I went to the Bills-Broncos game with my brother-in-law and nephew on Saturday December 17, 2005. Just a guys night out at a 8:30PM game on a cold and windy night in Buffalo. We all went through our checklists.
- 3 pairs of socks - check
- Long johns, sweatpants with jeans over the top - check
- 3 shirts on - check
- Winter jacket - check
- Hats, Gloves, Scarf's - check
- Blankets - check
- Excedrin- check
- Tickets - check
- Keys - check
Damn, guys are so forgetful. I had a helluva time getting my shoes on with 3 pairs of socks. I felt like a Chinese woman getting her feet bound.
We slapped it all together and headed out to the car.
The drive went quickly as we headed west on the 90 thruway out of Rochester heading towards Buffalo. About 45 minutes in we made a quick stop at the Indian reservation on route 77 for cheap gas ($2.16 a gallon!) and some cheap ass cigarettes ($24 bucks a carton!). We continued on, with predictions all around, of actually getting there by 8PM. That is until we hit Buffalo itself and waited in traffic for about 45 minutes to an hour. We listened to the radio and heard the Bills score on their first drive down the field and watched the fireworks shoot out of the stadium. After much cursing and anger at the asshole drivers in Buffalo we finally arrived.
There was fire everywhere in the parking lot as people had just kicked their tailgate fires over and left them to smolder on the asphalt in the snow. It was almost post-apocalyptic. We passed by many people shouting for tickets to the sold out game. As we walked to the stadium there was a drunk guy shouting at security guards at the gate at the top of his lungs "You're a fucking asshole! Yeah a fucking asshole! Yeah you!" This shouting went on unabated as we got in line to go through the security checkpoint.
Ah the joys of security. I had stuffed my blanket, hat, extra batteries, scarf and Excedrin in a small backpack. It was about the size of a big purse. They wouldn't let me in with it though. So we tore the damn thing apart outside and I wrapped everything around me and shoved the pack in my over-sized winter jacket's pocket. We went through security again and they let us in. Damn I had to pee! We headed towards the bathrooms really quick as we passed by corridors that had the loud noise of the crowd coming out of them.
Ahead we could see an ambulance at the bottom of the ramp that circles the stadium. Police were all around and a guy was twitching on the ground. He appeared to be fighting them and they appeared to be giving him the good old "Buffalo Beatdown". We stopped for about 5 seconds to watch the action then continued on. Bathrooms were not marked very well and we couldn't find one. We finally got to the top of the ramp only to be told we had to head back down the ramp where "beaten down man" was to find the bathroom.
We made it into the disgusting men's room and waited in line for a few minutes. I had a helluva time peeing with a blanket wrapped around my neck, a seat cushion in my hand and 3 pairs of pants on -- not to mention the big bulky coat. I managed to relieve myself without pissing on my coat and hands.
We headed back out to find our seats. Drunks abounded in the corridors. We pushed our way in. We ended up having to walk back out of the corridor and around to another one since our seats were on the other side of the section.
We finally made it in as the first quarter ended.
The stadium is not a full circle. It is kind of two bleachers facing each other with a kind of half bleachers on each end of the end zone. This facilitated the wind traversing through the stadium. We had some decent seats near the 45-yard-line though we were way up high in the wind. Now I don't know if you've ever been to Buffalo in the middle of December, but it's FUCKING COLD. Especially with the wind blasting across you for hours on end. I just moved back to upstate New York after living in California for years so I'm a pussy when it comes to cold.
There was no way to sit either. With everyone standing in front of us we had to stand for the whole game. The blankets were pretty useless, as were the seat cushions.
Within the first 10 minutes of being there, 2 fights broke out on either side of us and they were quickly hauled off by the large security presence in the stadium. I have to say this is the worst stadium I've ever been in. It was dirty, there were massive amounts of drunk assholes and the cold was near unbearable.
I did enjoy the whole ambiance and experience though.
The bills held onto their 7-0 lead into halftime.
We didn't dare move during halftime with everyone seeming to disappear onto the ramps. We stayed and watched the crappy band do a lame halftime show. They actually played "Dancing Queen". WTF!
I finally pulled out my camera and took pictures.
|Dancing Queen. WTF!|
|Click to enlarge|
The players came back onto the field and the Broncos put the smack down on the bills scoring 3 touchdown to the Bills single field-goal. The offensive plays the Bills were calling were asinine. Plays like throwing for 2 yards when it's 3rd and 9. The Bills suck!
After the third touchdown by the Broncos the exodus began. People started heading for the exit. We decided to stay until the end and enjoy all the money we spent on tickets. The Bills scored a touchdown which allowed us to see one lame firework shoot up unlike the many that shot up with the first touchdown (I guess they were conserving money since the game was already lost) and did an on-side kick that they didn't recover. The Bronco's scored again. An even bigger exodus began. At this point we decided to head down closer as the Bills got the ball at the 2 minute warning.
|The Exodus Begins|
|Click to enlarge|
That's when the highlight of the game occurred and unfortunately I didn't have my camera out. A streaker ran onto the field. He headed across the 50-yard-line running for the end zone with 3 security guards running after him. He ripped his shirt off as two security guards headed toward him. He veered to the right and swung around kind of stiff-arming/slapping one of the guards and getting away. He ran for a little while longer making an impressive display before security finally tackled him. The roar of the remaining crowd exploded as they cuffed him on the cold turf and walked him off the field.
The Broncos got the ball again and time expired.
We headed for the exit.
We sat in a small amount of traffic and decided to stop for a bite to eat to wait out the traffic. The closest Wendy's was closed since it was about 1AM, but we were elated when we saw a McDonalds down the street. 3 double quarter pounders with cheese combos later we hit the road home. It was a long and tiring drive where we rambled on about terrorism, hostages and the family. We finally arrived home a little after 3AM and I drove home and crashed.
It was a good time all around even with all the bad things about it. After all it's who you're with not what's going on.