Most of us know what it's like to be there. In Buffalo. On game day. Everyone is into it. (Almost) everyone is on the same side. Sure, there are those Bills fans who are just so downtrodden that they've given up on our beloved football team. But for the most part, Buffalo is definitely a football town.
I'm talking about game day outside the 716. Even past the 585. Outside the state. I live in Richmond, VA. There is no team here, and the closest thing is the Washington Redskins. It's a very strange feeling considering most football fans here had the choice of who to root for. As a result, you see a lot of Redskins, Cowboys, Giants, Packers, and Steelers. The popular teams. For the past 5 years, I've been trying to find a little core group of Bills fans so we could watch together. I've tried about 6 different sports bars, but the story is always the same. We never get laughed at, but we never get center screen, never get sound, and never have more than 3 or 4 people cheering for our boys.
I've finally found my place. A bar near Virginia Commonwealth University (remember them from March Madness?) has their owner hailing from Amherst. The front case is full of old Bills memorabilia, from signed hats and footballs to boxes of Kelly Krunch and Flutie Flakes -- and TOs. It's a great feeling, because I can always talk to him about the Bills or the Sabres. At this bar, Buffalo teams are always granted a nice TV wherever we want, and usually we get to juice up the volume on it too. Well, I had never expected to see this much until this year. We pack in a side room with about 40 people all donning their jerseys of Dareus, Fitz, Johnson, Kelly, Thomas, etc. There is literally no room for any other teams' fans. It feels a little bit like...home. The Bills score? We sing Shout. We chant. When we win, we go spilling into Main St and drive by honking horns at each other. I haven't seen this kind of Buffalo unity since I've been in Buffalo. And let's be honest, there hasn't been a whole lot to root for in the past few years. I'm not going to walk into a bar chanting "Top 10 draft!"
It just feels so good to have found a place where as a Buffalo fan, I know I can go and not be alone when cheering our boys on.