It’s a great time to be a Buffalo sports fan. As of today, the Bills are sitting pretty in first place in the AFC East with record of 5-1 and although it’s still early in hockey season, our Sabres are in first place in the Eastern Conference with an encouraging record of 6-0-1. An overwhelming sense of optimism is taking over our city. As the rest of the country looks to Obama or McCain for hope, we’re banking on Trent Edwards and Thomas Vanek to better our futures.
I live in this city, I see the fans and I feel the pride.
In fact, it is my belief that Buffalo is home to some of the most die-hard, passionate, incredible fans in the major leagues. Mark Yost of the Wall Street Journal doesn’t seem to agree however. Mr. Yost referred to our beloved Buffalo Bills as “a team that has struggled to control some of the worst-behaving fans in all of sports” in his October 14th report. Although there were no statistics or research to back up his claims, Mark Yost did attend the Monday night game against the Dallas Cowboys last season. In his October 16, 2007 piece following that game he wrote, “it was without a doubt, the drunkest crowd I’ve ever seen at any sporting event. Many fans stumbling to their seats just before kickoff were absolutely plastered.” Mr. Yost continued, “Walking through the parking lot before the game, I witnessed a scene all too common at NFL tailgates: home fans taunting the visitors with four-letter expletives.”
With so much else going on in the world, I have a hard time finding drunken people at a football game newsworthy – even if they’re swearing. If I were to sit down with Mr. Yost, I’d tell him that my friends and I attended that very same game and we all thought it was pretty awesome.
I know it’s disturbing but I’ve tailgated for hockey games too. At the Ice Bowl on New Years Day, drinking was a part of my “stay warm” strategy. In dire situations where tickets weren’t available, I’ve even gone so far as to have a few drinks at a bar to commemorate the occasion.
Maybe I’m too far removed from sporting event customs in other parts of the country or maybe I’ve been brainwashed by the hoards of unruly, intoxicated monsters that inhabit this city but I’ve always considered beer to be a part of the game day experience.
Please forgive my sarcasm. I don’t mean to get defensive but I can’t seem to understand why we sell so many multi-tap beer pumps, Ultimate Tailgating Grills, and Sippin’ Seat Flask Seat Cushions during football season if it’s such a bad idea get drunk at a game.
Perhaps I’m just one of the “worst-behaved fans” being cited? Regardless, I think that someone should buy Mr. Yost a beer this Sunday.
[techtags: NFL, FOOTBALL, BUFFALO BILLS, TAILGATING, NHL, HOCKEY, BUFFALO SABRES, BEER, DRAFT BEER, KEG STANDS]