The following paragraphs are personal recaps from the Buffalo Rumblings staff on what it was like for them. Like many of you, several of them had plans change around the Bills while other families didn’t care at all about the Buffalo football team.
After reading our stories, share yours in the comments section.
We normally eat in the early afternoon with my wife’s family, so we didn’t change anything until about 4. Usually we have the game on in the background while we chat about other things or entertain the kids. Personally, for me, I usually watch the games alone in my living room with the computer so it was a nice change of pace for other people to be around and invested. I had my Chromebook to take notes and tweet, so the process wasn’t much different.
I spent Thanksgiving away from my family for the first time this year. My girlfriend and I went to Richmond, Virginia, to visit with her family. We wrapped up dinner with one family right around kick off, so I watched the first quarter on my phone and in a hotel lobby while we were in between locations. When we arrived at the second (and final) get-together I was immediately informed of John Brown’s touchdown pass to Devin Singletary by a cousin’s boyfriend who has no interest in the Bills, but knew I needed to be updated as soon as possible. I watched the rest of the game in their living room with the whole family who could care less about the Bills except for appeasing me. As the seconds ticked off I was even treated to a few bars of the “Shout” song by my girlfriend and her cousin, who learned in the moment that there’s a correct (Bills) version of the song and an incorrect one.
I wasn’t born a Bills fan. The game that hooked me was Monday Night Football in 2007: a 1-4 Bills team nearly upset the 5-0 Cowboys, purely due to defense and special teams, only for Dallas to drag them into the grave with a late touchdown and a successful onside kick. As far as I’m concerned, this was retribution for that game. Buffalo vanquished the ghosts of their previous primetime failures and announced their arrival to the rest of the nation.
Watching from my parents’ house, I had the enviable task of writing the mid-game and post-game recap articles. That meant “dinner” at 1:30 pm, and a smaller set of get-togethers than you might otherwise see. We gathered ‘round the TV, I set up my laptop, and watched the Bills go to work. The opening touchdown (and Buffalo’s punt) had some people worried, but then Buffalo’s defense went to work. Then Josh Allen picked up a fourth down. Then John Brown threw a touchdown. Then the Bills kept making plays.
The excitement grew and grew throughout the evening, all the way through Tre’Davious White sneaking a bite of Allen’s victory turkey leg. As the day came to a close, I knew I’d carry some new memories of exciting Bills football—this time ending with a win.
We always travel for Thanksgiving, so my wife and I loaded the kids and the dog into the minivan and trekked the two-plus hours from our house to my in-laws’ house in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I had to pre-write the open thread for the first half, but I knew that the inactives would drop right around the time we normally sat down for dinner. Once that was taken care of, I was set—but we still hadn’t started to eat.
Of course, dinner came out a little late this year, and we sat down to eat at 4:28 PM, two minutes before kickoff. My father-in-law tilted the TV enough so that I could almost make out what was happening on the first drive of the game, but after seeing some Cowboys player score, I figured I didn’t miss much of anything I’d have wanted to see.
After Buffalo’s second touchdown, this one on the double-reverse pass from John Brown to Devin Singletary, I ran around the house collecting high-fives from everyone who was way less excited than I was. Everyone except my five year old son, who was running around with me. As Buffalo continued to play better and better, my phone was lighting up all evening with friends, family, former players of mine, everyone wanting to know how I felt watching Buffalo just thrash Dallas.
It was good. Very good.
Jeff “Skarekrow” Kantrowski
As a typical “early meal” kinda family we were just putting a wrap on the clean up as the game was starting. A discouraging start was followed by signs of life from the beloved Bills. The game’s moments were punctuated by many of the things I’m thankful for. A nine-year old doing cartwheels in front of the TV as she’s known to do. Our new puppy trying to chew my hand.
The second half began and I was hesitant to hope the Bills could replicate the first half success. At one point I shocked myself when it clicked that Buffalo was up by two scores. And then the puppy peed a little on the dining room rug. I dealt with that and came back to see Josh Allen celebrating. “What did you make me miss?” I queried to the tiny dog in my hand. Then I made him watch the replay with me. From there the game never felt in doubt and a magical holiday was secured. Puppy pee and all.
This was a special Thanksgiving for me for many reasons. First and foremost, it was my first Thanksgiving as a homeowner, so I had my parents down from New York and was able to celebrate with them. We had all of the eating done before the game and the Bills provided the perfect cherry on top for me. My dad and I were Bills’ season ticket holders for 12 years growing up and we have been to more than half of the NFL stadiums to watch the Bills, including “Jerry World.” So being able to experience a thoroughly dominating win with him was more than I could have hoped for. We haven’t felt this good about a Bills team since the Doug Flutie days.
Matt (aka TheAfghanTwilight)
Thanksgiving Day 2019, Buffalo Bills edition, was a terrific one for our household. Hosting from our home and enjoying the day with my folks and my wife’s folks allowed us to savor the food and drink early. I normally watch the game at home now, semi-distracted by our kids and the Buffalo Rumblings Slack channel. Thursday was largely the same, but this time my folks stayed for the first half. I was a bit too fired up over the officiating and the entire first quarter felt like it was going to be all Cowboys, all day. Then Beasley got in for six and it was on, with the defense absolutely shocking Dallas’ league-leading offense. The Bills provided the perfect elixir to our post-meal comas.
I’ve been fortunate to have grown up a Bills fan, and I was able to enjoy the entire run of the greatness from those Super Bowl teams thanks to season tickets (as well the rough years leading up to them and the more recent ones we all sigh about). The win against the Cowboys reminded me a lot of those glory days. It was very special enjoying the moment with my family, and i’m glad my oldest son is finally getting to see the team he loves so much do well. How ‘bout them Bills?!
I’ve had season tickets for 12 years. Watching the Buffalo Bills’ first Thanksgiving game in 25 years was special, not only because it was my first Thanksgiving as a married man, but also the first time as an adult that my Bills had eight wins before the end of November. My wife and I spent the holidays behind enemy lines in Boston visiting family and friends. These are good people, but they’re also Patriots fans, and they approached the game with disdain and skepticism. “Oh that’s cute the Bills are 8-3,” said one before kickoff. “The Bills will be revealed as fraud, a team that took advantage of a weak schedule,” added another with a thick, annoying Boston accent. So when the Cowboys marched downfield and scored a touchdown on their first possession, these spoiled New Englanders took great pleasure in collectively saying “I told you so.”
Thankfully, that opening drive was an aberration instead of a bad omen. Josh Allen continued his stellar sophomore season, Cole Beasley enacted his revenge against his former team, John Brown hit a wide-open Devin Singletary for a touchdown on a double-reverse pass, and the Bills seized control with a crucial 26-0 run following Dallas’ first touchdown. From the glory that was Star Lotulelei’s interception to a dominant defense that humbled the Cowboys in Jerry World, the Bills showed they are for real. Buffalo put on a show on the national stage, and, for at least one Sunday, shut up several obnoxious Patriots fans. Plus, how cool was it seeing Tre’Davious White sneak a bite of Allen’s turkey leg during the broadcast? It was a great day and I’m thankful for those Wild Card-leading Bills.
Other folks from the staff will still drop in their thoughts above, but I wanted to get this out so other fans could leave their fresh memories in the comments section. Have at it, Bills fans.