The most attractive sight in Ralph Wilson Stadium tonight is likely to be, well, Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The official unveiling of the newly renovated home of the Buffalo Bills is almost certain to outshine the preseason game that will be played in its confines against the Pittsburgh Steelers (7:30 p.m., Radio 96.9 FM).
This exhibition has ugly written all over it.
As the summer's fourth and final pretend game for both teams, the primary goal will be to get it over as quickly as possible without anyone getting hurt.
And, because the clubs meet again during the regular season (Oct. 10), neither will display much in the way of meaningful strategy that could come back to haunt them.
But at least fans will get a first-hand look at their new-old stadium and the chance to try out one of those four new bathroom towers.
The people for whom the game will mean a great deal are the players residing on the fringe of their respective squads. Tonight is their final chance to convince the coaches that they are worth keeping when NFL rosters are trimmed Sunday from 65 to the regular-season maximum of 53.
"I think it's close in some areas," Bills coach Wade Phillips said. "There are a couple guys that are real close, so their performance this weekend could make a difference."
Among the Bills' tighter roster battles are those for the final spots at wide receiver, running back and in the secondary.
Rookie free agent Jeremy McDaniel is pushing second-year man Kamil Loud for the last position at wide receiver. Both have performed well enough to deserve to stick, which would be possible if the Bills go with six receivers rather than the five they had at the end of last season.
Rookie free agent running back Anthony Gray has also had a strong preseason, and he could make the squad if the Bills go with five players at the position. That figures to be a strong possibility considering the uncertainty surrounding starter Antowain Smith and his torn groin muscle.
"I think I've given it all I can possibly give," said Gray, the Bills' leading rusher in the preseason with 126 yards on 33 carries. "As far as the organization, I hope they see a young guy with a lot of potential who can contribute to this team in any way possible."
Another rookie free agent trying to hang on is defensive back Keion Carpenter. He has had impressive moments, but is looking to beat out Armon Hatcher, who has also looked good and has the advantage of being a draft choice.
"I can't control the cutting situation," said Carpenter, who has one of the Bills' four preseason interceptions. "All I can control is to go out there and try to make plays."
When assessing the value of the players on the fringe, Phillips said he would consider several factors.
"I'm going to look at the whole picture," he said. "How we can count on them and see what kind of special teams players they are, what kind of player I think they are going to be, what kind of person they are."
Tonight will also be important for Dusty Zeigler, the Bills' former No. 1 center who will start at right guard in place of Joe Panos. Panos has been bothered by a series of neck "stingers."
"When you re a backup, you re always an injury away from getting a chance," Zeigler said. "Now is my chance to prove that I'm a football player and hopefully I'll make the team from it."
Hopefully is the key word. After his demotion early in camp, Zeigler's future with the Bills has been up in the air.
"I have a little anxiety," he admitted.
"I've been nervous since training camp started," said Gray. "All I can do is go out there, focus on my responsibilities, make as few errors as possible and help us come out with a win."
Bills quarterback Doug Flutie will make his third start of the preseason. Rob Johnson and Alex Van Pelt will split the rest of the game.
Marcellus Wiley will start in place of Bruce Smith, who has been excused from the game to be with his ailing father.