The Crying Hour: In an Unorthodox Team-Building Exercise, Bills Players Share Their Life Stories

Sports Illustrated  December 1, 2017


Last spring, the new Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott started a new tradition: ending many team meeting with a player telling a personal story about his upbringing, his motivation, his influences, what’s most important to him. The first player to tell his story, veteran tackle Jordan Mills said, “It’s created a bond that I feel like no other team around this league has,” he says. “It’s really like we are brothers.”

“It’s like undivided attention when you’re up there,” fullback Mike Tolbert says. “Nobody is talking, nobody is doing anything. It’s a great feeling to know that everybody in this building is respecting you at that moment.”

“Every team should do it,” receiver Jordan Matthews says. “Every business, every walk of life should do it. I don’t think there is enough emphasis on people. We don’t see people. We just see titles and labels, but there is a human being there. When you can start seeing somebody for who they really are, instead of just their performance, it helps relationships grow that much better.”

Note: in 2017, the Buffalo Bills made their first playoff appearance in 17 seasons.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top