A very long, highly eventful, borderline controversial, and nonetheless fascinating offseason for the Buffalo Bills comes to a semi-official close this evening. Sure, the 2015 season unofficially began when training camp opened on July 31, but now we're onto the next step: the Bills playing under the lights at Ralph Wilson Stadium. It may only be preseason football, but it'll be fun, anyway.
Tonight's preseason-opening opponent: the Carolina Panthers. All eyes will be on the Bills' quarterback competition - Matt Cassel will start, followed in succession by Tyrod Taylor and then EJ Manuel - but there is plenty of other stuff to keep track of, too.
Several key members of the Bills are taking the night off dealing with injury, most notably Fred Jackson and Boobie Dixon who are dealing with longer term injuries. Also in street clothes will be starters Kyle Williams, Percy Harvin, Richie Incognito.
Not in uniform: Harvin, K. Williams, Incognito, Charles, Carrington, Jackson, Dixon, Conner, Cockrell, Gaines, Manhertz— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) August 14, 2015
If you're looking for ways to watch the game, click this link for helpful information. If you're looking for a place to chat about the game with pals, you have come to the right place, my friend. This is our live discussion thread for, at minimum, the first half of tonight's Bills-Panthers exhibition. Matt Warren is taking over management of the site from here; I'll check back in with you tomorrow morning with plenty of observations from my season ticket seat at The Ralph.
Say it with me, compadres, and say it loud: go Bills!