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.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Week 15: Miami Dolphins

Back from Back to Buffalo

        Hello - It is with a great happiness that I write to you today.    As many of you  may know,  I joined members of the Bills Backers of Fenway for a trip back to Buffalo this past weekend.    This trip has left me  riding a wave of WNY driven emotion that few outsiders can grasp.    This emotional high is fueled by a number of factors:

1.)  Beer prices range:  $1.28 - $2.75
2.)  No traffic
3.)  Hugging strangers and them hugging back
4.)  Shaking hands with forearm touch, high arm touch, back touch and top of hand touch to let them know - "I get you" - "I am from here too".
5.)  Bills touchdown followed by  "Shout" song - followed by Kevin Rudolf:  "Let it Rock" - followed by me shouting:  "Kevin Rudolf finally!" - followed by many people in section 117 laughing - followed by me beaming with happiness for 3 days straight.  
6.)  Ingesting 40,000 calories in 33 hours but losing 4 pounds.  
7.) Bills win - 6:22 flight back to Boston - asleep in my own bed by 8:30.  

This Week at Bleacher Bar

The Bills win - we all have fun.
Tailgate Specials:  11 am to 1 pm - 1/2 priced Beef on Weck, $1 Sliders
Free Wings at Kickoff and Halftime
First 4 people to arrive wearing Bills gear get a free 22 oz mug of beer compliments of the Bills Backers of Fenway.
Buckets of Labatt Blue and Genny Cream Ale:  (6 for $20 & 6 for $15)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Week 14: Cleveland Browns

Always have a blanket in your car

             This week WNY/CNY has turned into a winter wonderland with some cities reporting over 60 inches of snow on the ground.    Notable facts from this week's snowfall include:

Buffalo has nearly 40 inches in some neighborhoods.  
 Rochester just moved to the top spot in the upstate snow race.  
Syracuse is going on 140 hours of consecutive snowfall.    
Albany has no snow because even snow realizes that Albany is disgusting.  

        While Western New Yorkers might not be good at football, retaining jobs or successfully treating alcoholism;  we are quite talented at mocking outsider's sensitivity to winter weather.     When our co-workers complain about forgetting their mittens for the 5 minute walk to the train - we pause - we wait - we smile .... and ... then .... BOOM ... we lay out a detailed account about how our parents used to commute using Tom Toms (Footnote 1) and on a number of occasions had to cut one open and hide inside for survival.
 [ Footnote 1 - Tom Toms:  A horse like creature made famous for their role in the opening scene of "The Empire Strikes Back"]
        When our New England friends bring up that one insanely wacky snow storm where all the pizza places stop delivering and all they ate for entire afternoon was peanut butter.    We sit silently until their story comes to an end.  Look them dead in the eye.   Belt out a loud or derisive stretch of laughter and then launch into a passionate diatribe about how the movie - "Alive" - was not about the plane crash of the Uruguayan rugby team in the Andes mountains.   Rather it was a semi accurate account of the 1997 Corning East JV basketball  bus crash that occurred while en-route to the JV Jamboree in Wayland NY.    I survived.    Mike Tunney's forgotten twin brother and 1/3rd of the population of Kanona NY - did not.  

This Week at Bleacher Bar

Justin Davies and Nicole Lehman-Britton are in charge.    
Tailgate Specials:  11 am to 1 pm - 1/2 priced Beef on Weck, $1 Sliders
Free Wings at Kickoff and Halftime
First 4 people to arrive wearing Bills gear get a free 22 oz mug of beer compliments of the Bills Backers of Fenway.
Buckets of Labatt Blue and Genny Cream Ale:  (6 for $20 & 6 for $15)

Week 13: Minnesota Vikings

A Special Kind of Torture

        This past Sunday when the game was over - I was laughing.     It was not a good laughter.    It was the type of laughter that makes children nervous and their parents uncomfortable.    The type of laughter only possible when your mind reaches a point of such bewilderment that you can no longer organize an appropriate emotional response.    
        We should be used to the heartbreak by now.    Our hope should have become tempered, jaded or muted.    Our light should have been blown out long ago.    However - we remain steadfast.   Our loyalty is strong and we continue to hold onto the common belief:  "it will all be worth it - one day .........".
* If you have any pictures of Sunday's at Bleacher Bar please send them along - Bleacher Bar is looking to add to the "Bills Backers of Fenway" picture gallery located on their website.
**  Bleacher Bar has a bunch of Labatt Blue / Bills t-shirts they are giving away.   If you would like one please show up early this Sunday as they are in limited supply.

