It’s January 4th, 2020. Buffalo Bills fans from all around the country are waking up in Houston, Texas, most likely nursing slight hangovers from the Mafia Takeover Street Party in downtown Houston the night before. They’re pulling on their jerseys, wriggling into their Zubaz and heading to the lot. It’s a gorgeous day in Houston, something Buffalonians aren’t used to. We’re partying in the warm sunshine, in a large grass lot across from NRG stadium. It’s packed and, besides the heat, feels just like home. Bowling ball shots and shot-skis, parades of people snaking their way through the lot making sure to get some face time with each of their friends they don’t get to see as often. Spirits are high, and the shout song is loud as we make our way into the stadium.
It’s the third quarter, and the Bills are up 16-0. A 12-year-old Houston fan next to me is whining to his father that he wants to go home. Bills fans are on top of the world, you can’t wipe the elation off our face as we see the path to our first playoff win in two decades appearing in front of our eyes. Then, reminding us that it’s always ‘any given Sunday’ until the clock hits 0:00 in the fourth, the tide changes. Watson finds his groove and drives the Houston Texans back to win, 22-19 in overtime. Bills fans are crushed. I see many sitting in the stands with blank stares on their face, fighting to comprehend that it’s all over. Josh Allen is on the field still, disappointment and frustration blaring. We slowly start moving, like zombies, to exit the stadium.
Texans fans are over the moon, they’re trash talking us the whole way out…and not in a friendly, good natured “good luck next season” kind of way. They’re throwing beers, they’re cussing us out, stomping on us while we’re already down. Personally, I re-watch every away game I attend, to hear the commentary and catch things that are more difficult to see when attending games in person. I’m already thinking on this walk out, how it’s going to be a long time until I’ll be able to stomach re-watching this one…and I never did. Until this week.
This is our revenge game. The fans have a chip on their shoulder, the Bills have a chip on their shoulder. Most importantly, JA17 has a chip on his shoulder. The Texans no longer have Watson or Watt, the two largest impact players from that game just two seasons ago. It’s time to send a message this Sunday. Welcome to the show, boys.