Seen and heard around Ralph Wilson Stadium prior to Bills-Giants…
New York’s team: The New York Giants are lying to you. They’re not from New York, and neither are the Jets. Both of those teams are really from New Jersey. It’s a scientific fact.
New York state’s only true NFL team is the Buffalo Bills.
It you disagree with that, you’re wrong. But if you need more convincing, take it up with Conrad Starsja.
Starsja was born and raised in Manhattan. His team was the New York Jets. He had season tickets to watch Joe Namath and George Sauer. But in 1984, the Jets did something terrible: They left Shea Stadium and starting playing their home games at Giants Stadium, across the river in New Jersey.
So Starsja, a loyal New Yorker, circled the wagons and became a Bills fan.
“Once they moved to New Jersey, they’re not a New York team anymore,” Starsja said. He wore a Bills jersey Sunday with “NEW YORK” across the nameplate.
“I’m loyal,” he added. “It’s all about the principle.”
Starsja and his family now travel to Buffalo for one game a year, and he picked Sunday’s Bills-Giants game for this year’s trip.
Starsja’s friends in Manhattan often tease him for supporting the upstate team, but he doesn’t take any of their insults.
“I answer, ‘Where’s the stadium? I’ve been looking all over!’”
For a $10 donation, fans could sign up to have their name printed on the snowplow, which will be on local highways this winter. The snowplow, called a team effort between the Kenworth Northeast Group and Henderson Trucking, will be shown off around the state this month. All proceeds will go to cancer research.
Helmet Man says hello: Meet Adam Marong, a dedicated Bills fan who drives 7 hours from Bethany, Conn. for every game. He wears an autographed Stephon Gilmore helmet in Section 135 every week and goes by #HelmetMan, a tag that has more than 300 posts on Instagram, though not every photo references him.
Adding to the moniker, Marong not only wears a “HELMET MAN” jersey but also has customized shoes, with “HELMET” on the left heel and “MAN” on the right.
Marong said he was just 2 years old the first time his family took him from Connecticut to Buffalo for a game, and he’s continuing the tradition 28 years later.
Wing Man says hi, too: If Helmet Man didn’t do it for you, just a few yards away in Lot 7 was Wing Man. That’s Brian Wackowicz, who has season tickets with his father, Al – excuse me, Alpha Wing – in Section 116. Brian bought the Wing Man jersey about four years ago and got the corresponding jersey made for his dad the following Father’s Day. When Brian’s brother is in attendance, his “Wacko Wing” jersey completes the trio.
She Doesn’t Even Go Here: Jerseys seen around the Ralph that had nothing to do with Sunday’s game: Patrick Willis, Ben Roethlisberger, Charles Woodson, Matt Forte, Antonio Brown, Colin Kaepernick, Aaron Rodgers, Dez Bryant, Jermon Bushrod, and Jonathan Vilma.
Next tailgate: Sunday, Oct. 18 vs. Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
Follow Nick Veronica on Twitter @NickVeronica