Finally, we’re on our way to the Bills’ main opener, a Monday night game at Orchard Park against the Tennessee Titans.
I am driving. the weather is fine. no rain. Moderate temperature. What more could you want?
But my friend in the front seat, Tom Bushnell, has the tension. My friend in the back seat, Tom Greenfield, listens, occasionally, as he comments.
Tom Bushnell, a Bills fan who listens to Bills talk on the radio all day, has been explaining to us the theory of “stacking wins” as endorsed by Eric Wood, a former Bills center who is now a radio commentator and motivational speaker.
If you believe in garnering gains, you give yourself full credit for the small and big accomplishments in your life.
Get out of bed. This is a win. Put on your socks. Another win. Make it for coffee, work, or anywhere else. This is a win. Once you realize that you’re walking around winning, you’ll feel better about yourself, and you’ll be ready to tackle the big tasks in your life. You are a winner. You can face the world.
But as we get closer to the field, Tom doesn’t seem to be winning. In fact, it’s a wreck as we head into backup traffic. He accuses me of leaving too late for the match and not getting there before anyone else. He threatens to jump out of the car and hoof it into the stadium.
I understand what’s going on. Tom, like all true Bills fans, worries that Bills’ bills have received so much praise, it is inevitable that they will be disappointed. He signs those fears on me. Who wouldn’t?
I play it great, accept the blame, go all out. win over.
We get to the grass where we always stop. win over. We talk to Andy, the guy who owns the lawn. win over.
We go in and stop at the hot dog stall we always stop by and say hi to Mac, the force of nature that owns the stall. win over.
The field entry line is short. We are going through. win over. We’re in our seats an hour before the game. win over.
Before the game, Bruce Smith, a former Bills businessman, is on the field with some of the families of those killed during the racist attack and some survivors of the racist attack at Tops Market in Buffalo in May. Speaks powerfully and carefully. The stadium is silent. Sadly, it’s a win for Biles and Smith at the moment.
A little later, former Bills player Jim Kelly was there for the pre-game ritual of leading the crowd in a hymn, and the hymn creator with him.
Yes, Marv Levy, the 97-year-old former Bills coach, took the microphone and asked the crowd, “Where would you rather be, from here, now? The fans, all standing, screaming, their voices heard all over Bills Country, in Brockport, Rochester, Webster, and even Oswego.
It’s all a win, but what about the game?
Well, you may have heard. The Bills defeated the Titans 41-7. win over. Quarterback Josh Allen and receiver Stefon Diggs were upbeat, as they connected for three touchdowns, a win-win.
Players injuries muted the win, but the fans were delighted when they left the field.
I let Tom Bushnell drive home. He was patient, even cheerful, while the traffic was creeping in.
This was a win for a day of victories. I wore my socks. We got into the game in a long time. Bill won. My wins were high. I am ready to face the world.
The wonderful Rochester
Let’s add this former soccer star’s name to our Rochester superstar list.
Roland Williams (1975-), After graduating from East High School, the Rochester native went to Syracuse University, where he starred in a tight end and then, beginning in 1998, played eight seasons in the NFL, first with the St. Louis Rams and then with the Oaklanders. Raiders and Pirates of Tampa Bay. In 2015, he started the Champion Academy Extreme Mentoring & Empowerment Initiative, a program in Rochester that works with at-risk middle and high school students. He was a multi-network sports analyst and a partner at JP Medical Supply, Inc.
From his home in Geneseo, Livingston County, retired senior editor Jim Mimmott, the gorgeous Rochester, writes Who We Are and Who We Are. He can be reached at [email protected] or writing Box 274, Geneseo, NY 14454