Buffalo road trip
Just one day before moving day, my wife and I woke up around 6 a.m., got in our car and started driving to Buffalo. The mission? To watch my favourite NFL team, the Green Bay Packers, face the Buffalo Bills. It was a plan hatched in late August, when my friends and New York City residents Jeff and Nickie had visited Toronto for a friends’ wedding. Jeff, a die-hard Packers fan from from Wisconsin, told me we were going to the Sept. 14 game. I saw no reason to disagree with him. After all, it’s not every year the Packers play in Buffalo (I just did a quick search and looks like last time was 2006). My wife was also on board for a shopping and football weekend south of the border.
But we could not have known then that I’d be closing on my new house on the 15th. The day we’d signed our purchase agreement, I may have muttered to my wife that the closing date would likely mean I couldn’t go to the game before quickly adding that was not a reason to hold things up. Since that night, I’d been holding out hope we might be packed up and ready to go, but I wasn’t counting on going. I would slip it into conversation now and then, and my wife kept encouraging me to find a travel partner to go with, but no one was available. It was seeming more and more unlikely, and frankly we were so busy with packing I didn’t have a lot of time to feel sorry about not going. But it was likely my one shot to see the Packers for a number of years, and the week before the game, I finally said that out loud. My wife, awesome woman that she is, said we could both go. Yes, the woman who doesn’t really understand football, agreed to stand in an open-air stadium with me for a few hours to watch a game.
That’s how we found ourselves in Buffalo, sitting behind the Packers team bench, watching my first ever NFL game with my friends from New York. I snapped a shot of Aaron Rodgers (look for #12 in the photo to the left) just before the game, which I assumed the Packers would win. While I was wrong on that front (the Packers have never won in Buffalo, I learnt later), it was an unforgettable experience to carry me into moving day.