BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As part of Saturday’s “Countdown to Kickoff,” the WIVB team was joined by Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders as well as journalist Luke Russert.

Sanders, a two-time gold medalist, became a part of Bills Mafia in 2007 at her first in-person game, joining her Hamburg-native husband, Erik Schlopy, to watch. After the Bills lost to the Cowboys in the closing seconds of that game, she realized the hardships endured and dedication it took to root for the Bills, and was in from that moment on.

Sanders discussed her gameday superstitions with her family and how they have prepped for Saturday night.

“We sit in our same seats in our living room, and then if for some reason the play isn’t going well, we do a shift and everybody shifts seats,” Sanders said. “I tend to believe that I fully can affect the outcome of the game and can shift how we’re playing if I go and move and start doing another activity.”

Russert, a journalist and author, was born a Bills fan. As the son of the late Tim Russert, a Buffalo native and longtime moderator of Meet the Press, Luke grew up with the Bills in his heart.

He has high hopes for the team, especially after the comeback against Tampa Bay earlier this season, for which he was in attendance. He added that he is glad the Bills have been doing well in the division the past few years and he hopes the officiating is fair Saturday, especially given the Bills’ opponents. He also showed his appreciation for the Bills’ fanbase and the reach it has globally.

“No other fanbase shows up like the Bills Mafia,” he said. “And when I say ‘show up,’ it’s not only in Buffalo, but also around the world.”

The full interviews can be seen in the videos above.

Adam Duke is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of his work here.

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