The official outlawing of table-slamming outside New Era Field was big news Sunday, preventing the more raucous Buffalo Bills fans from engaging in their favorite pastime.
But, it wouldn't be a Bills home opener without some sort of unexpected fracas – even if it occurred a few miles from the stadium.
Edgy national sports-entertainment site Barstool Sports tweeted a video, early Monday afternoon, of a fight involving multiple men in front of the Lackawanna toll barrier. (Look for one man adeptly slipping out of the grasp of another fighter, and for the thrown shoe.)
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 17, 2018
At least three of the participants were wearing Bills apparel and, given the WGR 550 radio coverage of the Bills game in the background, the fight happened toward the tail end of the third quarter. Cashless tolling for all of New York state cannot come soon enough, it seems.
Capt. David Denz of the State Police Thruway division said troopers responded to the incident after receiving a call around 3:15 p.m. Sunday. The vehicles involved, a pickup truck and a sedan, both were heading eastbound on the 90 just before the Lackawanna tolls when they had some kind of road-rage dispute.
By the time a trooper arrived, the pickup truck had left the scene already, Denz said. The occupants of the sedan told state police that the disagreement was verbal, not physical, and they didn't want to press charges. "It was handled as such at the time," Denz said.
State Police first learned of the video early Monday afternoon. They plan to reopen the investigation and to track down the people in the vehicle that left the scene. Denz said he wasn't sure whether charges will be filed in the incident, which amounted to disorderly conduct, a violation.
He said he doesn't know if there was a clear aggressor in the fight, saying, "Sometimes it's a case of mutual combatants."
Still, some of the participants in the brouhaha came dangerously close to the traffic traveling in the other direction coming out of the tolls.
"Fighting in the middle of the highway is not something we want happening," Denz said.
Fortunately, many Bills fans were on their best behavior Sunday, as there were plenty of Smiles to go around.
As for the table-slamming initiative (as well as the heightened security measures in the bus lot), it wasn't foolproof, judging by this video from Twitter user @Fetty_Gonzalez.
— fetty (@fetty_gonzalez) September 17, 2018