My life as a Buffalo sports fan has been one of the most stir crazy roller coasters that’s out there. Blogs are huge and everything I’ve read about them is that you should write about something that you really care about and a topic you know. Well Buffalo sports are what I know and love. There’s so much to cover in my 25 years I’m not even sure where to start. So I’ll go with my history. Everything started when I was 5, growing up in Lewiston, NY about 25 miles north of Buffalo and in 1988 the Buffalo Bills won my heart. Every Sunday my dad and I would watch the games in our basement and my first vivid memory of the Bills is that wonderful overtime game against the Jets that clinched the division. Fans stormed the field, it was a hard fought 9-6 overtime game almost 20 years ago, but I was hooked. That team went to the AFC championship as a team poised for greatness for years to come with all that young talent. 1989 brought my first heart break as a Bills fan, Ronnie Harmon. I know, painful. I was 6. They had that game, they took the ball down the field, were in position to score and then Ronnie Harmon.
The think I love about being a Buffalo sports fan is just that everything is summed up in 2-3 word catch phrases that hurt you more than a mace to the side of your face, but this is my first post and I can only cover so much ground. Ronnie Harmon. 1990 was the year that the love affair turned to marriage. I was 7, I understood football, I knew that team inside and out and I know that I had gone to a game before that year, but my first game that I vividly remember was the Bills vs. Broncos when they scored those 3 touchdowns in succession. Rich Stadium (now the Ralph) was rocking, my first experience in heckling. ELWAY. I loved that team. I was at the AFC Championship against the Raiders, 51-3. By halftime it was a celebration and you thought there was no way this team would lose. I remember watching the NFC championship game when the Giants beat the 49ers and being disappointed that it wasn’t going to be Montana and Kelly, Reed and Rice and of course what we came to watch was the closest Super Bowl ever.
I have a friend who has the NFL year book of that 1990 Bills team. We watched it dozens of times and it got to the point where I’d make him watch that Super Bowl’s highlights. It is part of who we are as a region and a fan base. I think I’m just so numb to the whole thing at this point as to how that team lost. I don’t know what happened. I remember a couple of years ago ESPN did a 5 Reasons You Can’t Blame Scott Norwood. Personally, I blame Whitney Houston; she sang facing the Giants in what everyone talks about as the greatest National Anthem ever sang. I’m older now and have faced a lot more of my own Buffalo heartache and I can’t blame Norwood anymore. I mean let’s be honest. It was a 47 yard field goal on natural grass. How about the defense letting Otis Anderson run all over them for 40 minutes of time of possession. I’m not going to play the blame game because it’s nit picking. The Giants won the game and I thoroughly think if they played 10 games the Bills would’ve won 7.
The point is my life as a Buffalo sports fan is like being an addict. I haven’t even touched on the Sabres. I love Buffalo sports and I love Buffalo fans because we are a rare breed. A region that truly identifies with their sports teams. To steal a line from Tommy Boy, that’s who I am and that’s who I care about. If I meet someone and they’re a Buffalo fan, they’re my friend immediately. If they’re from Buffalo I immediately start talking about the Bills, Sabres, Beef on wicks, chicken wings, Ted’s Hot Dogs, Loganberry, La Nova Pizza and how it really is pop and not soda. I love Buffalo, the queen city and her teams, even though there’s a lot more heart ache out there.