This Week at Bleacher Bar

WNY / Bills Waterboarding - Lets make torture official!  Winners get $50 and a copy of the Geneva Convention.
Tailgate Specials:  11 am to 1 pm - 1/2 priced Beef on Weck, $1 Sliders
Free Wings at Kickoff and Halftime
First 4 people to arrive wearing Bills gear get a free 22 oz mug of beer compliments of the Bills Backers of Fenway.
Buckets of Labatt Blue / Labatt Blue light and Genny Cream Ale:  (6 for $20 & 6 for $15)

** The Silver lining to this last loss - we did get Binghamton back and pushed our eastern front all the way to Springfield MA **

Week 12: Pittsburgh Steelers

 The Long Road Home

        Right now - I am excited and terrified.    I am excited because in little over 4 hours I will be on the road heading back to the loving arms of Western New York for Thanksgiving.    I am terrified because there is a 100% chance that I am going to roll past Newton, Framingham, Natick, and Worcester at  5 miles per hour.    However, once past the I-84 exit the Thruway  (Yes: "The Thruway" you Pike bastard) is empty and the only thing standing between us and the Wednesday night WNY bar scene is our vehicles pesky requirement for fuel and the 10 minute snow squall we are guaranteed to hit around Syracuse or Oneonta.  
        Last week's win over the Bengals was a blast.    If you are not heading out of town for Thanksgiving or returning early enough on Sunday to catch the Bills game - stop down to Bleacher Bar.     Nicole and I will be heading back from Corning - "The Jewel of the Southern Tier",  "The Hollywood of the East Coast", "The Glass Capital of the World" -  New York - late Saturday night and will be at Bleacher for the game.    Enjoy your Thanksgiving.

This Week at Bleacher Bar:
Labatt Blue / Bills T-shirts available - (Labatt Logo on the front - Bills Logo on the back - white - free)
Tailgate Specials:  11 am to 1 pm - 1/2 priced Beef on Weck, $1 Sliders
Free Wings at Kickoff and Halftime
First 4 people to arrive wearing Bills gear get a free 22 oz mug of beer compliments of the Bills Backers of Fenway.
Buckets of Labatt Blue and Genny Cream Ale:  (6 for $20 & 6 for $15)

In positive news, we now have full control of the Susquehanna river and ports on Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Lake Huron and The Atlantic Ocean.   

Friday, November 19, 2010

Week 11: Cincinatti Bengals

Victory, Celebration, Nuvo

        The Bills did not make it easy.  They took the long road, deciding against a victory in the first 8 weeks, opting to put up that first W in week 9 instead.  The crowd this past Sunday was one of the largest we have had and many of us stayed for hours after the game ended just to bask in that winning feeling.  If you are starting to lose that feeling of victory, here are a few more victories to get it back:

"Medium Per Capita Income"  (Buffalo: $14,991 - Detroit: $14,717)
"Average Annual Snowfall"  (Buffalo:  95.4 inches - Detroit:  43.3 inches)
"Narrow advantage in the percentage of fires started in vacant buildings" (Buffalo:  41% - Detroit: 42%.. real statistic!)
"Host city Pan-American Exposition - 1901"   (Buffalo:  Host City - Detroit:  Not Host City)

        Speaking of the "Pan-American Exposition of 1901" (Worlds Fair), I came across some photos of the Exposition while surfing the web for WNY related information.  I thought the below pictures might interest a small percentage of you.  This entire complex was torn down shortly after the event- in hindsight, a great idea...

