It's hard to imagine that an professional sports team 14 seasons deep into a playoff drought has had as easy a time selling tickets to a home game as the Buffalo Bills have this week.
Their home opener against the Miami Dolphins, taking place this Sunday, will be the first regular season game played in Ralph Wilson Stadium since the man the venue is named after, team founder Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., passed away in March. There will, undoubtedly, be a tribute of some sort to the late owner, which was going to get the emotions rolling even before the past week happened.
First, Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly announced that he is cancer-free after a months-long regimen of chemotherapy and radiation. He'll likely be in attendance, too, and will be the subject of much rejoicing from the stands.
Then, the Bills surprised nearly everyone that follows the NFL by beating the Chicago Bears in overtime, 23-20, at Soldier Field to move to 1-0 last weekend. Returning home to take on the Miami Dolphins - one of the Bills' biggest rivals for several decades now - is going to feel like a very welcome change of pace for the Bills coming off of that win.
This Bills versus Dolphins contest was going to be a big draw, but the news from earlier this week - that Buffalo Sabres owners Kim and Terry Pegula have been selected as the Bills' next owners, ensuring their presence in Western New York for the foreseeable future - blew the roof off the thing. It turned an upbeat tailgating scene with beautiful fall weather into, we're all sure, a Sunday in Buffalo that might go down as one of the most frenzied and joyous pre-game scenes in NFL history.
If you're headed out to The Ralph this Sunday, you should expect a genuine, once-in-a-lifetime experience - win or lose.
To buy tickets, visit the NFL Ticket Exchange.