase down NFL quarterbacks in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Are they going to play? I know I used to box and the reason I did was for the fans,” said Duane Chapman, TV’s Dog the Bounty Hunter. “I don’t know if I could perform in a sports event without hearing the cheers from the crowd. So, I don’t know if they could put speakers around and you just don’t look up in the crowd, but you hear them screaming, ‘Go, go, go!’”
Atmosphere is important in all NFL stadiums, but Buffalo is one of those places that really rock when the home team has its opponent on the run.
“Psychologically they’ve proven many times that home-field advantage is an advantage,” Chapman said of the NFL.
Whether there are fans or not, the man that reality TV viewers have come to know as Dog the Bounty Hunter thinks the Buffalo Bills have a shot in 2020 behind quarterback Josh Allen.
“Josh Allen is one of my favorite football players and I want the Bills to win,” he said. “I think the Bills this year have a shot.”