        For those of you wondering what was that shot you took to celebrate the Bills first victory in 2010 this past Sunday- it was "Nuvo."  Nothing quite embodies the spirit of the Buffalo Bills and Western New York quite like a the world's only French sparkling vodka infused with wine and natural fruit ingredients:
This Week at Bleacher Bar

Halftime Entertainment TBD - Someone is winning $50 - intimate knowledge of Chyna not required this week.
Tailgate Specials:  11 am to 1 pm - 1/2 priced Beef on Weck, $1 Sliders
Free Wings at Kickoff and Halftime
First 4 people to arrive wearing Bills gear get a free 22 oz mug of beer compliments of the Bills Backers of Fenway.
Buckets of Labatt Blue and Genny Cream Ale:  (6 for $20 & 6 for $15)
Buy low, sell high- join the "Back to Buffalo" movement.  Direct roundtrip Jetblue flights are less then $150.   Bills tickets are selling under $40.  Flights to Buffalo - anytime Saturday - Flight back:  Jetblue 6:22 pm 12/12.  Bills Tickets: Section 117.  Tailgate spot:  TBD.

Week 10: Detroit Lions

Straws For Grasping
Disclaimer: The theme of this email is admittedly a serious reach - it was bound to happen - blame the Bills.

        Its 2010 - The Bills are winless after 8 games.  Their losses have come in all varieties: inept defense, inept offense, game-changing turnovers, heartbreaking OT defeats, blown leads, blown comebacks, missed field goals, missed extra points, and levitating fumbles.  This season's rollercoaster of failure has lead to the largest fracture of faith since "The Second Great Awakening" when WNY/CNY was referred to as the "Burned-over District".    
        For those of you who do not scour the internet looking for obscure details relevant to WNY, the "Burned-over District" is a term used to describe the many spiritual and religious movements that swept through our region in the mid 1800s.  Three of the most notable religious movements of this era were:

1.)  The Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons): Believed the angel Moroni descended from the heavens to deliver the principles of purity, piety, and plural marriage.
2.)   The Oneida Nation: Most known for their unique interpretation of group marriage- spouses are chosen by committee and offspring raised by the community.
3.)  The Shakers:  Beliefs of social equality, communal farming and rejection of any sexual relations are still widely practiced by exactly no one today.

For further reading on the "Burned-Over District":

"Back to Buffalo" 12/12/2010

        If you are not scared, join the growing movement to return back to Buffalo for the Bills vs Browns on 12/12.  Direct round trip Jetblue flights are less then $150.  Bills tickets are selling under $40.  Flights to Buffalo - anytime Saturday - Flight back:  Jetblue 6:22 pm 12/12.  Bills Tickets:  Section 117.  Tailgate spot:  TBD.
This Week at Bleacher Bar

WNY / Bills Photo-hunt at halftime:   Teams of 4 will compete for a $50 Bleacher Bar gift card.
Tailgate Specials:  11 am to 1 pm - 1/2 priced Beef on Weck, $1 Sliders
Free Wings at Kickoff and Halftime
First 4 people to arrive wearing Bills gear get a free 22 oz mug of beer compliments of the Bills Backers of Fenway.
Buckets of Labatt Blue and Genny Cream Ale:  (6 for $20 & 6 for $15)
* Game is not on local TV - but this powerhouse matchup will be shown in all its glory at Bleacher Bar.   If you choose to watch the Bills alone- you have a problem.   We can help,
Buffalo Bills fan support groups meet every week at 1 pm at Bleacher Bar.

        So come on down to Bleacher Bar this Sunday where you can watch the Bills beat the Lions, practice abstinence, help raise a child, pick up a 2nd husband/wife and vote on an arranged marriage.    

Week 9: Chicago Bears

They will come home... they always come home.

        The crowd at Bleacher Bar this past Sunday did not sound like, look like or feel like an 0 and 6 crowd.  Despite many of us waking up brutally hungover, we still managed to get up and get out so the Bills could torture us... again.  We did not allow external factors to dampen our internal spirit.  On numerous occasions, the nearly 100 Bills fans in attendance stood in collective silence, chanted an ironic: "Yes We Can" and tapped shot glasses with strangers.  We danced to "Shout" as touchdowns scored, challenges failed and field goals sailed wide.  Of course, the end of the story was all too familiar, but at this point who cares?  We are still managing to have a blast.  In the end, winning is great but if you can only have a good time when the scoreboard tilts in your favor, you are not a fan- you just like winning.    

