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A Breather

I think–if we are all honest with ourselves–we needed a little time to get over this one; present company included. It’s not that I thought we were going to win. As big of a Bills fan as I am, I saw the linebacker-script writing on the wall: We were playing KC with a retiree who canceled a family vacation to Key West, a dinged-up Dodson, and a rook who had been pine-riding because he just wasn’t ready for the bright lights.


Armed with all the duct-tape and hopium Western New York could provide, I still had the feeling that it just wasn’t going to happen. The facts were what they were: We were going up against an Andy Reid offense, helmed by Mahomes, and they knew the middle of the field was pretty much occupied by cobwebs...


It wasn't going to happen, unless they played mistake-prone ball. And if Reid is known for anything, it's for making literally a negative number of mistakes in the playoffs...


But to give up the opportunity to be there for this?



That wasn't happening.


As I mentioned in my last article, one of my best buds and I scored a deal we couldn't turn down, so we made the trek out to the game. I came prepared in a series of tech-gear layers that still allowed me to be warm while sporting my Kincaid jersey:




And, no: I didn't end up wearing the shades to the game. There's the internet, and then there's reality.


Knowing how expensive food and drinks have gotten at the stadium, we planned out a pre-game meal and stadium-ready bags of snacks to get us through without decimating our wallets. Our pre-game bevvies mixed class, warmth, and Buffalo-local pride. When I rolled into Buffalo proper, we pre-mixed hot, burbon-spiked turmeric teas, and sealed them in Yeti mugs. We also snagged some Hayburners, to warm us up for the hours of cold and the Section 329 winds spiraling off Lake Erie.


In terms of sustenance, we turned to beef links, peanut-butter-filled pretzels, Raw bars, and dried apricots--traditional ADK 46er trail fare--fit neatly into transparent 12" x 12" bags, and slid through the gates without question.



To say that the height of the evening was prior to entering the stadium would be a lie. We met a number of Chiefs fans who were cordial, and just there for the extravaganza... And the inevitable "Big Dub".


I got the feeling that, although we were ahead for a good portion of the game, the result was already written in stone. If it wasn't the near-constant Jumbotron pans to T-Swift's smiling face, or the insurmountable fact that our D was not our D, it was just the fact that we'd all lived it so many times before.


Wide right? Come on, NFL scriptwriters... Could you try left, next time? Maybe jazz it up a bit with something new?


The NFL wants Swiftie money, so they allow Sneed to handcuff Sherfield, without a foul.

KC rests starters, while we have to win six straight just to get to the playoffs.


Okay, NFL: We get it... You hate Buffalo... Do you think those of us who sobbed when Norwood did it, aren't still here; aren't still watching? Really? You think we give up that easy?


You don't know who you're dealing with...


We're going to keep watching, keep cheering, keep smashing tables and out-metricing your choices of NFL MVPs... We'll keep going to games, like I did to see Nathan Peterman lose to the hapless Bears... We will keep coming, and one day, you will realize that Buffalo winning helps YOUR pocketbooks, and YOUR narrative...


Looking forward to that day.


-Tim Avery - 2/25/2024



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