If you, like me, are Too Online, you have probably seen this image in conjunction with the ascendance of the NFL’s most essential team, the 2020 Buffalo Bills:
Haven't been posting cause I've been too present, distracted by the moment. Sorry but thank you. pic.twitter.com/DL0MpF8Edc— Peter Berkes (@peterberkes) January 17, 2021
If you haven’t, well, there he is. Bills Batman (who’s pretty clearly wearing a repurposed Captain America chestpiece) may not be the hero the AFC East deserves, but he’s the hero who was available after the Dolphins Stormtroopers saw their team knocked out of playoff contention.
Elaborately-costumed superfans are not particularly unusual in American football, but Bills Batman’s different from his sweaty brethren in one important way: There is no record of him online. No photo other than the one above shows up when you search for Bills Batman, and no articles have been written about his exploits, his identity, or whether he uses his custom beer-tility belt for non-Batman occasions.
A search for “Buffalo Bills Batman” doesn’t come up entirely empty, mind you. It will spit out a bunch of truly unfortunate merch...
...news about Josh Norman signing with the Bills before the 2020 season, and someone called Buffalo’s Best Batman. None of his many photos show him in that Bills Batman outfit, however, and the guy is so serious about his Caped Crusader look that I cannot imagine he’d ever use a Marvel Comics costume piece or wear Bills sunglasses when he’s in character. So I have to conclude that’s a different Buffalo Batman. (Whether he’s the best is for the people of Buffalo to decide, not me.)
I also asked unofficial Bills Ambassador and excellent newsletter proprietor Peter Berkes about Bills Batman, thinking perhaps he’s a locally-known superfan who simply hasn’t drawn national attention. But Peter had no information to offer and couldn’t recall anyone ever discussing Upstate New York’s Greatest Detective.
So who the hell is this Batman? Did he only show up to one Bills tailgate and then hang up the costume forever? Was there an incident? Has Bills Batman been told he’s not welcome on team property, so he’s gone into hiding and watches games from afar, peering at a bar TV through his eye slits?
Or could it be that this is literally Batman, taking a breather from his life of brooding and punching to kick back with a beer and reminisce about Steve Tasker? [EXTREMELY BATMAN VOICE] JIMMY JOHNSON’S GOING TO LEARN WHAT FEAR IS.