You know those people who are bandwagon fans? They jump on the wagon when a team is in their prime? I can proudly tell you I am not one of them. In fact, when the Bills were in their prime I was just a little girl who cheered for the Bills because I was from Buffalo and that is what my family did. Sure, I watched. And I knew the big names–Reed, Kelly, Thomas, Smith, to name a few. And I even “watched” the Super Bowl–4 times in a row. I never saw them lose though. I always managed to fall asleep before that happened. No, I became a real fan in 2005–6 years after the Bills had seen the playoffs.
See, in 2005 I met my now husband. Young love. Yep that is what got me started on this roller coaster ride we call being a Bills fan. He was in Florida for the summer and had the bright idea to get some tickets as soon as they went on sale. Me, being the great girlfriend I was, said this was a great idea. We got tickets for the home opener on 9/11 and the Saturday night prime time game on 12/17. I figured–this will be fine. I know the basics–you need 10 yards to get a 1st down, you get 4 “tries” to get that first down, touchdown, field goal, blah blah. Looking back, I am surprised my husband didn’t leave me at the game to go sit by himself. I wanted to know everything. What was that flag for? What happened? What does that mean? What kind of play is that? Poor guy– I have no clue how he enjoyed those first few games with me.
The next year we got our first set of season tickets in the Rock Pile. The year after that we moved our season tickets down to section 143 (fitting right?). Those home games were some of my favorite times. It was something WE did together. No matter what else was going on with school and work, we had those Sundays to enjoy our time together, even if the end result wasn’t always pretty.
Together we watched: The start of the JP Losman era with the crowd chanting (JP JP JP as he ran off the field after his first game like a scene right out of The Replacements), Kevin Everett’s injury with a last second loss to Denver, the Monday Night Dallas debacle, The Patriots Sunday Night debacle, and had a 9-9 record of watching wins and losses at home. And at each and every game I learned a little bit more about football.
Then we moved away. Right into a triangle of Titans, Cowboys and Saints fans. But we couldn’t leave the Bills behind. No. I was too far into this now. So we signed ourselves up for directv and ordered the Sunday Ticket. Since the Bills were such a big part of our lives together, we knew we had to incorporate it into our wedding somehow. And so we did. After our bridal party was announced, we came in to the Shout song and everyone at the reception sang and clapped like we were all at The Ralph!
I teach third grade and even tell my students about the Bills. Some of my all time favorite quotes from these kids…
(After reading a book that had facts about the Bills and other football teams) “Miss V. How you gonna go to the Super Bowl FOUR times and never win one?!”
(Question: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?) “I would live in Buffalo so that I could play football for the Buffalo Bills.”
“Mrs. S–did you SEE that game?! The Bills so shoulda won! I think the other team cheated!”
And we may or may not bust out the Shout song every now and again on Fridays.
Since moving, any chance we get, we are at games. We tried to make it to one a year. We have been to:
St. Louis (2008)
Kansas City (2008)
Nashville (2009) (the end of the Dick Jauron era…and Trent Edwards)
And then in the 2010 season, we found out we were having a baby… who graced us with her presence in June 2011. This child was destined to be a Bills fan, no matter WHERE she grew up.
I am pretty sure our two year old is the only child south of New York with their own Buffalo Bills goal post!
We finally were able to get her to a preseason game in 2012, She was even a recipient of an errant Vince Young pass into the stands.
And then a regular season game in 2013.
Every Sunday she gets her jersey on to match her Daddy and we watch Bills football…
So where does this leave us now? 2 adults, 1 Shih Tzu named Roscoe, named after Roscoe Parrish, and 1 toddler who all cheer for the Bills–win or lose– week in and week out. And as soon as we are back in Buffalo…you can bet we will be getting season tickets again. Only this time, we need to get 3…because going to a Bills game without the cutest Bills fan around would be a crime!
See you at The Ralph next year!