Greg Tranter is a hardcore Buffalo Bills fan.
Now, when the term “hardcore fan” gets thrown around you may think of a guy who paints his face for games, or someone who hasn’t missed a home game in 20 years.
That may be the correct definition. But if it is, we’re going to have to find another way to describe the level of fandom Tranter has entered.
Recently I had the chance to meet Tranter, and if both of us had the time, I may still be sitting with him, sifting through just the pictures of the mountain of Bills memorabilia that he has in his home in Massachusetts.
Just a few of the many, many highlights of what I got to see in his collection include:
- A game-worn O.J Simpson jersey from 1973 — the year Simpson became the first ever player to rush for over 2,000 yards.
- A game program from every single game the Bills have played since 1960. This includes preseason, home and road games as well as every playoff game the team has ever played.
- A game-worn jersey from every year the team has played, except for 1962 and 1963. It is the one jewel that has eluded Tranter, who said “nobody else has one either, but I’d love to get my hands on one.”
- The capstone piece was a recent acquistion that even in photographs was a jaw-dropper. Tranter owns the exact helmet worn by Scott Norwood in Super Bowl XXV (yeah, THAT one), autographed by Norwood, along with the inscription “wide right.”
For obvious reasons the Norwood piece is unbelievable. Norwood has existed in relative anonymity since his retirement. I didn’t want to press for an answer on how Tranter secured such a truly one-of-a-kind souvenir, but it’s a safe bet it wasn’t a donation!
But the thing about Tranter’s vision is that it is so much more than a shirine to the Bills in his house.
Eventually, hopefully soon, Tranter wants to establish a physical building that can be used as a Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. Right now he has a great website in which you can just get lost looking at pictures. On there you can read about his vision, and even donate to the project.
And it won’t be a museum just about the Bills. Tranter has countless connections in the sports memorabilia and collectibles industry, both locally and nationally. He wants to honor the entire sports history of Western New York, from the steep high school traditions, to college, the Sabres, Bisons, and really any other team that has made its mark on the city.
There will be much more to come in regards to Tranter in the coming weeks. As I said earlier, our time together was limited, but I walked away incredibly energized about the Bills and about Tranter’s vision for a Buffalo sports museum in downtown Buffalo.
Follow Kevin on Twitter, and jump on over to the website for Tranter’s Fandemoneum project.