I remember sitting in my living room in Rochester, NY watching Stevie Johnson blame God for his drop in the end zone. In that same seat I watched Leodis McKelvin attempt to return a kickoff against the Patriots to win the game when all he had to do was take a knee. Before that I’ve seen the highlights of ‘wide-right’, the Music City Miracle, and of don’t even me stated about the Trend Edwards/J.P. Losman days.
None of that mattered for the moment. Because week 1, 2016. Baltimore, MD. The Buffalo Bills were in town. Offseason moves, a revamped Rex Ryan squad, a healthy (for the most part) offense that was ready for their second year as a group that showed spurts of promise the year before. But of course, in true Bills fashion, they let us down hard. No passing game, no running game, and 0 big plays in a sport that’s supposed to show clips of 10 second excitement at a time. Personally I think their biggest mistake was keeping their best offensive threat, Dan Carpenter, on the bench for all but one measly extra point. You have to give some credit to the Baltimore-D on that but I think the firing of Greg Roman says a lot about that decision. More Bills disappointment. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
Flashback to a few months ago when I first got the news about moving to Baltimore one of the first things I did was check the Bills calendar to see if maybe, just maybe, they would be in town. I had hit the #BillsMafia Jackpot! They play the Ravens every 4 years and every 8 years in Baltimore. Week 1. There it was. Didn’t’ even have to look down the list. As a hopeful Bills fan and new found Baltimorean, obviously I saw a couple different signs here:
- It’s going to be a good decision to move to Baltimore. And of course
- The Bills are destine for victory and most likely a Super Bowl.
Again in true Bills fashion I overhyped the whole thing. On a weekend that showed so much hope; I had a few of my best friends visit, Bills fans swarming the city, an absolute blast of a weekend that even included some pizza (know what I’m sayin’ know what I’m sayin’?) the Bills did what they always do. Disappoint.
An even bigger shock to me was that the Bills were in town for a preseason matchup against the Redskins. I didn’t even realize it until Kevin Walsh (aka ‘Cheese’) called me in his stupid Chet voice giddy with excitement that the Bills are going to be in his backyard on a sweltering hot August Friday night. Another strange coincidence since I have only been in the city a month and we will have already seen the Bills twice. To get ready for the big game Week 1 we of course had to do some scouting and scathing to idiot Redskins fans.
So, I left work unethically early, drove down to DC, and crashed with the Cheese to simply torment the 2nd worst fans South of Baltimore (I think we all know who the worst are). Big, dumb, and worthless; their fans are exactly like their stadium. Placed in Landover, MARYLAND, nothing around, impossible to get to, obstructed view seats everywhere. Just like everyone else in the league, they’re the “Wanna-be” Ralph.
We partied our asses off that weekend. Made sure we had the hangover stretch right into lunch on Monday. Of course we strictly visited Bills bars and tried to do everything Buffalo in Washington, DC. After the game we even ordered chicken wings while we drank Blue Light in our Bills jerseys and the owner came out and said the wings were on the house because he thought we wouldn’t like them. Jokes on him because they were actually pretty good. It was perfect. A great tune-up for an undoubtedly overwhelming victory over the Dirty Birds a few weeks later. I thought.
The morning of week 1 was full of excitement. Waking up next to a drooling Kevin because his one-seater air mattress couldn’t be shared with ‘bae’ I knew it was going to be a good day. Jake was ready to get hobo drunk (missionaccomplished, again), Stroka was peaceful as ever as he lay shirtless on my couch (some things never change), and Kevin was shitting with the door open. It was again perfect. We showed up to the tailgate ready to wreak havoc on Blue Lights. The Bills Backers of Charm City had bars set up everywhere, all the Blue Lattes you could drink, award winning seafood, DJ, and even an ice luge to beat peasant Ravens fans in whisky chugs. It was a tailgate for the ages. We were all so hyped up for the game when a Bon Jovi song came on everyone immediately got into battle mode booing the DJ (probably a homeless Ravens fan) until he changed it to the Shout Song. But of course we get into the stadium and what do we see? Disappointment.
A word that can be associated a lot with the Bills, the Sabres, and the city as a whole. But not to those that live there and are from there. To us it’s a magical place. Filled with amazing food, beer, Canada, and of course people. Superior to any other city in our eyes, wallets, and stomach, in that order. Find me another group as cool and as fun as the Lads and I’ll show you a liar. While we could probably do without the cold weather and snow, you have to pay some sort of price for being the greatest city in the Union.
We will not give up on this season Bills fans. In true Bills fashion we will be as loud and as proud as ever on Sunday when the Cardinals come to the house that Ralph built. Only on maybe Monday morning will we give up hope on the season. But until then GO BILLS. And don’t worry, we will always have the Sabres to fall back on.