I'm kind of tired so I'll try and keep it brief -
Not going to talk much about the game itself, you've all seen it. My friend commented that he heard at least 3 Panthers fans tell Bills fans leaving early that they should stay as we always blow these games.
These Bills fans are serious. They have not been to the playoffs since 1998 I think - and many of them start tailgating the day before the game. The RV lot across the street from the stadium was sold out Saturday morning. Think about how bad they have been for how long, and realize that why we are all pissed for good reason at our coach and other things...if it's in your blood it's in your blood.
The wife and I got into our friends tailgate at around 7PM Saturday night, some of our Panthers friends from Charlotte had been there since early afternoon. We met French Canadians who drove from Montreal and made some great chili, our pal Hans from http://www.questfor31.com who made the drive from Detroit to support his Bills who offered us up some great German food, and our good friend Kenny AKA Pinto Ron, all of these guys are the best and treated us out of towners great! We had had a long day visiting Niagara Falls and left around 10:30 or so to get some rest for the next day.
By the time we showed back up @ 9:30 AM on Sunday, the lots were already mostly full - everyone tailgates there or so it seemed. Ralph Wilson is in a quiet neighborhood; it kind of reminds me of Green Bay in that regard. The Bills owned lots have gotten a lot stricter the past few years IAW NFL policy, so guys like Pinto Ron have moved to private lots not far from the stadium.
On the left is the Pinto - the hood is used as a cooktop, They are making burgers and dogs on it, along with potatoes and some other things. All the stuff in the center of the picture belongs to a guy called Pizza Pete. In his black grill he is cooking Philly Style pulled pork in an old oil pan, and chicken soup - from scratch - in a flowerpot. The mailbox is lined with hot coals over which some great smelling Jamacian Jerk chicken is getting ready. His pizza is being cooked in the file cabinet next to the grill. The toilet is used as a beer cooler.
In front of the Pinto is a wood bar, where you can line up to take a bowling ball shot. The bartender pours some kind of liqueur into the thumb hole (with a cherry on top if it's your first time) and after you drink, you drop the ball to the ground and attempt to blow a mighty note from a plastic horn, That bowling ball gets nasty with all that sticky booze and dirt/grass.
The highlight of the pregame ceremonies, however, is the ketchup ritual. Kenny (Pinto Ron) comes out with a plain hamburger asking if anyone has any condiments for his burger. The attendees oblige:
Kenny takes about 20 minutes after getting hammered with all this crap taking pictures with folks even though he can't see
Occasionally a person makes a bad, probably alcohol fueled decision to give him a hug
Eventually Kenny gets cleaned up and we head into the game. Although I've never had any trouble at the stadiums I visit (drinking responsibly is a key component of this) Kenny and our friend Greg, AKA Captain Buffalo, insist on being our groups escort into Ralph Wilson. Other than the normal good natured boos there are no problems.
During halftime they had a "Wall of Fame" ceremony with lots of former Bills players, coaches etc. No OJ, but Charlottes own Joe DeLamielleure was there along with Marv Levy, Thurman Thomas, Jim Kelly, Andre Reed, and lots of others.
When the Bills came back and won, these people went absolutely nuts, They are more starved for success than we are by far and it seemed many people could not believe that luck went their way.
After the game we all headed back to the tailgate to congratulate the Bills fans and commiserate amongst ourselves like I'm sure all of you have. After the crowds started thinning out we went to a bar down the street and watched Andre Reed, wearing his nice new Bills Hall of Fame jacket, go to work picking up women.