I'm a communications professional, writer, cynic, mother, wife and royal pain. The order depends on the day. I returned to my hometown in November 2004 after a couple of decades of heat and hurricanes. I can polish pristine copy, but not here. This is my morning exercise -- 20-minute takes without a net or spellcheck. It's easier than sit ups for me. No guarantee what it will be for you. Clicking on the subscribe link will send you an email notice when each new entry is posted.
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2003-12-21 11:38 AM
Squish the Fish
Only in Buffalo can you buy Buffalo Bills wallpaper at the corner 7-11.
"Here you go honey, I got the Nyquil, Kleenex and milk you asked for, and what do you say we redo the den in red and blue prairie animals?"
Football is not a secular pursuit in Buffalo.
It took years of Cathechism before I learned the Holy Trinity was not Kemp, Flutie and Kelly. (OJ may have been acquitted in California, but Buffalo replaced him in the Trinity with Flutie... although Reggie McKenzie remains one of the three wise men).
Many other religions are built on shame and suffering, but I'm not sure any matches the four-Superbowls-without-a-ring Bills. We, the faithful, are so tired of the jokes. Referees and national commentators are blind heretics. Only we have earned the right to bitch and moan about our beloved team.
When I was up there last week I saw a bin of plush Bills footballs for sale in a bin at CVS. "Every one guarenteed to have at least one stupid loss $3.99" the sign said.
Statistically our playoff hopes died last week, realistically we were toast by the fourth game. But the stadium in Buffalo will be packed today and I'll be glued to the television. No game is more important than this one.
Before I had my first geography class I knew that Miami was a wicked place slightly north of hell. Squish the Fish parties are the annual rivalry ritual.
It's about a lot more than football. It's heat vs. cold, flourescent vs. primary colors, strappy sandals vs. mucklucks, drinks with umbrellas vs. Genesee Cream Ale, J Lo vs. The Goo Goo Dolls... it's your basic evil vs. good in four quarters.
This year it's all on the line.
After last season I met Matt, a college friend of both my daughters. He's funny, sweet, easy-going, well-mannered... I'm ashamed to admit I liked the kid. When I saw him this summer I even helped the girls throw a mini-party for his 21st birthday. I was actually looking forward to seeing him Parents' Weekend until I spotted him at a student event wearing a turquiose and orange fish on his hat. At first I thought it was cruel joke played on him unaware, a "Kick Me" sign.
It turned out he meant it.
I can't believe I could have been that wrong about a person. I have to hope there is still redemption in his young life.
The bet is set. When the Bills win today he will have to wear a Bills hat for seven consecutive days during all waking hours... providing me with photographs of himself with the newspaper for each day to post on our family website.
In the event of the unthinkable, I will have to buy his plane ticket to come visit us here on St. Simons.
It's hard to imagine a Miami fan in our home. At least the house is for sale.
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