Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The New Buffalo Residents’ Guide to Being a Bills Fan

Are you new to the area and a little intimidated by Buffalo Bills fans? Yes, we understand we are quite a fun bunch. With the start of the NFL season just around the corner, now is the perfect time to learn what being a Bills fan really means. Since HUNT is the official real estate company of the Buffalo Bills, let us offer you some “official” pointers on how you can cheer with the best of them and blend into the game day scene at the recently renamed New Era Field.

While the Bills may technically be owned by the Pegula’s, it really feels like the team owned by the city of Buffalo itself. The loyalty for the team is immediately felt as soon as you ask anyone in Buffalo about the Bills. We are tried and true fans who stand by our team no matter the circumstances.

Bills fans “don’t jump on bandwagons, we circle them,” says Bill Fichtner, actor and Buffalo native. Here he shares what it means to be a Bills fan.

Drew Gier from The Rockpile Report echoes Fichtner’s sentiments. “Being a fan of the Buffalo Bills is a commitment, and the fans are like family,” he shares. “How many other teams can miss the playoffs for 16 straight years, have a losing record by December and still sell out games when it’s 5 degrees out? That is the passion we as fans have for our team.”

Here are some ways to fit in with these crazy but loyal fans.

Learn the Lingo

The Buffalo Bills first played in the Old Buffalo War Memorial Stadium – known as “The Old Rockpile.”

When referencing the team, just call them “The Bills.”

The official mascot is is “Billy Buffalo.”

Learn how to sing (and sing it loud) the Bills version of “Shout!”

Wear the Garb

A quick look at the stadium shows painting your body is hardly a request. Many fans paint their faces, heads, and some even their bodies in the freezing weather.

Laux Sporting Goods Knit Hats

Laux Sporting Goods is a great local stop for your Bills gear. The shop offers officially licensed sweatshirts, t-shirts, jerseys, and more. Or, if accessories are more your style, you can find an assortment of fun items adorned with Bills logos.

Typical dress code for a Bills fan ranges by age, but is usually pretty outlandish.

“Zubaz, the pajama type pant in zebra print, are selling like crazy again,” said Michael O’Hara, general manager and family member of Laux Sporting Goods. “We also sell a lot of hats, and can hardly keep the knit hats in stock.”

One tip Michael shares is to not visit Laux Sporting Goods on the Friday or Saturday before game day. The store is packed to the brim, so it’s better to come midweek if you are in a rush. Otherwise, enjoy the crazy fans and packed store decked out in Bills balloons and decorations.

The Billls Store is the official online retailer of the Bills and has everything you need to be ready for the season. They already have new items in store for the 2016 season, so be sure and check it out.

Jason Klein, retail manager, shares that probably 10 to 15 percent of fans completely deck out, so don’t show up to the game unprepared!

Store 716 Accessories

Store 716 is all about the fans and is certain to have everything in stock that Bills fans would ever desire. Their most popular shirt is their “Just Give Me One, Waiting Since 1965” shirt, since Bills fans are hungry for another title, but like to remember they have one AFL championship under their belts. Other popular items are their scarves, hats, and gloves to battle the long, cold football season.

Drink the Beer and Eat the Food

To truly disguise yourself as an ultimate Bills fan, you’ll need a beer in hand. You also should surround yourself with similar fans with beers in their hands, and some football food, like chicken wings.

Big Tree Inn is conveniently located just a short walk away from the stadium. It is known as the “sports bar mecca” and is the perfect place to watch the game, or to visit postgame.

O’Neill’s Stadium Inn is another great bar that fills up quite quickly and is walking distance from the stadium and a top-notch place to grab some pregame wings and beef on weck. The bar is always completely filled by game time with a line out the door. The atmosphere is very lively.

Duff’s in Orchard Park not only is known as one of the best spots in Buffalo for wings, but their special sauce that will keep you coming back every game day. Serving wings since 1969, Duff’s is a must-visit for every Buffalo Bills fan. Duff’s is also President Obama’s wing of choice!

If beer and wings aren’t your thing, there is ice cream that is almost as acceptable to enjoy. Perry’s "Sundae at the Ralph" Ice Cream is delicious creamy goodness of vanilla ice cream with hot fudge swirls, peanut butter footballs, and red and blue sprinkles. However, with the recent stadium name change to New Era Field, Perry’s may have to consider a new flavor name.

Our Buffalo agents will be happy to share their game day tips with you, too. Contact us today, and GO BILLS!