Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Week 1: Kansas City Chiefs

The Battle to Decide Our Times

        We are only 4 days away from the start of the Bills season.  To celebrate the return of the Bills, Bleacher Bar along with the Bills Backers of Fenway are throwing a "WNY/BILLS BBQ" celebration.  We have toiled this entire summer calling Buffalo area businesses and procuring as much WNY centric fare as possible.  When all is said and done, we received support from the following businesses: Anchor Bar, Bison Dip, Sahlens Hot Dogs, Redlinski Meats,, Rooties Blue Cheese, Webers Mustard, and Franks Red Hot.  For the low WNY price of $10, you can plunder all of the below WNY favorites from 11:45 am till someone's cholesterol breaks 400.  (All normal drink specials remain in place - 6 Blues/Lights for $20 or 6 Genny Lights for $15)

Chicken Wings with Anchor Bar Sauce
Sahlens Hot Dogs
Beef on Weck
Bison Dip w/Veggies & Chips
Buffalo Chicken Salad
MAKE YOUR OWN GARBAGE PLATE  (Bleacher Bar's chefs have gone through a 3 month course to perfect Nick Tahou's storied recipe)

        Since moving to Boston and watching almost every Bills game at a bar, I have noticed that the following factors contribute heavily to the game day crowd.  
1.)  Are the Bills on local TV? (A: No- Baltimore vs Pitt is on local TV)
2.)  Is it early in the season? (A: Yes- it is the first game of the season)
3.)  Is Dave Frascogna at the bar and crowning through his sweatpants? (A: No- he is in Luxembourg, YES-  he is crowning through sweatpants)

        For this Sunday all of the factors are pointing to a huge crowd, except for (sadly) - Dave Frascogna (Board Member and Director of talking to attractive girls) will not be joining us as he accepted an offer to work in Luxembourg for the next few years.  Despite Dave's absence we are expecting a massive crowd for this Sunday's game.  I strongly encourage you to arrive as early as possible to secure the best viewing spots, get first dibs on the food and get going on some Labatt  buckets.  

Could not be happier about the announcing crew.  Any booth crew that can list "convicted of sodomy" on their resume is ok with me.  

Please join our facebook page:

Favorite Day:  This Sunday
Favorite Person I Meet This Sunday:  You
Least Favorite Sports Writer:  Bill Simmons  (He is a pompous a-hole who should be thrown over Niagara Falls as we all watch and laugh)
Favorite Fantasy Murder That Involves Waterfalls, Mob Mentality and Laughter:  See above 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

10.5 Days to go...

When a High Five means:  "I love you" - Food Specials - Drinks Specials - Bills Backers of Fenway Clothing Options - Links - Favorites & Least Favorites -

        Hello all - As of this email we are 10 1/2 days away from the start of the Bills season. Before every season the board of the Bills Backers of Fenway meets with the management of Bleacher Bar to try and fine tune the Sunday Bills game experience. This season we have expanded our food specials, updated our beer specials and added to our apparel options. Below you will find details of everything included in the 2011 Bills Backers of Fenway Sunday Experience.

        New this year to Bleacher Bar's Bills Sunday menu: Bison Dip, Sahlens Hot Dogs, Garbage Plates & Buffalo Chicken Salad. Now I know what you are saying:  "Dan, that is good and all, but how am I going to eat these foods without the proper Buffalo based condiments?" Don't you fret, friend- we have you covered.   Using the aptly titled website "," we have ordered in Weber's Mustard, Rooties Blue Cheese, Franks Red Hot & Anchor Bar Wing Sauce to satisfy all of your saucy needs. We have also added to the pre-game specials as well:

Hour before kick off:
1/2 priced Beef on Weck
1/2 priced Sliders
1/2 priced Buffalo Chicken Salad


        Now, as the TV show "Joey" taught us, change is not always a good thing. Based on the amount of phone numbers exchanged, failed relationships and mid afternoon make out sessions I witnessed last year, I am confident the beer specials were well received.    The only change we are making in 2011 is that we have slightly tweaked our "Blue Collar Bucket Special."

