A lifelong Buffalonian such as I should be outright ashamed of herself. Buffalo, New York, is a drinking town with a sports problem, as they like to say, yet I am a proud resident who does not drink and hates sports. I have NEVER attended a major sporting event, despite us having 2 big ‘ol teams. Alas, I have, since youth, and likely through both grooming and peer pressure, found myself rooting for the Buffalo Bills football association.
It began with our Super Bowl runs back in the early 90s when I still thought Buffalo was the only cool place in the world-of course we were going to the Super Bowl. “We’re gonna win, too!” I said, for four years. As you probably know…we did not win.
Then, we sucked for a few decades, and I was all “phew, I hate sports anyway.” Like, yay! I don’t have to pretend to care anymore! But, then I met Mark, and discovered that when you love someone, it’s nice to share in their hobbies on occasion. And so, after being dragged to one too many Avant Garde theater outings, Mark sat me down to watch some football.
It took years for me to understand and thus appreciate the game, but if you are a real football fan, trust me when I tell you, you do not want me at your viewing party. My absolute favorite thing to do is compare a football game to a theatrical performance and if you don’t want to hear me use the word “spectacle” repeatedly, then do not invite me over.
Anyhoo, all this said, I never went to a game. I never went to The Ralph (Highmark Stadium) for anything growing up, not even a concert. Neither has Mark.
And neither had Kevin, so when he suggested we all get preseason tickets, I was very excited. We invited Bernie, another newbie, and on Saturday afternoon the four of us set off to see our very first Bills game. Dad dropped us off, and the sun was shining on a beautiful summer day. I snapped the below picture of the boys as we walked towards the stadium. I was happy and smiling. Then, my feet felt hot.
A topic for another day, but I wish there had been testing for kids when I was younger regarding neurodivergence, because from what I understand I have very many “quirks” others seem to not have. For instance, in this case, I was wearing hot shoes. I mean, they were just my regular work shoes, good for walking, and I wasn’t in pain or anything. I just felt like my feet were suffocating, and when I expressed this to Bernie (who shares my DNA and fully understands,) I had a feeling it was a bad omen.
But then…everything was fine. We breezed through security and tickets, found our seats quickly enough, and sat down to survey the scene. My first observation is that it is…small. I see, now, why we have never hosted a Super Bowl. Our stadium is wee. Also, expensive, I learned, purchasing one 16-dollar beer and then wondering where they get off asking me to leave a tip. My seat? Uncomfortable, as wee as the stadium itself, and on fire as well since the sun was directly overhead of us. I turn to Bern and say I can’t believe how well everything worked out and she says sure, until we all get sun poisoning.
Naturally, she was right.
I much enjoyed the spectacle of the players taking the field, and the first quarter was fine, though I didn’t really understand what was happening without announcers running their mouths the whole time. By the second quarter, however, I was dying. The sun was roasting me alive. My feet were too hot. I left the inside of the stadium for the cool shade of the hall, and eventually the rest of the crew came out. Bern, Mark and I decided to go, and Kev was going to stay and meet up with his sister. I had decided while I sat in that hallway during the second quarter that Bills Stadium was not for me. Too much walking, too much sun, tiny seats, expensive, loud, so many people…and all over something I only moderately care about. I would so much rather watch a game at home with my chicken wing dip. I will wear my Bills shirt there and cheer at the screen in comfort.
Anyway…we schlepped back to where Dad was meeting us, and when we got in the car he asked what we did with Kevin, so I told him we sold Kev for water-then we went home.
It was exhausting. Fun for a bit, but overall…not my jam.
Next, I should go to my first Sabres game.