Nov. 13—John Lang is a graduate of Roy-Hart's school system, a former rugby player and coach, former DJ on cruise ships, a salesman at HD Supply — a department for the municipal sales of Home Depot — a member of the Planning Board of the Town of Lockport, a father of two children, a husband, a dog-owner and, by the way, the superfan known as Bills Elvis.
Recently Lang was honored as the 2022 Bills Fan of the Year, which makes him eligible for NFL fan of the year. Bills tackle Dion Dawkins told him the news.
"It totally took me by surprise," Lang said. "He was like, 'You're the fan of the year!' and I was like, 'What was that?' "
The legend of Bills Elvis goes back to a 1992 game where Lang bet he could get on TV at a Bills game. Lang went home and got his costume together. Bell-bottoms, framed-glasses, a painted guitar and the colors of red, white and blue throughout.
He won the bet.
And he's kept winning. Lang said he was having fun, but the people in his section were going wild.
"They told me, everyone in my section, that I had to do it again," he said. "So I did."
Averaging one guitar per game, Lang and the rest of the Lockport tailgate are geared up by 7 a.m. and getting ready for each home contest. Lang noted that he hasn't seen a whole slew of Bills Elvis impersonators, but the 10-year old son of one of his fellow tailgaters did dress up as him for Halloween.
"I gave him a small guitar," Lang said.
The big news for Lang is that he'll be traveling to Arizona with two tickets for the Super Bowl, saying, "hopefully" he'll get the entire Lockport Tailgate to go down with him and break some tables while they were there.
Also "hopefully" the Bills will be there, too, he said.
Lang's work with charities hoping to do-good for those less fortunate are also notable. Josh Allen's work with Children's Hospital is probably the most known group, but Lang also works with another group called the Parkinson's Boxing Gym in Kenmore.
Lang's father died of Parkinson's about a month ago, and while it was a painful battle, the activity was good for him.
"He got a lot out of it," Lang said.
Lang's also brushed shoulders with other superfans, too, including the ketchup and mustard Bills guy and, across team lines, the Frozen Tundra Man of the Green Bay Packers aka Jeff Kahlow.
"Really good guy," Lang said of the cheese-head.
In the end, Lang is a self-described terrible guitar player, but he's having fun and will continue to as long as he can. He said things have changed since social media. He has about 5,000 friends on Facebook and 4,000 followers on Twitter. He also noted they didn't break tables years ago and as the "old guy at the tailgate" he isn't too sure whether he or the table would get broken.
Still, he keeps up the excitement of a Bills home game, and is happy to keep doing so.
"I'll be around for a while," he said.