White Collar  Special:  Labatt Blue / Light Buckets - 6 bottles for $20
Blue Collar  Special:  Genny Light - 6 cans for $15
APPAREL (T-Shirts & Sweatshirts)
        Each year we try and expand on the previous years clothing options. Over the first two seasons we received mixed reviews on the fabric used for the T-shirts.  Some people loved it - others wanted a bit more weight to the fabric. In order to accommodate as many of you as possible we ordered each T-shirt design in two different fabrics. 1/2 of the shirts will use a fabric similar to last year while the other 1/2 will use a more traditional cotton blend. This year we will offer 2 different T-shirt designs and 1 hooded sweatshirt. Both T-Shirt designs will be available in both fabric options. (Pics below- some of the images are blurry but trust me in person they will trigger tears of joy.)

**Special thanks to club member Justin Cook and his brother for designing "T-Shirt #1"

Please join our facebook page:

Least Favorite Late Night Diner Ownership Change:   Denny's takeover of WNY's Perkins
Favorite Hollywood Casting Decision:   Did you know that Dustin Hoffman was originally supposed to play "Rambo"?  Can you imagine "The Graduate" fashioning a wooden spike sling trap into another man's groin?  
Least Favorite Movie to combine age driven dementia and fishing for Lake Trout:   On Golden Pond
Favorite question about Sharks:    Do you think Hammerhead Sharks get along with other Sharks?  Or are they the type of shark that young female sharks bring home to make their father angry?

Welcome back!

WHAT ONCE WAS LOST ... Lackluster attempt at humor - KICK OFF PARTY - WNY / BILLS BBQ 9/11/2011 - Bills Backers of Fenway Fantasy Football League

        Welcome back friends to another Bills season. Is anyone else strangely confident about the Bills in 2011? Do you find yourself looking through the schedule and muttering to yourself, "You know what? I think I can really see 14 to 15 wins here." Do you often zone out of consciences and suddenly realize you are about to book a 1-way flight to Buffalo with the credit card number 1304-DIE-BOSTON-DIE? Have you started to notice people wearing Bills colors? Have you chased down these people with a childlike enthusiasm thinking you have found a new friend? Have you learned the harsh reality that red, white and blue are very popular colors and people wearing them are not automatically Bills fans? Furthermore they do not want to be your friend?
        Soon you will be back amongst your own people. People who understand sarcasm. People who know when it is quicker to cut through Canada. People who know what it means to "turn into a skid." People who BILLIEVE.  

*** If you know of anyone who wants to be added to this email chain please let me know.   If you want to be taken off .... I would suggest changing your email ***


        Alright, with my increasingly hackneyed attempts of humor out of way, let's get to the meat of it (that's right - a pun). The Bills first game is 9/11/2011 and Bleacher Bar is pulling out all the stops to kick off the season right. Starting at 12 noon, Bleacher Bar is going to fire up the grill on the outdoor patio and cook up a bunch of WNY's favorite. The Bills Backers of Fenway in conjunction with Bleacher Bar are working on shipping in Bison Dip, Sahlens Hot Dogs, Rootie's Blue Cheese & Weber's Mustard (a few surprises as well).            
        Now you may ask, "Wait a second Dan, I see you got food, but what if I get thirsty and need to drink 20 beers?" Not to worry- the event will feature a strong presence from a traditional WNY brew with a crisp and refreshing finish (read: Labatt products). We will also be changing up our "blue collar special" and offer buckets of Genny Light (6 for $15).  
        We are still hammering out the pricing - complete menu - sponsorships - giveaways and events but regardless, if you show up you are guaranteed to have a good time while watching the Bills crank out their first of many wins. If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask.  

Favorite Island for sale in Lake Erie: Middle Sister Island
Favorite Bluff perfectly suited for a golf course and post apocalyptic WNY utopia: Yates County Bluff Point  (Keuka Lake)
Least Favorite Recorded Announcement on the T:  "NO SMOKING - please!" I feel like it is yelling at me even though it is a recording and I do not smoke.
Least Favorite Canadian Province: Prince Edward Island. My mother read me "Anne of Green Gables" as a child - I will never forgive her. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Watch the Sabres Playoffs in Boston!

