By Amie Hendrix
What I am reading –Humans by Brandon Stanton
What I am watching – Cobra Kai, Season 3
What I am listening to – More – Love Songs from Little Voices by Sarah Bareilles
To begin with, I would like to make it clear that although I have lived in New York my entire life, I am not a Buffalo Bills fan. I do love football and the NFL has had a place in my heart since a very young age, but the Bills have never found their way there. Instead, drawn to the great colors, a fun mascot, and a rivalry to familial Bills, Raiders, and Steelers fans – I chose the Miami Dolphins as my forever team (and I still have the ‘90’s starter jacket to prove my loyalty).
Every year, I head to the Wilson… err New Era… err Buffalo Bills Stadium to witness the rivalry of the Bills vs. the Dolphins. It’s a crazy game and if you haven’t heard of Bills Mafia, please look them up as they are as much a part of the game as the players on the field. Fans of the Bills persevere not only the weather of Buffalo, NY but also the luck of the Bills, the only team that has been to the Super Bowl four times in a row and lost every time.
In 2018 there was a change for the Buffalo Bills as they drafted overall pick #7, hailing from Wyoming, Mr. Josh Allen. I will never forget seeing him the first year he ran down that tunnel, smiling, happy, and leading the 6-10 Bills out on to the field to play team rival the Miami Dolphins. This young man ran down that tunnel like he was running into the biggest game of his lifetime with an all-star team behind him, not a team that lost more than it won. As he ran out, it hit me – everyone needs to be the Josh Allen of their career.
Not every day in local government feels like the Super Bowl of our career, yet I like to think each of us enters our #localgov career thinking about ways to better the world, thinking of how we can take things to the next level. Surrounded by Bills fans and Bills games, I have witnessed three key areas that I think local government leaders can learn from #17 on ways to approach our work:
- Enter each challenge with a smile. Even when you are facing adversity, you were put in your role to make a difference. Take the time to smile about the opportunities you have to shape the world before you. You are the only you that exists and that in itself is a reason to smile. If you need a smile, look up internet photos of Josh Allen to find his smile in nearly every photo – on and off the field.
- Sometimes you need to take the ball and run with it. Quarterbacks have to make a lot of decisions about where to place the ball for their receivers. When time is tight, and the defense is good, they may need to make a quick decision like running the ball on their own, often into much larger players of the opposing teams defense. As local government leaders, we have to be ready for a change in plans at any time. There are times when we need to take the ball handed to us and run. We can’t be afraid of the pain of the incoming linebacker or perhaps the loss of yards, instead we need to focus our intentions forward and run with the proverbial ball to move all of us ahead.
- Remember you have a crazy pack of fans supporting you as you enter the field. Earlier I mentioned the Bills Mafia, the diehard fans of the Buffalo Bills. In 2020, Josh lost his grandmother the night before the Bills were set to play the Seahawks. As he ran on to the field he was reminded that he wasn’t alone as fans began to donate $17 each to the Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, in honor of his grandmother. While ELGL may not be have the same antics of the Bills Mafia, although we sure do have our own antics, each of us does have a pack of fans supporting us every day. This team of fans as well as your fellow local government players are here for you, on and off the field.
I write this today, two days prior to posting, as my beloved Dolphins (10-5) face the Bills (12-3) in the last game of the regular season. The Bills are favored to win and will head to the playoffs as the AFC East Champions for the first time since 1995. I won’t be at the stadium and am still wearing my teal and orange, even if a little blue and red has made its way into my world. As I watch our own impressive rookie – Tua Tagovailoa – take the field I will wonder, has he too learned from Josh Allen?
If you didn’t want to believe in me, that’s okay, because in the end I will make a believer out of you. – Josh Allen
Amie Hendrix is the Deputy County Administrator for Tompkins County and a proud member of the ELGL Board of Directors. Pictured here with her friend and partner at the Buffalo Bills Stadium in December of 2018. She is currently charged with serving as Incident Commander for the Tompkins County COVID 19 response and her free time is composed of naps, walks with her amazing dogs, mindless television, random work assignments, and very little social media time.