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Week one did not end as the Bills had hoped it would. Not at all.
It began as a rainy day in Orchard Park, NY, with rain expected throughout the day. That was the case, but the rain did not dampen the spirit of the 74,000 Bills fans in attendance. Not a bit. The parking lots were full of excited Bills football fans, and that carried over to the stands as the opening kickoff approached.
Though fans expected we might see a wide open, maybe even no-huddle offense, we were instead treated to a major change at running back. Instead of dancing up to the line of scrimmage and falling down at first contact, our running back yesterday slammed into the line, hit the holes, and pushed people forward. So, even though the lack of air attack was surprising, we were more than pleased by the rookie’s performance.
As the game wore on, fans and players became worn down by the amount of times the stretchers – and sadly, an ambulance – came out on the field. First we lost Ko Simpson, who is part of a great safety tandem. It looked pretty bad. And it is bad. Then Coy Wire, who was filling in for the injured Keith Ellison. And Jason Webster left the game as well, with a broken forearm. Even one Denver Broncos player brought the stretcher team out on the field, but he left under his own power.
After all of the soaking and the sad injuries – and the sad play by our offensive unit – we Bills fans in attendance were greatly encouraged by our team’s lead, which lasted up until 59:59 of the game. At 59:59, the Broncos offense finished their final drive, and their very well executed final play, with a 42-yard kick that split the uprights. As the entire Broncos sideline poured onto the field, 74,000 sad, soaked, and shocked Bills fans simply stood up, and filed out of the stadium in silence. I have never seen anything like it. It was not anger, not even really disappointment. It was just shock.
Perhaps the funniest moment of the day – at least in my eyes – was as we were all crowded together, filing out of the exits of the stadium (still mostly in silence) and like in the movies, when something bad has happened, the skies finally opened up and it started pouring down rain on us. Nice. Not only does our team lose, and we have tons of injuries, including a career-ending one… now we get soaked on the way to our cars. Perfect.
There were certainly highlights, which I would love to write about here, but I must get to some other things today. We’ll be recording a show later tonight. Get your calls into the hotline. Send in your e-mails. We’ll talk about all the ups and downs from Game One of the 2007 season.