Returning to Buffalo

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I am an original “Buffalonian.”

Born and raised 2.4 miles from Ralph Wilson stadium in Orchard Park, NY.

During my career with the Steelers, we played in Buffalo several times. On one notable occasion prior to the game i had a conversation during the week with my line coach, the “Big Kahuna” Ron Blackledge. We talked of my days in Orchard Park, and he used to kid me about being a BMOC at Orchard Park Senior High.

I assured Blackie my fellow Western New Yorkers would greet us warmly.

As we came off the field at the stadium after pre-game warmups, and headed up the ramp to the locker rooms, the end zone crowd came alive and were really giving it to us with a lot of “gestures” and words that can’t be found in your handy-dandy dictionary.

Blackie turned to me and said kiddingly “What’s this? You told me you were really big here? You said they were all friendly!”

I broke into a jog as some of the crowd zeroed in on me and started firing very personal attacks laced with more choice words and started spitting at me.

I paused for a moment just before entering the tunnel to the players locker room and turned to Blackie raising my arms palms up as if greeting friends “Look, they love me!” I yelled. This only incited the crowd and pushed them to the edge of insanity and started a fresh cascade of beer, spittle, hand signs and howling at a beserker level.

Oh yeah, I love them Buffalo fans!