At the end of a long football season it’s easy to dismiss Sunday’s Jets-Bills contest as meaningless — but to the players it didn’t seem meaningless, nor to to the fans who came out on a cold and blustery day to cheer.
After spending most of the night out on ambulance calls I trudged to Buffalo with my tailgating supplies and a Joe Willie Namath jersey. The taunting I got for wearing Jets green was mostly good natured — and nothing compared to the razzing handed out to Jets faithful wearing Sanchez jerseys. They were greeted with shouts of “DIRTY SANCHEZ!” Look it up.
If nothing else, I’m a pragmatist. One Bills fan shouted, “You’re going to lose!” I thought about that for a second and yelled back, “You’re right!” This got a good laugh, as have the Jets all season long.
We were about as high up in the stadium as you could get — nearly the top row — but mercifully sheltered from the wind. And because we were up so high, I was not a targeted by those tossing snowballs, many of whom were escorted from the stadium by sharp-eyed security guards.
Fandom is a mysterious thing. There were lots of empty seats on Sunday, but many more were filled. In the parking lots tailgaters struggled in the wind to cook and enjoy the hours before the game, partying like it was a warm September day.
Part of me was a little happy that the Jets lost. There’s nothing better than the walk out to your car in a sea of celebration — even if it isn’t your team who won.