Stadium #1
Ralph Wilson Stadium
Orchard Park, NY
New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills Stadium
October 3, 2010
38 - 14 Loss
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See my other visits to
Ralph Wilson Stadium:

HOUvsBUF-Nov.1,2009
CHIvsBUF-Aug.15,2010
SDvsBUF - Oct.19,2008
MIAvsBUF- Dec.9,2007
CINvsBUF - Nov.4,2007

JACvsBUF- Nov.26,2006



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  Stadium Vitals
Built: 1973
Capacity: 73,967 seats
Playing Surface: Titan 50 by A-Turf
Draft Beer: $6.50
Hot Dog: $3.00
Stadium Parking: $25.00       
Ralph Wilson
Stadium Address

One Bills Drive
Orchard Park, NY 14127
(716) 312-0409  
Get Directions 
 
 
Stadium Review
- The Demise of the Franchise

A cold and rainy weekend in October set the scene for our NFL Football Family Weekend Retreat as the men in my family reconvened in Orchard Park, NY for our 15th annual celebration. Every year we pick a Buffalo Bills game to attend and from all corners of the country, we make our way back to western New York for a weekend of food, folks, and football. So with the NY Jets game comfortably set in our crosshairs, we rented an RV, prepared an incredible menu of foodstuffs, and headed toward the RV parking lot at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The RV lot at the Ralph is rather unique. Apart from its heated, cinder block shower and bath facilities that are cleaned throughout the weekend, RV's are allowed to begin parking in the lot as early as Friday evening and they can stay there until Monday morning. When coupled with the world-class tailgating you'll find Buffalo Bills fans being actively engaged in, it's one of the top five football fan experiences in the league.

We arrived in lot early on Saturday morning. The skies were overcast, but it didn't stop us from setting up the Fowling lanes to begin a full day of tournament action. Fowling, as you know, is the new tailgating game that combines the pin-point accurate passing of the game of football with the ten pin configuration of recreational bowling to create an incredibly unique asphalt experience, one that you'll find is much more relevant to pro football tailgating than that bean bag toss game you see fans bring to the lot each week. Teams of two match wits on the fowling lanes as they attempt to knock down their opponent's pins by throwing a football at them. The two teams alternate throws until a full set of bowling pins is knocked down. The first team to knock down all of their opponent's pins wins the frame. As Commissioner of the American Fowling Association, I am one of the game's biggest supporters and perennial ambassadors to the rest of the league.  For more on the rules of fowling be sure to check out www.fowling.org.

Later in the evening, we began preparing a full feast of tailgating fodder. After fifteen years on the blacktop at Ralph Wilson Stadium, we've become some rather accomplished blacktop culinarians in our own right. For Saturday evening's meal we set a 12 pound roast on the charcoal flamed rotisserie roaster for the traditional Buffalonian Beek on Weck sandwich. The motorized rotisserie was then flanked by a pair slow roasted beer can chickens cooked in my keg-a-que. Neglecting the need for your typical noodle and potato sides, our male dominated cooking staff prepared a mainly carnivorous selection of evening entrees. Apart from the ice cold beverages of choice that were used wash down our main course, the only other side dishes that were employed might have been a couple of potato chips and a cookie ... all that other stuff just complicates things. When you tailgate with the Steiniger Clan, you're looking at a full compliment of entrees that once roamed the earth or swam in its waters.

Sunday morning came quickly and it was still raining. Undeterred, we wandered over to Kenny "Pinto Ron" Johnson's tailgate in Lot 1. Kenny has recently come under NFL scrutiny for some of his tailgating antics which include bowling ball shots and the iconic ketchup opening ceremony. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Kenny is the tailgating innovator that cooks his food on the hood of his red Ford Pinto using hand tools and garden implements. It's actually really incredible; garden rakes are used to cook hamburgers, trowels double as spatulas, hand saws and shovels are used as frying pans. It's the Barbecue meat-fest that Craftsman never intended and its all in good fun.

I'm actually not quite sure what the NFL is trying to accomplish by alienating some if its most die hard fans.  I certainly understand and support its position on excessive drinking, which in the hands of the irresponsible detracts from the stadium experience of us all.  However, I guess I object to the means by which this strategy is currently being employed. I maintain that if you want to create a better stadium atmosphere, throw the drunks out, revoke season ticket holder privileges, punish the select few that ruin it for us all, don't tread on the guys that are an institution in the parking lot ... that's just bad business, but I digress ...

In any case, as gametime approached, we headed into Ralph Wilson Stadium for the Bills matchup against the division rival New York Jets. Remember when the Jets were the doormats of the league? The underachieving franchise in distress? The easy win you could count on twice a year? My, oh my, how times have changed. It's hard to accept that these days, my beloved Buffalo Bills have replaced them as the laughing stock of the National Football League, and it continued on Sunday.

