I’ll never be known as a jock across anywhere I go but I’m a pretty avid sports fan. Chalk it up to my college experiences and hanging out with some guys who were really into it. I started out as just an NBA fan then eventually started liking the other big leagues, NHL, NFL and MLB in that order. MMA will be my number one sport from a fan perspective but the NBA and the NFL are close number twos.
As an NFL fan, I’m a huge Buffalo Bills fan. Toronto isn’t much of a football city but I first saw the Bills play live when they came to Toronto. It wasn’t that great of a fan experience. So we decided to head to Buffalo – to Orchard Park, home of the Bills ourselves. And it was quite the experience and will be revisiting annually.
THE RALPH AND THE #BILLSMAFIA
I hooked up with my college buddies for the trip. We went with Elite Sports Tours for a reasonable price. Woke up at 7 am and made the trip across the border chugging on rum while on the bus. It was all-inclusive with all-you-can-eat food (hotdogs, burgers, pulled pork, wings) and all the canned beer in the world.
Tailgating has to be one of the most American things I can think of – at least in comparison to Canada. It’s like a festival with a lot of drinking, eating, street shopping and football playing and a lot of #BillsMafia in costume. Can you spot yours truly?
#BillsMafia is a twitter movement started by Bills fans around 2010 following an ill-advised delayed RT from ESPN reporter, Adam Schefter concerning Stevie Johnson’s, former Buffalo Bills player, controversial tweets. A few fans took to twitter to poke at Schefter. Long story short, #BillsMafia became an unofficial movement with Bills fans rallying to defend the Bills. Rightfully so.
We dressed up as Psycosis (former luchador), Randy “Macho Man” Savage (WWE legend) and Mayor Rob Ford (former Toronto mayor and pop culture icon). We got our fair share of photos we should’ve started charging a beer for each of them.
We consumed close to 10 beers each (maybe more) before the game was finally underway. We headed to the Ralph Wilson Stadium or in short, “The Ralph”, the actual place where the Bills played. The tailgate party was around it.
Now we were all pretty inebriated the game was really fun but was more of a haze than anything. The Bills would keep the game close for the most part but their dreaded archrivals, the New England Patriots would pull away following a big second half from superstar QB and NFL golden boy, Tom Brady. The Bills would lose 22-37 and drop to an even record of 3-3.
Still, it was a fantastic and memorable event. It’s meat and potatoes kind of fun but that’s the best kind of event. We’ll be looking to return in a few months!