Buffalo Bills won their first AFC Eastern Conference title in 25 years and won their first home playoff game in about a long time. After defeating the Denver Broncos on December 19 to win the scoring zone championship, thousands of Bill fanatic fans waited for hours in the cold weather to welcome the team. The team arrived at Buffalo Airport at 1:30 am on January 30. The diehard was upset after being banned from participating in the Bill game throughout the season. Whether Bills Stadium will join the other 13 fans before the playoffs may now depend on the wisdom of State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker. He has signed New York’s now infamous March 25 directive prohibiting nursing homes from rejecting Covid-active residents.
I grew up in Buffalo in the 1
Suffering is an integral part of being a fan of Buffalo sports, and so is loyalty. Apart from Green Bay Packers, I can’t think of a team that is more closely intertwined with the identity and wealth of the city than Bill. In an otherwise hell-like year, the team and its loyalists (called “Bill Mafia”) finally have reason to be hopeful and proud.
The coal in Bill’s stockings is where there are no fans in the stadium. Governor Andrew Cuomo sent a different signal to open the Bills Stadium throughout the season. On September 30, he said he would visit the stadium and meet with team leaders to “discuss” the reopening. By November 6, he went back and said that Dr. Zach (his nursing home killed at least 6,200 people) told him that allowing any fan to return to the (outdoor) stadium was “reckless”, with a capacity of more than 71,000.
The governor has never been to the stadium, but he recently stated that he “has nothing else” other than participating in the Bills’ home playoff games. He insisted that Dr. Zucker’s Department of Health needed to approve any deal to open the stadium, including a prudent proposal to admit about 6,700 fans.