From kickoff, right through when the last few seconds ticked off the clock, the Buffalo Bills showed what true mediocrity in this league looks like. They couldn't run the ball on the Jets stout front line. They couldn't find open receivers as the Jets defensive backs blanketed Buffalo pass catchers.  They couldn't stop the run as LaDanian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene each victimized the Bills defense for over 100 yards a piece. Watching this game was brutal because it brought to light how far we've fallen as a franchise. After years of poor drafts, a refusal to sign home grown free agents, and a front office that annually purged the talent pool at One Bills Drive, we have become the Detroit Lions. What a mess ...



For more information on the city of Buffalo, NY check out my other reviews by clicking on the links below:
     NFL: October 19, 2014 - Minnesota Vikings vs. Buffalo Bills
     NFL: September 15, 2013 - Carolina Panthers vs. Buffalo Bills
     NFL: November 21, 2012 - New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills
     NFL: November 6, 2011 - New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills
     NFL: November 7, 2010 - Chicago Bears vs. Buffalo Bills - Rogers Centre: Toronto
    
NFL: November 1, 2009 - Houston Texans vs. Buffalo Bills
     NFL: August 15, 2009 - Chicago Bears vs. Buffalo Bills
    
NFL: October 19, 2008 - San Diego Chargers vs. Buffalo Bills
     NFL: December 9, 2007 - Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills
     NFL: November 4, 2007 - Cincinnati Bengals vs. Buffalo Bills
     NFL:  November 26, 2006 - Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo Bills

     NHL: March 12, 2010 - Minnesota Wild vs. Buffalo Sabres
     NHL: Buffalo Sabres, HSBC Arena - General Information

 
 
City of Buffalo Local Information  
Top Tourist Attractions:
Niagara Falls - Maid of the Mist Boat Tour
Anchor Bar - Originator of the Buffalo Chicken Wing

Local Foods:
Buffalo Chicken Wings
Kimmelweck "Beef on Weck"
LaNova White Pizza

What They're Drinkin':
Labatt's Blue, Molson Canadian, Yeungling

Tailgating Hotspots:
Kenny "Pinto Ron" Johnson's Tailgate Party
Recreational Vehicle Lot

Fan Resources:
Pocket Map of Buffalo
Stadium Policy
Stadium Parking Map

Local Sports Media:
The Buffalo News
WGR 550AM
Popular Bar Districts:
Chippewa Street (SoHo, Papaya, Pure, Omega Lounge, Bayou)
Elmwood Avenue (Mister Goodbar, Coles, Sahara Grill, JP Bullfeathers)
Delaware Avenue (Nektar, Toro, Fahertys, The Thirsty Buffalo, Snooty Fox,
         Stillwater)
Hertel Avenue (Fiamma, Shadow Lounge)

Best Restaurants:
Anchor Bar  (Originator of the Buffalo Chicken Wing)
Pearl Street Grill
Buffalo Chophouse (Steak)
Tandoori (Indian Cuisine)
Kentucky Gregs (BBQ)
800 Maple (Brick Oven Pizza, Martinis)
Papaya and Seabar  (Sushi)
Northend Trattoria, Romeo and Juliet's (Italian Cuisine)

Getting to the Stadium:
To get to Ralph Wilson Stadium, you're going to need to drive to Orchard Park, NY, which is a suburb of Buffalo.  Public transportation is not an option here.

Where to Stay:
I would suggest staying in a hotel in downtown Buffalo to take advantage of the nightlife.  The best hotel is definitely the Hyatt Downtown, located a stone's throw from the Chippewa Street bar district.  the Hampton Inn downtown and Adam's Mark are also good options.

 
Planning Your Next Trip to see the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium?
Traveling to all thirty-one stadiums around the National Football League, teaches you a thing or two about getting the most for your money.  I've set up this website to help others that are interested in NFL Travel.  Below you'll find links for cheap Buffalo Bills tickets, stadium seating charts, local weather, hotel, and flight information, everything you need to plan a successful trip to Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.

 
Compare Prices for
Buffalo Bills
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Click on the following links for Buffalo Bills ticket availability at each of the top online ticket brokers on the web.  Try each link to find the cheapest NFL ticket prices:
 

 
TicketCity.com
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Click for Forecast for 14214 from weatherUSA.net
         
   
15 year Anniversary   The Quest Machine made the Journey   Twenty-Four Pound Roast Beast
         
Fowling in Buffalo, NY    
Fowling in Buffalo, NY   Pin-Point Accurate Passing   Throwing for the Win
         
   
The Family Retreat Crew   Big Hans, Erik, and Myself   Hans and Hans by the Fire
         
   
Pinto Ron's Grilling Surface   Pat and Don from Coffin Corner   Coffin Corner Crew
         
   
Slicing the Beast   Ketchup Opening Ceremony   The Beer Can Chicken is done
         
   
Jarius Byrd Fan Eric   A View from the Field   Ralph WIlson Stadium Revisited
         
     
COMMENTS?
Please feel free to post any suggestions or comments you might have for my journey to
Ralph Wilson Stadium, including the following:
 
             
 - Local Hotspots (Bar Districts, Restaurants, Clubs)
               - Local Foods (Traditional Cuisine, Micro Brews)
               - Tailgating Traditions
               - Your Experiences or Helpful Hints

               - If you saw me let me know!
 
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