Scorpions -  "Winds of Change":   Soundtrack to the New Buffalo Experience
*If you are looking for information on Sabres games and not a detailed account of my morning commute please scroll down.*

        This morning felt different and even my Ipod understood.  The first half of my morning routine was above average.   The Sabres won.  I had a great ironing session.  The sun was out.  A Golden Retriever seeing eye dog may have smiled at me.  My heart was warm.  Little did I know this was just the beginning and my morning commute was about to get downright spiritual.  
        As my train passed Hynes Convention Center my Ipod sent its first volley:   Goo Goo Dolls:  Slide.  I was startled and questions sprang to mind.  Is this a fluke?  Does it know the Goo Goo Dolls are from Buffalo?  Does it remember that it was purchased at Best Buy in Big Flats? Is it a hockey fan?  Has it remained loyal to WNY despite spending most of its life in Boston?  
        As my train closed in on Park Street and the chorus of "Why don't you slide" began to fade out my Ipod gave a firm answer:  Scorpions: Winds of Change.  With my mind already focused on Buffalo this ballad took on a whole new meaning.  Lyrics and internal monologue below:

The world closing in   (Internal Monologue - Bruins / Patriots fans all around)
Did you ever think     (IM - Think what?!  I hope an answer comes soon.)
That we could be so close,like brothers  (IM - Well  maybe brothers is a bit strong - amicable acquittances who share more high fives then conversation?  Sure.)
The future's in the air  (IM - YES IT IS!  No longer will 1 goal leads scare me! No longer do I expect failure!  Ooh ooh ooh Fitzmagic <- Diagnosed with ADD at 10)
I can feel it everywhere  (IM - I wonder if all these people in Park Street realize the level my false sense of superiority is at right now?)
Blowing with the wind of change (IM - Oh yeah - blow me you Winds of Change!  *People on train react to grown man letting a giggle slip*)

Take me to the magic of the moment    (IM - No need to take me,  Danny be already there)
On a glory night     (IM - Last night and every Buffalo game night from this point on)
Where the children of tomorrow dream away   (Children of WNY it is ok to dream again)
In the wind of change  (Honestly who stands in place on an escalator holding hands?  This would never happen in Corning.)


Saturday April 16th at 5 pm is next Sabres game.  Bleacher Bar will be showing the game.  Please note that the Red Sox have a home game at 1:10 pm. If you want to guarantee yourself a spot please try and arrive early as the Sox game will get out at about the same time the Sabres Game starts.  Note this game is NOT on local TV.

Monday April 18th at 7 pm is Game 3. Note this is Marathon Monday and there is a Red Sox game at 11:00 am.  This game WILL be on local TV but we encourage you to watch the game with us at Bleacher Bar.

Wednesday April 20th at 7pm, is Game 4.  Game is NOT on local television and the Red Sox are out of town.     Get ready for a big Wednesday.

Favorite Best Buy Store:   Big Flats - Consumer Square
Least Favorite Green Line Stop:   Boylston - Honestly it is like 30 feet from Park Street.
Least Favorite Pizza that people in Boston Believe In:   Pizzeria Regina
Least Favorite Couple who stands in place on the escalator holding hands:   Guy in black coat - girl in Northface Fleece - just because you are in a serious relationship does not mean you have to give up.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

An Easter Miracle: Sabres Playoffs at Bleacher Bar

Watch the Sabres at Bleacher Bar in Boston!

As most of you know, the Sabres locked up the 7th playoff position by taking control of their own destiny and going 8 - 1 - 1 in their last 10 games.  As soon as the schedule was announced, I immediately turned my thoughts to putting together some playoff viewing parties.  I was a bit taken aback when I realized that only 1 of the Sabres 1st round games would be broadcast on local TV in the Boston area.  I started to get scared - based on previous searches of the area I knew that only bar with the NHL package in the Boston area would be inundated with Bruins fans this Thursday and not a viable option.  My fears were alleviated this morning when the hand of god manifested as the Bleacher Bar management - sent me this unsolicited email from Ryan Jones, General Manager of Bleacher Bar:

"Hey Dan, Just wanted to say congratulations on the Sabres clinching a playoff berth.   I know we talked a few times about hosting some Sabres playoff viewing parties this year.    I checked the local TV listing and saw that the only way we could do this is if we bought the NHL Center Ice package.    We have gone ahead a contacted Direct TV and purchased the full package.   I hope you can get a bunch of people to come out.    Thanks for yours and all the Bills Backers of Fenway support these last two years."
This goes to show just how much Bleacher Bar is committed to  our club.   All the Sabres first round games will be on at Bleacher Bar.   (Schedule below).    So come on out - grab a Labatt bottle - order a Beef on Weck - and join your fellow WNYers at Bleacher Bar for all the Sabres playoff games.  