"Back to Buffalo"

        Yesterday during a particular boring team meeting, I day dreamed myself an idea.  This season has been tough on all of us; the Bills are finding new and creative ways to raise our hopes before shattering them.  We are frustrated, but we cannot allow the Bills' current failures to weaken our collective loyalty .  
        It is no secret the Bills are on a short list of franchises that could be relocated.  We cannot allow our story to change from "small market team with a rabidly loyal fan base" to "small market team whose fans are becoming disenfranchised."  This is not who we are!  We are not Jets/Patriots fans- our passion does not rise and fall based on our proximity to relevancy.  We cannot afford to be fair weather fans.  Each game we fail to sell out The Ralph weakens the value of the team and increases the likelihood for relocation.  
        With this said, I urge you to join the Bills Backers of Fenway and travel Back to Buffalo for Bills vs. Browns on December 12th.  Jetblue flights are cheap and direct.  Tickets to the game are cheap and plentiful.  Tailgating at a Bills game is a special kind of fun.  (Feel free to contact me for more details via email or at Bleacher Bar this Sunday)

This Week at Bleacher Bar

WNY / Bills Jeopardy @ halftime: Teams of 4 will compete in a Jeopardy/Double Dare hybrid.  $50 to the winners.
Tailgate Specials:  11 am to 1 pm - 1/2 priced Beef on Weck, $1 Sliders
Free Wings at Kickoff and Halftime
First 4 people to arrive wearing Bills gear get a free 22 oz mug of beercompliments of the Bills Backers of Fenway.
Buckets of Labatt Blue and Genny Cream Ale:  (6 for $20 & 6 for $15)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Week 8: Kansas City Chiefs

Exodus from Failure's Land

       At the conclusion of last Sunday’s game I was awash with hope.  Yes we lost in typical Bills fashion, but in this loss we survived the 10th and final plague: “Death of a first round draft pick.” (Sorry Aaron Maybin)   With all the “plagues of failure” complete, we are free to cast off the chains of bondage and travel back to our homeland: Success.
       No longer will we fumble kickoff returns that only require us to maintain possession to ensure victory.  No longer will the refs watch our players levitate for 15 minutes before calling a fumble in overtime.  No longer will playing on Monday night require that we lead for the entire game only to lose by one point in the final seconds.  No longer my friends, we are now free.
       This Sunday you will wake up zapped of your motivation.  Your Saturday night Halloween party will get out of hand.  You will be up later than you thought.  You will drink more than you anticipated.  However, YOU WILL NOT allow these factors to decrease your loyalty to your region and your team.  Prophet Fitzpatrick's arms will not stay raised forever and when the waves come crashing down and the sea restored – on which side of the water will you stand?

       Salvation thy name is Bleacher Bar.

Pictured Below:
1.) Artist rendering of a young Ryan Fitzpatrick being discovered in the reeds of the Niagara River.
2.) Fitzpatrick presents the Two Commandments:  Love thy Region & Love thy Bills.
3.) Fitzpatrick blazes a trail to salvation.

**TV Coverage Map (the game is not on local TV): Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker- I like you... a lot.**

This Week at Bleacher Bar
  • Salvation for all Buffalo's children.
  • Tailgate Specials:  11 am to 1 pm - 1/2 priced Beef on Weck, $1 Sliders
  • Free Wings at Kickoff and Halftime
  • First 4 people to arrive wearing Bills gear get a free 22 oz mug of beer compliments of the Bills Backers of Fenway.
  • Buckets of Labatt Blue and Genny Cream Ale: (6 for $20 & 6 for $15)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Week 5 Photos!

Week 7: Baltimore Ravens

11 and 5 - I see you & I hear you.
        This past week the Buffalo Bills had a "players only meeting."  In my mind, this players meeting was the most intense and inspirational event to happen in Buffalo since the invention of Lucky Charms (made in Buffalo).  I picture Lee Evans standing on a chair, wagging his finger in the faces of his teammates as he screams:

        "We owe it to the people of WNY to turn this season around! These people get 120 inches of snow a year. They have lost population and industry every year since 1976.  They have the lowest median income of any NFL market, but still manage to sell out one of the largest stadiums.  They gather in bars across the country, punishing themselves with cold Labatt Blue and warm shots of Crown Royal.  They are a people of little hope.  We can change that!  We can go out and turn this season around! We will not only save our football team but also the soul of an entire region."    
        At the conclusion of this speech, the locker room is in emotional chaos- grown men are crying, on their knees begging God for forgiveness.  They kill goats as sacrificial penance and brand each other with the phrase: "One region, one team, one moment."  They bust out of the locker room filled with purpose and promise.  They stop at every home they pass and ask forgiveness.  They......... it is usually around this point I realize that my co-workers have begun to notice I have been staring out the window of my office for 10 minutes, mouthing phrases like "soul of an entire region."

