It was Week 4 – a simpler time, before the leaves fell from the trees and when National Football League fans’ hopes were still alive and strong.
In Indianapolis, Jonathon Rollyson, 32, watched his beloved Colts play against the Seattle Seahawks. Despite an 0-2 start, the Colts had rebounded with a Week 3 win against Cleveland, and now, they were beating Seattle, heading into halftime with a 15-10 lead.
Rollyson and his brother, Brandon Reardon, began to get excited. They eyed the Colts’ remaining schedule. They had already knocked a few NFL stadiums off their list in their quest to visit all 32.
Before halftime was over, they’d purchased tickets for themselves and their wives, Elesha Rollyson and Lisa Reardon, to the Colts’ Week 14 matchup in Buffalo.
The Seahawks ended up winning that Week 4 game in a 46-18 blowout of the Colts.
“We were kind of regretting it after that,” Jonathon Rollyson said with a laugh.
Bills fans, surely, can relate to a story like that.
The Colts are now 3-9 and in last place in the AFC South division. But Rollyson and his family are making the best of their eight-hour drive to Western New York to see two reeling teams – the Bills have had their usual late-season troubles – in the midst of a Buffalo winter.
“We’ve never been to Buffalo,” Rollyson said in the snowy New Era Field parking lot. “We basically wanted to experience the elements that Buffalo is known for.”
Regardless of how the game goes, the Indianapolis crew has already experienced some of Western New York’s main attractions. They arrived Saturday afternoon, headed straight for Niagara Falls and then ate chicken wings at Duff’s.