Niagara Gazette

Bills

December 7, 2008

BILLS: Fans and players share disillusion

TORONTO — The day that lives in infamy took on a second meaning Sunday for some Buffalo Bills fans.

While it was a cold, blustery Pearl Harbor day in Orchard Park, the Bills faced their former arch-rivals, the Miami Dolphins, on Canadian soil — under a roof, no less.

And while the product on the field was little help, the Bills did their best to promote the game’s significance.

A glossy magazine given to media members covering Sunday’s contest had the phrase “history in the making” printed across the cover. Inside, a letter from Buffalo Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. welcomed fans to the Rogers Centre.

“Our hope is that today’s game becomes an unforgettable experience for you and our team,” Wilson’s letter reads.

In a historical context, the first ever regular-season game in Canada is something that won’t be forgotten. The question that remains, though, is how will Bills fans remember Dec. 7, 2008, aside from the lackluster performance on the field?

“To be honest, I think it’s a little disappointing,” said Craig Merchant of Jamestown, who bought the package for all eight games to be played in Toronto. “It seems like it’s about even between Bills and Dolphins fans, but most people are here just to say they came.”

A walk through the concourse supported Merchant’s theory. Dolphins jerseys at least matched the number of Bills jerseys, while another group of fans huddled around a fuzzy TV to watch the Pittsburgh-Dallas game — while the Bills were on a drive at the beginning of the third quarter.

Merchant was at the game reluctantly.

“We tried selling the tickets, but there wasn’t much of a market, so here we are,” he said.

Again, Merchant seemed on the money. While the game was a sellout and aired locally, there were pockets of empty seats among the announced crowd of 52,134.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Bills
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page