This Week at Bleacher Bar
  • WNY/Bills Pictionary - Teams of 4 - Winner gets $50 gift card to Bleacher Bar.  (Please contact me if you are interested we may have to limit # of teams)
  • Tailgate Specials:  11 am to 1 pm - 1/2 priced Beef on Weck, $1 Sliders
  • Free Wings at Kickoff and Halftime
  • First 4 people to arrive wearing Bills gear get a free 22 oz mug of beer compliments of the Bills Backers of Fenway.
  • Buckets of Labatt Blue and Genny Cream Ale:  (6 for $20 & 6 for $15)
  • We say goodbye to Carl and Maria Osterlof.  These founders of the Bills Backers of Fenway are moving in 10 days for California; this Sunday is their final game at Bleacher Bar.

Friday, October 15, 2010

BYE Week

Sunday 10/17/10 - You disappoint me.

        The BYE week has come.  Every year I look at the schedule and the only thing that scares me is the week labeled "BYE."  This week provides us with a small window into the off-season where we cannot fall into the arms of Sunday's upstate comfort.  But, let's not think of that... instead, let's recall the memories of this past weekend.  Despite the Bills performance, everyone who attended Bleacher Bar scored their first personal win of the season.      
        Even Patriots fans could not hate on us.  I found this article written by a visiting Patriots fan about last Sunday at Bleacher Bar.    A few backhanded compliments but all-in-all, pretty complimentary:
        Even though the Bills are not a very good football team, we are going to be going strong at Bleacher Bar the rest of the season.   After the BYE week, we start the entertainment portion of the season:  WNY Family Feud, Scavenger Hunts, Upstate Dating Game & 10th Grade Bio: Frog Dissection lab.
        This past Sunday was incredible.  Below are just a few of the pictures taken at the 1 year party - the rest will be posted to the Bleacher Bar website, Bills Backers of Fenway blog & the our facebook page.    (links below).  Pictures from week 1 are already on the Bleacher Bar website, last week's pictures will be posted shortly.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Week 5: Jacksonville Jaguars

Bills Backers of Fenway: 1 Year Anniversary Party
**Details below**

        We are trapped in a loveless marriage.  The Bills have made us into a 1950s housewife; they barely speak to us, they are openly having an affair with our neighbor across the street, Toronta, and our "intimate moments" have been reduced to fetching a beer and turning on the ceiling fan. But yet, they are the love of our life and the Church of Western NY does not allow divorce.  We will continue to cook, clean and support our man 'til death do us part or until they leave us for that twice divorced harlot, Los Angela.  The Bills will love us again... In the meantime, we will continue to take refuge in the warm embrace of our Sunday afternoon lover:  Bleacher Bar.

**You are invited to the 1 year Anniversary Party of the Bills Backers of Fenway.**
 Sunday: 10/10/10   
$15: All you can eat “make your own Garbage Plates” and Buffalo Wings
$40: All you can eat “make you own Garbage Plates,” Buffalo Wings AND ALL YOU CAN DRINK beer, wine and well drinks (12:30 - 3:30)
**** You will have to enter to win a trip for two to Buffalo for the Browns game on 12/12/10.   The winners will have their plane, hotel and game tickets paid for by Bleacher Bar.  We will draw the winners at halftime.****
Please RSVP by Friday October 8th so Bleacher Bar can make an appropriate amount of food.

