Seen and heard outside New Era Field before Bills vs. Buccaneers…
The Bills of the future? A group calling itself the Buffalo Bills, clad in red, white and blue jerseys, was seen in the New Era Field parking lot Sunday morning.
The difference between these Bills and the National Football League’s Bills? About a decade or two in age. These Bills were 10- and 11-year-olds wearing their Pop Warner jerseys.
“We come a lot of times with our football team,” said Keyshawn Powell, who plays wide receiver.
The team practices at the Johnnie B. Wiley Amateur Athletic Sports Pavilion in Buffalo’s Masten Park.
Powell wasn’t letting an injury to his wrist – suffered while playing football – keep him from attending Sunday’s game. His left arm was in a cast.
“I got tackled and I tried to catch myself,” Keyshawn said.
Chicken wing hats: Brian Wackowicz remembers first seeing a chicken wing hat about six years ago while visiting the Anchor Bar. He announced his intention to purchase one and wear it to a Bills game.
“Everybody looked at me like I was stupid,” said Wackowicz, of Spencer, N.Y., a small town between Ithaca and Binghamton. “But everyone here loved it.”
He’s been doing it ever since, along with his father, Al Wackowicz. The duo are in their fifth year as season-ticket holders.
“If you Google, ‘Chicken wing hat,’ me and him are two of the first pictures that come up,” Brian Wackowicz said.
Try it yourself – it’s true.
Their friend, Bill Nemier, of Horseheads, joined them at their tailgate party, sporting a shirt inspired by former Philadelphia 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie.
“Trust the process,” it reads – a self-deprecating reference to supporting a team that is always rebuilding.
The phrase has gained traction on Twitter, thanks in part to 76ers star Joel Embiid’s tongue-in-cheek embrace of the saying. That’s appropriate, because Twitter is how Nemier and Brian Wackowicz met.
Pig roast: One grilling setup stood out among the many tailgate cookouts Sunday morning. Craig Foss and Bob Delzer, both of Alden, were grilling two whole pigs.
“Every year, we do it,” said Foss, a cattle broker who buys the pigs live from a friend in Pembroke. He takes the pigs to another friend, who smokes the pork in Penn Yan.
So the pigs are already cooked, and they’re simply warmed up on the grill at the tailgate party and sliced up.
Delzer said the pigs will help feed 120 people.
Speaking of meat… Across Southwestern Boulevard was another meat-themed tailgate party, celebrated annually: “Sausage Fest.”
Thrown for seven years now by season-ticket-holding married couple Tim and Emily Radder of South Buffalo, Sausage Fest is one way the Radders and their friends “have a good time” without “trying to get on Deadspin” – a reference to the sports website’s tendency to highlight the foolishness of drunken Bills fans.
“We like to have PG-13 fun,” said Emily Radder, alluding to her Sausage Fest sign and flag, complete with double entendre. (“It’s huge,” the sign advertises to drivers along Southwestern.)
"Everybody makes sausage," Emily Radder said. "It's a pretty simple concept." A friend, Doug DeRose, served tailgaters from behind a table.
The Radders were married at a Bills tailgate in November 2009. They haven’t missed a Bills game since the year before that.
Next tailgate: The Bills take on the Oakland Raiders next week, Oct. 29, at 1 p.m.
Follow Luke Hammill on Twitter: @lucashammill.