The most recent Buffalo-basher, Miami Herald columnist Bob Rubin, didn't make the trip to Buffalo for the Bills-Dolphins game Sunday, but he sent word that he was amazed by the uproar sparked by his column that was reprinted in Wednesday's Buffalo News.
In that column, which seemed to be written largely tongue-in-cheek, Rubin referred to Buffalo being called "Cleveland without the glitz." He also made references to the popularity of both Bobby Vinton and bowling here.
The column, which was the top story on at least one Buffalo television station, also triggered a flood of letters to The Buffalo News.
"He was amazed because people in Miami are used to being slimed by the press every day," veteran Miami Herald columnist Edwin Pope said before the game. "It's just a way of life in Miami. Something that would offend Buffalonians wouldn't even raise an eyebrow in Miami."
Some of the most interesting signs seen inside Rich Stadium on Sunday:
"Go Bills, Go. Dolphins in Trouble. Dial 1-800-Starkist."
"Hey, Marino -- Merry Smithmas."
"Bills D-(pictured fence), Ice Marino's Isotoners."
"Jingle Bills, Jingle Bills, Jingle All the Way to the Super Bowl."
"Dear Santa, All We Want for Christmas is 45 Dead Fish."
"God, I Hate Miami."
"S'now Place Like Buffalo for the Playoffs."
There also was a well-drawn coupon for "Don Shula's Frozen Fish Sticks" plus several signs depicting Christmas "sacks," with Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino inside.
It was sad seeing wide receiver Don Beebe being carted off the field with a fractured leg on the last play of the third quarter, but fans didn't miss seeing fellow wide receivers James Lofton and Andre Reed embrace Beebe before he left.
As the fans cheered him, Beebe responded with a raised right arm to his teammates and the crowd. The Bills replied by finishing off a beautiful 76-yard touchdown drive with Thurman Thomas' 13-yard dash to the left corner of the end zone.
The relative quiet of the Bills locker room after the game was broken up by some hoots and hollers from one corner of the room after some players played a good-hearted prank on Channel 7 sportscaster Jerry Azar.
Apparently, someone from the Bills organization told Azar he had a phone call. Azar picked up the receiver -- and a face full of shaving cream.
"Rookie, rookie," the players chanted with mischievous grins on their faces.
"There's no comeback," Azar said later. "They got me."
The Bills and Dolphins, along with every other NFL team this weekend, wore American flag decals on their helmet to show support for American soldiers in Operation Desert Shield. The stickers will be worn throughout the playoffs, the Super Bowl and the Pro Bowl.
The director of Sunday's marching band from Victor High School in Victor is named David C. Bills. No, they apparently don't have a tuba player named Donna Dolphins.