       From Dave, Nicole, Carl, Justin and myself we thank everyone for their support over the last year.  We are all looking forward to this Sunday and hope you can join.  The Bills play the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday for the coveted "Whose downtown is more depressing" trophy.  The game is NOT on local TV.
       TV Coverage Maps are not released until Wednesdays, so instead please enjoy these Upstate images:

Week 4: NY Jets

An Encouraging 0 and 3

        Yet again we endure another work week surrounded by the gloating, ugly, "oh my god I watched THE TOWN and now I am tough" faces of Patriots fans.  We hear things like: "I mean, if the Bills can put 30 points up on the Patriots then we have no chance of making the playoffs," or, "You do not need a good defense when your offense can score at will," or my personal favorite, "Well, if you really think about it, the Bills only scored 16 points, because 7 were the result of a Patriots fumble and another 7 points were the result of a CJ Spiller kick return."  
        You are absolutely right, Patriots nation, I do not know what the Bills were thinking writing down "30" on their scorecard.  We should probably call the NFL and have them put an * next to the score or have them change it all together so the rest of the world will realize just how badly you beat us.  Losers.
        But, you know what? Despite losing this past Sunday, I left the bar with a bounce in my step similar to the first time I heard Lady Gaga's breakout hit "Just Dance."  WE SCORED 30 POINTS!  We played the shout song 4 times!  A Bleacher Bar record.  Fredonia's children took down a full bottle of Crown Royal.  All-in-all, last Sunday was a good day. 
        Now, this Sunday has all the makings to be another top notch experience.  The Bills play the snack-driven New York Jets, led by their snack filled-coach, Rex Ryan.  This is a classic trap game for the Jets and the Bills are going to take advantage.    
        This Sunday is the final Red Sox game of the year against the New York Yankees.  Bleacher Bar will still have the audio on for the Bills game and all the specials you have grown to love.  Please have patience, the bar will be crowded around 1 pm but as soon as the baseball game starts, the place will clear out and once again you will find yourself surrounded by the friendly faces of your fellow Bills Backers.
*** Mark your calendars: next Sunday (October 10th) is the 1 year anniversary of the Bills Backers of Fenway and we are throwing a party starting at 12 pm Sunday.   Bleacher Bar will be putting together a pretty nice Upstate NY-themed spread.  If you do not come, you betray your region... stay loyal.

Week 3: New England Patriots

        First, I would like to thank all who braved the Red Sox crowd and came down to Bleacher Bar this past Sunday.  I heard many of you still managed to have a good time despite our dismal performance.  I am sure glad I took off two days from work, bought two plane tickets to Milwaukee (The Good Land), rented a car, booked two nights at a hotel, got tickets to the game... only to spend Sunday night in a familiar Bills-driven depression.
        The silver lining to the trip was that I have never met a nicer group of people than Green Bay Packers fans.  At points during the game they were genuinely apologizing for their team beating the Bills.  "If only both teams could win," an older lady in a Green Bay Packers bonnet said to me.  If only... if only... we... won...  anything.
        So here we are, 0-2, and coming into the lair of the evil New England Patriots.  Our co-workers are mocking us, "How's it going to feel when the Patriots take out all their anger from the Jets loss on the Bills?"  We respond, "Well, I don't know, co-worker- how is it going to feel when you die young and alone?" (**)
        After having a 3-part terrible experience last year at Gillette: 1) Losing in the worst fashion ever, 2) getting a beer thrown on me by a 40 year old woman, and 3) sitting alone on a tree stump, choking back tears in a small patch of forest, I decided I am never going back to Foxboro.  Instead, I am going to watch the game from the friendly confines of Bleacher Bar; my hope is that many of you will join me.  
       In all honesty, I have a good feeling about this game.  If we beat the Patriots, everything is different.   Imagine a Monday morning where the Patriots just lost two straight division games and we can hold our heads high as Bills fans.  Ryan Fitzpatrick: you hold our work week experience in your hands.  
       As always Bleacher Bar will be offering buckets of Labatt Blue / Genny Cream Ale for $20 / $15.    From 11am to 1 pm - Tailgate Specials: 1/2 priced Beef on Weck and $1 Sliders.   FREE WINGS   After the BYE week we will begin upstate themed gaming during halftime.
      The Game is on local TV, but who cares?  Come to Bleacher Bar anyway.  Nothing is more depressing than watching the Bills alone.

