In preparation for tomorrow’s Bills game in New England, there is an article of interest written by Ben Austen that proves to be a fascinating read for Buffalo football enthusiasts:
It was about 24 hours till kickoff, and the Bills Mafia had taken over the Hotel Lafayette’s bar in downtown Buffalo. They numbered in the 50s, though possibly there were many more. Other hotel patrons and passersby also wore Ryan Fitzpatrick jerseys and T-shirts with proclamations that said BE LOUD, BE PROUD, BELIEVE! Buffalo the team and the town, so long locked in a spiral of mutual hardship, seemed more culturally entwined than any other city and its professional sports franchise. I headed there during the run-up to the Bills’ September game against New England, a festive time known locally as “Patriots Week.” The Bills Mafia was observing the occasion by replaying the entire telecast of last year’s Bills win over the Pats, watching the game with a holiday’s gaiety, reflection, and thanks. Their celebration of the Bills was the third I had stumbled upon in two days. As early as Thursday, the game-day blimp already appeared to be pacing the skies overhead, as if personifying the teeming anticipation in the tiny-seeming people down below.