This story originally appeared on VICE Sports Canada.
(Editor's note: Throughout the NFL season, we'll bring you some of the most wild stories from Ralph Wilson Stadium, as told through the eyes of one fan from Toronto. You can read previous installments of Dispatches from The Ralph here.)
Hey, football fans, good news! Your author is alive, and so are the Buffalo Bills (until they inevitably lose in typical Bills fashion after stringing us along for another 8-8 season). That means it's time for another eagerly anticipated edition of whatever we call this thing now!
We could probably settle for 'What Did Bills Fans Drink Out Of A Boot Today?' or 'Who Got Thrown Through An Otherwise Fine And Useful Piece Of Household Furniture Before 10 AM?'
For what it's worth, I did not actually see someone drink from a boot. But I did see a man throw a boot at another man, and then ask for his boot back. The man who had the boot thrown at him was obviously hearkening back to the original message and spirit of the season when he opened up a porta-potty door and placed the boot gently into the shit abyss below. I laughed.
It has been a month since the last Bills home game, which had allowed significant time for my synapses to regenerate and fire back up again. I was doing intricate puzzles on my back deck, studying for my Mensa entrance exam, completing full sentences when speaking aloud and was generally engaged with normal, productive members of society. But as they say, all good things must come to a grinding, Labatt-fueled halt in the dystopian Ralph Wilson Stadium parking lots.
It is hard to believe that this time last year, the city of Buffalo was buried under eight feet of snow that had fallen in four days. There are those in Big Science that maintain the record snowfall was fueled by the cold arctic air from Canada rushing down and across the warm waters of Lake Erie. But us religious folk know full well that it was God punishing Buffalo for unleashing Rob Gronkowski and Patrick Kane upon the good-natured, and wholesome citizenry of the United States of America, and sometimes Canada. But, I digress.
Sunday, our Bills heroes took on the Texans from Houston. For December, this was an absolute top-shelf day—sunny and 50 degrees. Thanks, El Nino! You have replaced Danny Trejo as my favorite Mexican. Speaking of Mexico, I witnessed something at Ralph Wilson Stadium that I had yet to see in my 26 games. Luchadores.
Full out Luchadores, wrestling for the confused, intoxicated tailgate crowd. I actually think they were from Rochester, but that doesn't matter at this point. Nothing really matters anymore. Anyway, they brought their A-game and managed to compete whilst holding beer!
It was an amazing spectacle, and kind of a nice break from the ordinary routine of watching Dirk from Tonawanda eat a mouthful of rocks for a half pack of Newports.
Alas, I find myself returning to a familiar story, which continues to play out week after week. An annoying but persistent tradition of late has Bills fans following up games by pummeling the ever-loving shit out of each other in the bus parking lot. There were at least 18 cruisers, countless police officers on foot, and a police chopper circling overhead for good measure. The Texans don't provide the usual upsurge in opposing fans that a Dolphins, Patriots or a Browns game does, so there really aren't as many moving targets walking around the parking lots.
So, naturally, when a suitable nemesis is unable to be found the Bills fan will then go after its own. Kind of like Hyenas do. Hyenas wearing Zubaz jorts and donning crowns fashioned from Doug Flutie Wheaties boxes. National Geographic would do well to send out a film crew to the wilds of Orchard Park.
Additionally, the configuration of the parking arrangements at The Ralph lend water to this already festering deep fryer turkey fire. Apparently, the parking lot entrance and exit strategy was designed by the George W. Bush administration, and the result is a weekly rerun of peak Jerry Springer Show. Essentially, the car and bus lots funnel thousands of vehicles into TWO exit lanes. Coupled by incoherent inebriates flinging footballs, chairs, cans and epithets, it provides the necessary ingredients for a very spicy shit cocktail as everyone tries to escape Buffalo before sundown.
All things considered, it was nice to get back into the swing of things as my common sensibilities, renal and hepatic systems had become somewhat rusty and overconfident. This provided a perfect warm-up for the Christmas season, and all the Fireball Whisky and eggnog it is sure to bring.
Happy Holidays, everyone. We'll see you Dec. 27 as Buffalo welcomes the Cowboys to The Ralph. Kids, if you wake up Christmas morning with a football under your tree, it was probably placed there by E.J. Manuel overthrowing an intended receiver in triple coverage.
Before I go, I just want to mention that I saw a lady and a man who were in love, engaging in coitus in a field lot against the side of a burgundy Chevy Cruze or Impala (warning: NSFW link, and another one here). Didn't have time to check as I was trying not to interrupt this physical and triumphant declaration of love. It truly is the season of giving.
Oh, and Santa got chokeslammed onto a table. Keep up the great work, Bills Mafia.
All photos by Kirsten Schollig/Elite Sports Tours