**Fact: all Patriots fans die young and alone.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Week 2: Green Bay Packers

          I made it a point a long time ago that when it comes to The Buffalo Bills, I will avoid negativity at all cost.  That philosophy was challenged this past Sunday- but only for a second.  When my thoughts swam for the shore, ending their brief stint in the Sea of Doubt, my faith was restored.  
  • We scored 10 magical points (more than the Vikings, Falcons, 49ers, Cowboys & Jets)
  • We held our opponent to 13 offensive points (6th best in the league)
  • .................. and I am back in the Sea of Doubt

Sea of Doubt dragging us in, as portrayed in 1987's "Creep Show 2"


          This Sunday there is a Red Sox home game at 1:35.   BLEACHER BAR WILL STILL HAVE THE BILLS GAME ON WITH AUDIO!  All specials will be the same as last week. The bar will be opening up early at 10 am-- get there early and intimidate Red Sox fans away with our perfect blend of Midwest friendliness and East Coast Edge.  In all honesty, do not fear the crowds-- Sunday day games do not yield big bar crowds.
  • The Bills game is NOT on local TV.
  • $50 Gift Card to Bleacher bar will be awarded to the "best dressed Bills fan."
  • Please join the Bills Backers of Fenway facebook group to see pictures from each Sunday.
  • Be cordial to Red Sox/Patriots fans-- they know not what they do.

          Carl is out of town and myself & Nicole will be at the game in Green Bay-- if you have any questions or concerns now, or on Sunday, please contact Dave Frascogna or Justin Davies-- pictured below:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Week 1: Miami Dolphins

        It has arrived.  After a long off-season, the start of the NFL season is only 4 days away.  This off-season the Bills were virtually ignored and the press they did receive was shockingly negative.  I went to bed night after night asking myself, "Why do they hate us? Why must the national media continue to either ignore or insult our team... our region? Do they not know all the positive attributes Bills fans possess?" We are aggressive, but not reckless, drivers.  We aren't prude, but not whorish either.  We are sarcastic, but not derisive.  We love, but we do not obsess.  Obviously, something else was afoot-- these writers must be part of a vast media conspiracy whose only goal is to stomp out the flame of hope imbedded in every Bills fan/Western/Central New Yorker's soul.   Below we detail the biggest media players involved in this conspiracy and expose their personal vendettas against our fair region:

        1.) Don "Hey ladies do me a favor and see how this burka fits" Banks

         Whoa there, Donny Banks, you are so transparent.  Clearly you are still terribly vexed that Susan B. Anthony lived in Rochester NY and campaigned for the women’s right to vote out of Seneca Falls.  It’s not the Bills/Western New York’s fault you are a raging sexist.
        2.) John "More like 15 miles on the Erie banal... ahahahahahaahaha" Clayton

        Oh my God, John Clayton, you are f-ing hilarious.  Does Joey Gladstone know you stole his "sucking at comedy" routine?  You obviously are still angry over your ancestor’s “Wagon Train Trade” business going bankrupt after the Erie Canal opened.  It’s not the Bills fault you hate progress and AMERICA!

        3.) Dan "how do you talk to an Angel? I wouldn't know I didn't get in" Wolf

        Jeeze Louise, Dan Wolf, hold a grudge much?  For the final time, the city of Buffalo apologizes for Valerie Malone’s actions on Beverly Hills 90210.  We are sorry she said you could cover the 1995 “Peach Pit After Dark’s Battle of the Bands” and then got high in Brenda’s bedroom and forgot your backstage pass.  Seriously, move on-- how can you still be this upset about not being let into a venue whose main source of entertainment was getting David Silver yipped up on Crystal Meth and allowing him to rap on stage?

       Well Don, John and Dan-- you have failed.  We are still full of as much unfounded hope as ever.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2010 Specials

  • "Tailgate Specials" - For every Bills game, from 11-1, the bar will offer half-priced Beef on Weck and $1 sliders.
  • Free wings at kick-off and half-time.

  • The first 4 people to arrive each Sunday wearing Bills gear will get a 22 oz mug of any draft beer compliments of the Bills Backers of Fenway. 
  • Buckets of 6 Labatt Blue Bottles for $20
  • Buckets of 6 Cans of Genny Cream Ale (not stolen from your Dad's fridge) for $15
  • Buckets of "First Down Beers" - 8 Miller High Life Pony bottles for $20

Throughout the season, for every $10 you spend, you will be eligible to win a trip to Buffalo to see the Bills play the Browns in Buffalo. Airfare, hotel, and game tickets compliments of Bleacher Bar-- all you have to do is eat and drink while watching the Bills.