I didn't realize it until I saw the team schedule in the program once we got to the stadium, but my husband had two choices for September games this year. That is my Buffalo cut off point, because after that, this California girl would surely die of exposure. It was to be the Colts or the Patriots, and he chose the Patriots. We all know which team the Bills had a better chance of beating and if you fly thousands of miles for a game you'd like to see the win. At that point, he had to admit that I wasn't the only one interested in seeing Tom Brady play. MJ is not a fan, by any means but he wanted to see if he is really as good as all that. I watched the Tom Brady deflate gate controversy closely. It would make them harder to beat, but I was glad that he got his suspension overturned. I'm no football fan, but hotness factor wasn't the only reason I wanted to see him play.
You see, in 2007 I set out to learn football. I'm over here all excited about the World Gymnastics Championships, which half the time isn't even televised, but everyone else I know is obsessed with football. Once football season hits that's all anyone talks about. Football season this and fantasy football that. I found myself going to a lot of parties to watch a sport I didn't even understand so I thought it might be nice to actually understand what was going on. That year I started paying attention and learning how many yards are in a down and how many downs you have to make a touchdown. The Patriots were unbeatable that year and I watched with interest as they won game, after game, after game. I was accustomed to seeing a throw followed by a huge dog pile of men and not really understanding what it was all about, but that didn't happen when Tom Brady threw the ball to Wes Welker. When Tom Brady throws the ball, someone catches it and seeing the ball advanced down the field so quickly without all the dog piles, helped it all click for me. It was like, "Oh, so that's what's supposed to happen." I had never seen a team move the ball like that and not only did it help me understand the game, I was impressed. I thought about becoming a Patriot's fan, but that would have been too easy and bandwagon like because they are so good. Plus, I couldn't make my interest in football stick. I tried to watch it on TV for one season and even though I understood what was going on more or less, I just couldn't get into it and gave up. I settled for being a Tom Brady fan.
While it is more interesting to see it in person it makes it a little bit harder to follow without the TV graphics. At last years game, I tried and just couldn't get into it. This year was totally different. Tom Brady was there and everyone was really excited about their starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor. The Guinness Book of World Records was there. We had amazing seats and the weather that day was made for football. Mid 60's and warmish, when it was raining just the day before. Vanessa Williams was going to be there too for the national anthem. Buffalo Bills fans are freakin' awesome. They tailgate like crazy and then they take it into the stadium so don't expect to sit down much during the game. Their excitement and energy is contagious and I had the most fun I have ever had at a football game in my life. I paid attention. I watched the score board. I did not understand all the technicalities and flags on the play--and there were a lot of them, mostly against the Bills--but I knew when to cheer and when to groan without waiting to see what everyone else did. I knew when to yell Defense and I was even upset right along with everyone else that that the Bills just couldn't pull out a win. What an amazing story that would have been, and even though I like Tom Brady my loyalty to my husband and his Bills is far greater. I cheered for them as loud and as long as I could. The score was 40 to 32. They put up a good fight.
Buffalo fans wanted Tom Brady's head on a stick. Cries of cheater, cheater broke out at one point during the game and people can say mother-F** Tom Brady all they want, but the truth of the matter is that the guy is good. He is exceptionally gifted at quarter backing. Is that even a word? Even me, not really a football fan kind of girl recognized it. He is like a football god. The Bills made some good plays, but for them and a lot of teams the only way they stand a chance is if Tom Brady messes up. He is just that good.
|Ralph Wilson Stadium|
Last year we went to Niagara Falls, a museum and then jetted off to New York City. This year we spent a day in Toronto. It rained. It's a beautiful city, but there is a lot of traffic. We walked to dinner every night from our hotel on High St., but I still can't figure out where all the people are in Buffalo. We went to Gabriel's Gate twice. We loved it so much last year, we went back Mulberry Italian Ristorante, this time after the game. The restaurants in Buffalo are bustling. Well, the ones that are open anyway, except for this one place that we walked past several times last year and this year and saw not a single customer inside. There was this girl wearing a crop top and spandex with holes and rips all up the front asking if we knew of a clothing store that was open. Ha! I about died, because my first thought when I saw her is that she needed some more clothes, but most of the shops we passed were closed. At 7:30pm. Downtown. There was an unfortunate hilarious incident that we will forever laugh hysterically about involving big spiders and me being dragged screaming down an entire city block, but thankfully not a single soul was around to witness it. Ralph Wilson Stadium was obviously packed, but Buffalo has this deserted feel about it that is far different from what I'm used to at home that I can't quite put my finger on.
It is a vacation, but it isn't. He calls it a pilgrimage. He is a Bills fan through and through which I find adorable and his Bills cap is a conversation piece anywhere we go. A Bills fan, in San Diego? Growing up, he hoped that someday he would be in a position where he could attend a home game in the home town of his favorite sports team. I love it that he gets to do something he dreamed of as a kid, but I kinda wish he had fallen in love with the Miami Dolphins. Do I really need to say why? Or Dallas Cowboy's so I could watch the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, but there isn't anywhere that I wouldn't go with him. If it is important to him I'm there. If it is Buffalo, I'm there. We can make any place fun together, and I'm happy he wants to share the experience with me.
I thought he was kidding when he first suggested we fly to Buffalo for a football game, but clearly he is very serious about this. So serious that he's already talking about "next time." It's a good thing Buffalo is starting to grow on me, but don't ever make me go in the winter.
Buffalo, NY 2014