Sabres 1st Round Schedule
Thursday April 14th:   7:30 
Saturday April 16th - Sabres @ 5:00
Monday April 18th - Sabres @ 7:00 
Wednesday April 20th - Sabres @7:30
Firday April 22nd - Sabres at 7:30

***Remember, Bills draft party April 28th at 8 pm!***   
Beer Specials - Beef on Weck - Bison Dip - WNY related competitions.

Favorite Draft Pick:   Von Miller
Least Favorite Draft Pick:  Cam Newton
Least Favorite Animal That Made a Home In My Car's Engine:   Rats
Favorite Former Energy Product Now Used to Clean My Keyboard:   Compressed Gas
Least Favorite Overused Office Term:   "Low Hanging Fruit"
Favorite "Kill" That I Cross Once on I90 and Again on I88:   Norman's Kill

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Some thoughts

        To say that all Patriot fans are bandwagon fans is not true.  They used to be a blue collar team.  They used to have reasonable ticket prices and a working class family could afford to attend games.  They used to be a fanbase more similar to Buffalo than to NYC.  The problem with the Patriots (and this is not unique to New England) is that their ownership was not happy with the revenue a blue collar fanbase provided.  The Patriots were the first team to cash in on the gentrification of football and in doing so, priced out many fans from their stadium.  Kraft took a risk and built (at the time) one of the most expensive sports complexes in the country.  The story today is all about what a genius Kraft was, what vision he had, what a smart businessman he is- but Kraft was EXTREMELY lucky. 
        Gillette opened in 2002 after which the Patriots only missed the playoffs once, went to 3 Super Bowls and won 2 (their first victory was the Super Bowl of 2002/season of 2001, which was played in the old Foxboro stadium).  In conjunction with the Patriots incredible success, the American economy woke up from its post 9/11 hangover and the stock market shot up to record levels.  Is this business savvy or luck?  If you bet your life savings on 1 hand in blackjack and flop a 21 are you a genius or a fool?
        Now, it would be unfair and un-American to hate someone for taking a risk and being successful.   What I can and will take issue with is that other owners in the NFL saw the Patriots' football and financial success and decided they would copy this business model.  The next batch of “New Era NFL venues” decided to go bigger, “better” and more expensive.  They completely ignored all the external factors outside of Kraft’s control that came together and allowed for the Patriots success.
        Gillette was completed in 2002 at a cost 350 million and the rest of Patriot place was completed in 2006 at a cost of 380 million.  Along with various parking and infrastructure upgrades, the total cost of the venue is roughly 800 million.  Cowboys Stadium: 1.2 billion.  The New Meadowlands: 1.6 billion.  These new venues are so expensive and required an incredible amount of funding, all of which was secured between 2005-2006 when the economy was booming , the stock market was trading at an all time high and tax rates on the wealthiest Americans were at 30 year lows.  Everyone knows what happens next: economy nearly collapses, the stock market tanks and this handful of NFL owners is sitting on a mountain of debt.  All of a sudden, a league of owners that was awarding untested 21-year old rookies 50 million dollar signing bonuses can no longer afford to pay players at the going rate.  All of a sudden, the most popular and profitable sport in the richest country in the world is headed towards a lockout.
        We should not marvel at these stadiums built upon vanity and greed.  These venues are a threat: they are a threat to the league, they are a threat to the average fan and they are a threat the Bills staying in Buffalo.  Bigger is not always better.  Luxury boxes are not always better business than bleacher seats.  For example, luxury boxes are almost always paid for by corporations.  Corporations depend on profits.  Profits go down when the economy is bad and then corporations do not pay for luxury boxes.  Luxury boxes are vacant.  Owners saddled with self inflicted debt cry poverty and blame high players salaries (salaries they created).  Owners threaten lockout.  We all lose.
        The Buffalo Bills make money.  The Minnesota Vikings make money.  No one is starving.  Yet, we are constantly reminded that we are a likely candidate to be relocated to a larger/wealthier venue.  Why?  Greed.  Why make money when you can make MORE money?
        I apologize for the diatribe; I am coming to a Bills centric point - I promise.    
        Now, if you are like me, you feel a bit powerless.  You see all these factors at play and can do nothing.  That mentality is not entirely true.  The one and only thing we can do to help our hometown franchise is to attend as many home games as possible.  We enjoy the lowest average ticket price in the league.  We are one of the few venues where a middle class family of 4 can afford to attend games.  We can park almost anywhere around “The Ralph” for under $20.  Every game that does not sell out weakens the Bills financially.  If the Bills become financially weak and accumulate any debt, we are ripe to be bought and relocated.    
        For those of us who no longer live in WNY: join your local Bills Backers Club.  If none exists, start one.  Meet other Bills fans and convince them to return to Buffalo for 1 home game a season.  Buy tickets for the least popular game.  Help sell out as many games as possible.  
        For our region this is not just a football team and this is not just a game.  A sold-out Bills game would represent the 4th largest city in all of upstate NY.  The Bills are an economic bright spot in a region that rarely sees sunlight.  The industry that brought our ancestors to WNY/CNY now mostly stands vacant and rusting.  We cannot afford to continue to lose jobs, population and relevancy.  The Bills leaving WNY cannot be another bulletpoint in the timeline of WNY’s decay.
        Help keep the Bills in Buffalo.   This is important.
        If you made it this far – I appreciate you reading. Thanks.

