OFF MAIN STREET / The offbeat side of the news - The Buffalo News

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OFF MAIN STREET / The offbeat side of the news

Holy frustration, Bills fans

The regular season hasn’t even started yet, and the doom looming over the Buffalo Bills’ prospects has already begun.

Buzzfeed, the go-to online resource to get a handle on what the kids are talking about – twerking, anyone? – also compiles lists that go viral on social media, and it published a doozy this week.

Readers who caught “25 Reasons Being a Buffalo Bills Fan Is More Painful Than Childbirth” were treated to pictures of well-known losing plays and facts most fans would rather forget, such as, the team has not made the playoffs since the 1999-00 season.

Most of the text isn’t publishable in a family newspaper, but author Matt Kiebus didn’t need profanity to convey the weight of this depressing statistic: “Since 2000, we’re 3-25 against the New England Patriots.”

That post on Buzzfeed, however, is nothing compared with another site’s recounting of all the worst aspects of being a Bills fan.

Deadspin, an irreverent sports news site, solicited emails from fans (and nonfans) about why the Bills aren’t so great.

Of the family-friendly responses, this one summed it up: “The Bills’ playoff drought has now seen three popes.”

Who’s in charge here?

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, in Lockport this week to hand out money for residents whose homes were damaged in a flash flood, candidly explained how the aid was approved.

“The Legislature was out of session, meaning they weren’t in Albany, which meant that I was alone in Albany, which meant that I was happy,” Cuomo said. “When they’re not in Albany, I’m happy. I like it. I like to visit them when I want to go visit them.”

But he did call legislative leaders on the phone, and they told him to go ahead with the aid process.

Despite his joy in their absence, Cuomo went as far as to call the legislators “the boss of the New York State government. They tell me what to do.”

State Fair’s WNY touch

The state doesn’t always do a bang-up job when it comes to promoting Western New York at its flagship events, but we have to give a nod when it’s due.

The Perry’s Ice Cream booth in the State Fair Dairy Barn – where you can buy white and chocolate milk for 25 cents a glass – features an impressive variety of flavors, including Buffalo Bills Brownie Blitz, a concoction of vanilla ice cream, fudge swirls and brownie bits.

And no, there are no Jets or Giants flavors, thank you, since those teams play their home games in New Jersey.

But the most impressive Western New York flair at the fair, held outside Syracuse, is the vaunted butter sculpture, the centerpiece attraction of the dairy barn.

The 45th annual installment features a four-season motif, with kids, a dairy barn, a dairy truck and a chilly, light yellow version of Niagara Falls, all topped by a cow adorned with a Statue of Liberty crown and torch.

Something in the barn we don’t need to take credit for this weekend: The Hot Beef Sundae, made of New York-made shredded roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, cheddar cheese and sour cream, and topped with a cherry tomato.

We’ll stick with the ice cream – and maybe a few chicken wings.

All eyes on Wing Fest

Speaking of chicken wings, the National Buffalo Wing Fest, which starts today downtown, has already generated national media attention. advised readers, “Pack the wet wipes,” and an Associated Press story about the delivery of 40 tons of wings to Coca-Cola Field was published in the Huffington Post and the Washington Post’s online travel section.

If crowds and chicken wing eating contests aren’t for you, there is still fun to be had, at home.

New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman urges readers to grill their wings, in “The Key to a Truly Great Chicken Wing,” published just days before the festival began.

Coincidence? We think not.

Written by Jill Terreri, with contributions from Thomas J. Prohaska and Scott Scanlon. email:

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