A sign notes the prohibition of table slamming and other activities as fans of the Buffalo Bills gather for tailgating activities prior to the Bills NFL game against the Miami Dolphins at New Era Field
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Breaking Tables: The Origin of the Bills Mafia's Destructive Obsession Remains a Mystery

Why is the sky blue? What is a catch in the NFL? Why would the New England Patriots attempt a hook-and-ladder play with no time left in a tie game? Is Joe Flacco elite? These are unanswerable questions that keep the average NFL fan up at night. But above all others, there's one that holds the most real estate. Why do Buffalo Bills fans jump through tables? Seriously. What's up with the Bills Mafia table breaking?

Bills Mafia's Table-Breaking Tradition: It's Only Crazy If It Doesn't Work

Detail view of custom cleats featuring the image of a broken table worn by Jordan Phillips #97 of the Buffalo Bills during the game against the Miami Dolphins at New Era Field

Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

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The Green Bay Packers have the Lambeau Leap, and the Kansas City Chiefs can claim the loudest fanbase in the NFL. But if Stefon Diggs catches a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals or the Cleveland Browns, you may see a Bills fan fly through the air toward the very folding table you're sitting at.

The identity of the first Buffalo Bills fan to fake flight with the sole purpose of slamming their body through a table is unknown, but that hasn't stopped the Bills fanbase from making it a tailgate tradition. Don't believe us? Take a lap around the Buffalo Bills Mafia social media accounts. It doesn't matter if the Bills are playing the Raiders, Rams, Falcons, Giants, Colts, Titans, Eagles, or Houston Texans. No matter the NFL football team, Bills fans are going to break some tables.

What's clear is that what used to send table-smashing Buffalo fans in search of a table to bodyslam in the parking lot before a home game, has shifted since the arrival of quarterback Josh Allen. After nearly a decade of regular season and playoff game mishaps, the Buffalo Bills have found their way to the top of a Tom Brady-less AFC East. Perhaps the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, and New England Patriots fanbases will begin blasting through other types of furniture to change their team's fortune.

Why do Buffalo Bills Fans Jump on Tables?

Buffalo Bills fans tailgate during the AFC Wild Card game between the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars

Both photos by Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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A handful of Redditors attempted to trace the origin of the Upstate New York phenomenon but failed to pinpoint an exact moment. "The folding table thing started a year or two ago," one Reddit user said in 2017, setting the beginning of the timeline in 2015 or 2016. "A video of a drunk fan jumping on and smashing a folding table went viral. Now it's kind of become a thing to do at tailgates. Like West Virginia and burning couches."

Sure, the Buffalo football fandom's quest to break every table in North America hasn't given the Bills a Super Bowl title yet, but it feels like it's only a matter of time. After all, since the dawn of the football fans' battle against tables began, the Bills have been a constant trending topic of discussion on ESPN, regardless of their matchup. It's impossible to deny that the New York assault on foldable furniture hasn't been a big reason for the Bills' rise up the NFL power rankings.

Hey, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings fans! Perhaps it's time to consider a new strategy. Table breaking appears to be working in Upstate New York!

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