Week 16: New England Patriots

The Greatest Gift of All
(Bills Backers of Fenway Tailgate Information below)

        Maybe it is the holiday season or the fact that we have not beaten the Patriots since I was a junior in college, but this past week I have not experienced any of the New England hostility that usually proceeds Bills/Patriots games.  Instead, that hostility has been replaced with the deepest of insults: pity and indifference.  Conversations with my co-workers used to be combative:
Coworker: "Hows that Aaron Maybin pick working out?"
Me: "How is that $150 average ticket price working out, you pink hat, yuppie douchebag, motherf_cker!?!?!" banter like that...
        This week, however, discussing the game has felt more like an exchange about stock options between a homeless man and Bernie Madoff (pre-prison).

Homeless Bills Fan: "So how do you think the recent high, but relatively stable, rate of unemployment will affect the dividend rates of blue chips in 2011?"
New England Bernie Madoff: "You likey stocks?  Awww, that is soo great to hear.  I really like your shirt, what is that unique color- dirt mixed with feces?  It looks really good on you.  Here is a whole 5 dollars.   Oops, I almost gave you a 500 Euro bill- I must have forgotten to exchange it after my dinner in Monte Carlo last night.  That is in Europe- I just got back, I am soo tired.  You know what?  Here is $20 American.  Merry Christmas- I mean, Happy Holidays, hahaha."

        To quote a friend's timeless drunken words: "I am not your charity case!"  Do you hear that New England?  I do not care if you are impressed by how hard the Bills have been playing.  Stop acting like you are the only people who watch Sportscenter.  Do you think we missed the 15-second segment on how Ryan Fitzpatrick has emerged as a leader in the 2nd half of the season?  Of course we watched it - recorded it - replayed it - rewrote it - transcribed it on golden tablets - buried those tablets - dug them up - and then used those tablets to start a new religion.
        We do not want your pity.  We do not want your half-hearted compliments.  We do not want to hear your wacky memories about how in the 90s the Patriots always lost to the Bills.  All we want is a victory!  All we want is to be able to walk into our offices next week and pour Erie Canal water on all of your keyboards and leave a message that says: "You've just been BILLS'ED."  All we want is the chance to gloat, threaten, browbeat, mock, or stab our coworkers and NE friends.  That chance would be the greatest gift of all...

You will enjoy this song, it is good and I like it:

Bills vs Patriots - Bills Backers of Fenway Tailgate Information

I know many of you are going to the game in Buffalo this coming weekend.   If you are able, please join Justin Davies and Dave Frascogna at the Bills Backers of Fenway tailgate party.  

Who:   Dave Frascogna & Justin Davies:   585 737-4904,
Where:  Lot E - Ralph Wilson Stadium
When:  Early (Arriving 9 to 10 am) - Sunday - December 26th
Why (Female):  Both Dave and Justin are single - gainfully employed and enjoy serviceable personalities.
Why (Male):  In comparison to Justin and Dave you will appear better looking, more charming and well groomed.
Why (All):   Combining the Bills Backers of Fenway camaraderie with the WNY environment is guaranteed to create a wave of positive energy that will result in a regional economic boom - many successful marriages and a Bills win.