Too much cute: Hunter Frenette, 7, was attending his first regular-season game Sunday. But with the Bills already eliminated from playoff contention, Hunter and his stepdad, Shane Witmer, decided to make a sign that looks toward next season.
"Maybe next year," the sign read, with crying throwback logos below.
"Next year's really the year," Witmer said. "We're going home and throwing this in the garbage in the hopes we don't have to use it next year."
Maybe hang on to that a little longer, Shane. Just in case.
Bills van rolls along: Robert Evans' decked-out Bills van has field goal posts on the hood and bull horns on top. When he rolls into the Ralph, he tells people his name is Fred Billstone. His license plate reads "KRZFAN," though that's almost redundant.
Sunday's tailgate was a rainy affair, but Evans was proud that Bills fans showed up anyway and powered through. "It's all about the heart and soul," he said of fans' resiliency.
Evans travels with his friends, Jake Gouda and Ed Culliton. They used to have a Bills helmet on the van, but it broke and fell off earlier this year – a good metaphor for the season, they thought.
Marv Levy's autograph resides on the passenger side of the van. The horns came from a real bull in Texas, via Craigslist.
The '85 Chevy "runs great," Evans said. No comment on the Bills offense.
He goes by "Bullfrog," given his first name, and has that printed on the back of his No. 69 jersey. Sunday he added a reindeer head and Christmas ornaments for the holiday season.
"I just love the thrill of it," Ranzie said when asked why he goes to such lengths to dress up for every game. "Being with fans, the whole package is unbelievable.
"And [tailgating] makes the losing feel better."
Tailgate game of the week: Josh Mastin and his friends were playing beer darts in Lot 7. Apparently you put a can of beer below you and members of the other team try to puncture your can with steel-tipped darts.
If they hit the can, you have to drink the beer out of the hole the dart created.
Mastin was proud to report the game had caused no injuries "so far," but was open to the possibility, with only a small wooden board between darts and players' legs.
The only secret to the game is practice, Mastin said. He's a regular dart player, so those skills carry over.
Nice threads: Ricky Howcroft of Rochester bought himself an early Christmas gift: a Bills-colored Christmas suit. He wore it to a party last week and knew it needed to make an appearance at the tailgate.
You, too, can own this suit for the low, low price of $84.99.
She Doesn’t Even Go Here: Jerseys spotted around the Ralph that had nothing to do with Sunday’s game: Peyton Manning, Laveranues Coles, Ndamukong Suh, Adrian Peterson, Ricky Williams, Fred Taylor, and ... Tom Brady.
Next tailgate: Finally, Bills football in January! Alas, it is only a regular-season game. The Bills wrap up their season at 1 p.m. next Sunday, Jan. 3, against Ryan Fitzpatrick and the New York Jets.
Follow Nick Veronica on Twitter @NickVeronica