Friday, December 21, 2007

Cleveland Browns Stadium - Buffalo at Cleveland

The Blizzard Bowl of 2007 is a game that can only truly be appreciated by experiencing it first hand. I returned to Stadium #3, Cleveland Browns Stadium, to take part in what will surely be an instant classic, from the perspective of the weather we had to endure. Before the season began, it was decided that the Buffalo Bills vs. Cleveland Browns game would be our selection for the “Mann-cation” Buffalo Bills Road Trip of 2007. So the fellas from Buffalo met up with my fraternity brother Arnold and I at Cleveland Browns Stadium for a contest with playoff implications for both teams involved. A massive snow storm from the south was predicted to hit Cleveland right at gametime, ensuring that swirling winds and falling snow would create one of the most incredible atmosphere’s that I’ve ever been a part of. When we could actually see the field below, the players trudged through four inches of snow working against 43 mph winds in an defensive slug-fest. The Browns prevailed 8-0, as the Bills proved unworthy of the playoff expectations thrust upon them. Although a loss, the atmosphere provided by the storm made it a game I will never forget.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ralph Wilson Stadium - Dolphins at Bills

There’s nothing like attending a Buffalo Bills game at Ralph Wilson Stadium in December. When the snow falls and the temperature drops below freezing, Bills fans are in their glory. So to celebrate the spirit of the fan, for “Squish the Fish” week, my Dad scored tickets to the Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins football game on December 9, 2007. We started with a tailgating feast to rival any other, as we arrived in the parking lot at Ralph Wilson Stadium at 8:30am. Egg McSteiniger sandwiches were cooked up for breakfast accompanied my a fine micro-brew, but the main course was our slow roasted rotisserie turkey, that we prepared right in the parking lot. After 3 hours of slow roasting over hot coals, we accented our guest of honor with yams, cranberry sauce, and gravy, for an incredible pregame meal. The Bills even cooperated by posting a win, dropping the hapless Dolphins to 0-13.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Stadium #17 - The RCA Dome, Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts StadiumThe RCA Dome in Indianapolis was to be stadium #17 on my Quest for 31. I was thrilled by the prospect of being on hand to witness the other juggernaut offense that’s been leaving NFL teams in their wake this year. So having seen Tom Brady and Company at Gillette Stadium earlier in the year, the opportunity to watch Peyton Manning and the defending champion Indianapolis Colts dissect another opponent, was too intriguing to pass up. For this adventure, my fraternity brother Clevon would accompany me on the 5 ½ hour drive to Indianapolis from Detroit. The Indianapolis Colts were set to lock horns with the Jacksonville Jaguars with the AFC South Division crown at stake and we were set for an afternoon of heavy tailgating, beer drinking, and football. The Jacksonville Jaguars attempted to use their power running combination of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew to slow the Indianapolis Colts offensive machine, but Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, and Joseph Addai proved too much for the Jags to handle. Indy finished off Jacksonville with a 28 – 25 win ensuring their hold on the division crown for at least another week.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Stadium #16 - Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, Jacksonville Jaguars

An overcast, but warm Florida afternoon proved to be the perfect backdrop for my visit to stadium #16, Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, FL. Crystal, Annabella, and I drove over from Tampa early on Sunday morning to rally our visiting Buffalo Bills to victory in a hostile environment. It’s a victory we’re still waiting for, as unfortunately the Jacksonville Jaguars dominated the JP Losman-led Bills providing a perfect segue once again to usher in the Trent Edwards Era. As for the pregame celebration, I had arranged for an impressive shrimp boil with some local Jaguars fans before and after the game. Hanging with the fans and stuffing myself full of shrimp was definitely the highlight of our weekend!