The Buffalo Bills are routinely referred to as a “small market” team. In true derogatory fashion this is used to justify everything from a lack of media attention to relocation rumors. But there’s one thing that small markets can do better than their larger cousins; set the stage for crazy stories when fans run into team personnel. With fewer places to go, there’s no shortage of these fun opportunities.
Dive into the comments below to share your best stories about meeting a member of the Buffalo Bills. I’ll kick things off with an old family favorite...
The Night Mom Hit O.J.
Authors note: All of the facts below have been verified to the best of my ability. The style has been embellished for dramatic effect as my mom would have preferred.
The year was 1972. O.J. Simpson had just finished his third year with the Buffalo Bills, which had been his first to play in all 14 regular season games. Though moderately successful, he was not yet the superstar he would become. Simpson was about to have a breakout season, where he would crest the 1,000 yard barrier for the first time in his NFL career. But not before an eventful summer night.
A young couple left their Pembroke, NY, home on July 16th. The not-quite-newlyweds were accompanied by another couple and the stowaway known as my oldest sister. Their destination, Melody Fair. Seating approximately 3,500, this theater in the round served as North Tonawanda’s cultural center for over half a decade. The quintet was off to see guitarist and songwriter B.B. King. That wouldn’t be the only legend before them that night.
As the audience arrived, the group did as groups usually do. Namely, find seats and secure desired items from concession areas. It was to the concessions area that my mom went, alone. Concessions and destiny. As the story goes, it was the fashion of the era to have purses with extraordinarily long straps. It would be from a purse such as described that she likely pulled money to pay for drinks at the concession stand. (I assume she went with soda for herself.)
With hands full, my mother would discover she had no control of her purse on it’s superfluous long tether as she quickly turned to rejoin her group. As she spun, the purse swung wildly and collided with someone behind her. With an apology already forming, she turned and was face to chest with a much larger person (she was much shorter than the 6’2” Simpson). Though his exact words will be forever lost to time, he was apparently quite nice about the whole thing. Returning to her seat, she would lay claim to the best “guess who I ran into” story in family history (for now at least).
Give us your best in the comments below. Smacking Hall of Fame players with accessories is optional.
- Yelling out “Hey, Steve” like I know the guy personally to get a picture with Tasker.
- Getting a hug from Ray Bentley.
- Seeing your sister (the stowaway from above ) ask a rookie Jon Corto “How do you like the area so far” at Training Camp.