It was my first NFL road game. So what was the initial thought that crossed my mind when I entered the Ralph Wilson stadium area?
This is a college scene.
Between the sea of trailers in the parking lots, the single circular entrance, and the open, bowl-shaped seating arrangement, it screamed something different.
However, as much as the energy and exuberance in the stadium was undeniable, there was also deep-rooted trepidation that permeated the stands. As jacked up as Bills fans were, they quickly burrowed into their seats as soon as any negative play occurred, waiting for the proverbial catastrophe to occur.
When E.J. Manuel threw up a jump ball INT in the 4th quarter, and lost the football on a blooper hand-off attempt in the 4th quarter, you could feel the air let out. The thought was, “It’s the Bills. They’ll blow it somehow.”
Funny thing is, they didn’t blow it. They found a way to make at least more plays than the Ravens did at the end to secure a well-deserved victory.
The Buffalo fans claimed they needed it more, and maybe they did. They have felt nothing but disappointment and frankly, that energy clings to you like the smell of hot flavored chicken wings.
My ultimate impression of Buffalo is that it’s a passionate football town that has been worn down by years of losing. In many ways, I can relate as an Orioles supporter that felt the same way not long ago.
Here’s hoping that they can taste success more often with what looks to be an exciting young team.
And if nothing else, they can continue to field the best chicken wings on and off the field.