Seen and heard outside New Era Field before Bills vs. Saints…
“7 in a Row in Buffaleaux?”: Heather Rizzo has adopted Buffalo as her home since she moved here for graduate school at UB, where she earned a master’s degree in nursing in 2013. She has even learned to support the Bills, with one exception – when they are playing her hometown New Orleans Saints.
“Saints fan for life,” said Rizzo, a nurse anesthetist at ECMC who lives with her husband, a Bills fan, in Amherst.
At her tailgate party, which included both Saints and Bills fans, Rizzo had set up signs with the Saints’ motto, “Who Dat?” and a reminder to Bills fans that New Orleans is putting a six-game winning streak on the line against Buffalo.
The Saints are going for “7 in a row in Buffaleaux,” the other sign read, alluding to New Orleans’ French-language heritage.
Melissa Hudson, Rizzo’s best friend since sixth grade, still lives in New Orleans and was visiting Buffalo for the first time this weekend.
“Everything’s been awesome,” Hudson said, adding that the Bills’ tailgate scene reminded her of her and Rizzo’s college days at Louisiana State University.
Hudson said New Era Field has “a real football atmosphere.”
“This is what LSU tailgates are like,” she said.
From N.J. to L.I. to BUF: How’s this for dedication? Rich Foley, 31, moved to Orchard Park three years ago for one main reason: The Buffalo Bills.
Sure, Foley’s wife, Lauren, had landed a job at ECMC. But Foley, who found temporary work here until he landed a permanent job at Tectran, claims the Bills were the main reason the couple, who met while living on Long Island, decided to make the move.
“We took a chance,” Foley said. “And now I’m living in Buffalo and living the dream.”
He said it’s more common than one might think to encounter a Bills fan in Jets-Giants country.
“You wouldn’t believe how many Long Island Bills fans there are,” Foley said.
A native of New Jersey, Foley has been a Bills fan since long before he moved to Buffalo. He painted and decorated an RV with Bills colors and logos and routinely drove it from the East Coast to Orchard Park for games.
Now, the commute is a little easier: He lives around the block from New Era Field.
Veterans Day weekend: Staff Sgt. Yvonne Baran of the Army National Guard was standing in a recruiting booth on Abbott Road outside New Era Field Sunday morning and said she’d already gotten some recognition the day after Veterans Day.
“We’ve had some people come up and just thank us for our service and share their own military stories, which is pretty cool,” said Baran, of Amherst, who served in the 105th Military Police Company prior to entering recruitment.
Baran said two people had already expressed interest in joining the New York National Guard Sunday morning. She has recruited at “a few” games this year, she said.
A Bills-themed haircut: Rich Van Dyne, of Caledonia, was attending his first Bills game ever on Sunday, and he decided to mark the occasion – literally – on his head.
Van Dyne sat in the barber’s chair at Signature Cutz, whose permanent location is on Main Street in Buffalo, as Teirra Robinson cut a Bills logo into the hair on the back of his head.
So what convinced Van Dyne to go through with it?
“Enough Jim Beam,” he said.
Next tailgate: The Bills’ next home game is Dec. 3 against New England.