The term One Buffalo has been thrown around town for a few months now. At first, it seemed as though it would represent the partnership between our two teams after the Pegula’s finalized the deal to purchase the Bills. It wasn’t difficult for the people of Western New York to jump right on board and believe in this new administration after they made the record breaking purchase. Fans continue to be very excited about the future and what may come next for our boys in Red, White, and Blue. However, those that watch very closely know that next year continues to be a major question mark. In fact, it has been something I have worried about since Orton took over back in Detroit during week five. Oddly enough, the Bills return to Mo-Town tonight to face the Jets in circumstances that are basically unheard of.
Last week was one of the first times in my life where football took a back seat to reality. Most of you who know me know I live in the heart of South Buffalo. Many of my family and closest friends live there as well. All of us have now seen the pictures and lived through one of the most incredible acts of God our City may ever see. Words can’t describe the massive amounts of snow that came down in such a short time. It’s not too often that the Weather Channel sets up shop about two blocks away from your front door, but unfortunately we all know why they were here. My thoughts and prayers go out to the thirteen families that lost loved ones during this record breaking disaster along with the thousands of Western New Yorkers who are still dealing with the destruction and devastation caused by these events. We as a community have certainly gone through a great deal in a short time, but in places like South Buffalo, West Seneca, Cheektowaga, Lackawanna, Blasdell, and Orchard Park we have gone through it together.
The news stations couldn’t keep up with the positive stories that surfaced during the storm. Anyone who tuned in during the constant coverage saw fireman carrying people to hospitals, neighbors digging each other out, and residents opening their doors to strangers. We looked out our windows to see emergency personal walking street to street to make sure people were ok. We witnessed men and women on snow mobiles dropping off prescriptions to the sick and elderly while bands of people, not snow, move through some of the worst hit neighborhoods looking for people that they could help out. Our politicians always talk about “The City of Good Neighbors” and last week we all were exactly that. Nothing could have prepared us for what Mother Nature had in store, but the leaders and the people of this fine community worked together through it all. I have always been proud of my roots and after watching the people of this fine area overcome adversity the way they have I couldn’t be more proud to say this is where I am from.
We are One Buffalo. It isn’t because our teams are owned by the same family. It’s awesome that they are, but we are One Buffalo because of the way we respond to adversity. No other place on earth could have dealt with the circumstances we were faced with over the past seven days. Of course this storm will only fuel the haters out there. People will continue to view us as a bunch of poor farmers living in a winter wonderland. Whenever these people ask me where I am from and I tell them I typically get the, “Oh……I’m sorry about the four Super Bowls. How’s the snow up there?” I am quick to let them know that they don’t need to be sorry because I love it here. Then I let them know that the snow can be overwhelming at times, but when it gets bad the people just rely on each other to get through it. If you aren’t from here you just wouldn’t understand it. Those that are realized a long time ago that the worst of times can bring out the best in people. Basically, we are One Buffalo because we count on each other when times get tough. We always have and we always will.
Times were tough for Bills fans long before this storm arrived. We are use to the uncertainty that comes with a football season. We remain optimistic even when there is little hope. However, these last few days have given us the opportunity to realize what is really important. I can’t wait to watch this game with the people I care the most about. It is the first thing I have looked forward to since things started getting back to normal. I would have loved to watch this game in person, but two trips to Detroit is a lot to ask. So I am watching a home game at home tonight and as you tune in to watch the game try to forget about everything else that has gone on. Try to focus on enjoying time with the ones you love while screaming at the team you hate to love. Once again we are One Buffalo. Tonight we can join together to beat the Jets instead of the six feet of snow or water that is still in your backyard.