CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo Niagara International Airport has been a popular place for Bills fans over the past week.
First, they showed up early Monday morning to welcome home their drought-busting team. And late this week, thousands could be seen catching a flight south to attend the Bills first playoff game in 17 seasons.
It’s easy to see the minds of local fans changing, and it’s time to put regrets in the rear view.
“The last 17 years has been a struggle,” said John Jaracz, of Buffalo. “We were season ticket holders from the Super Bowl days. I can say one of the regrets I had was I never went to one of those games.”
Jaracz and his friends Mike Borowiak, of Cheektowaga, and Jerry Miller, of Depew, are in it for the long haul.
They, like many others, were getting ready to board the 12:10 flight to Orlando, where they’ll grab a car and head north to a stadium that’s had a difficult time attracting sell-out crowds.
“Usually southern people are very laid back,” Miller said. “We’re going to take it over. They’re already nervous cause it’s snowing down there.”
“You get all the jokes, and people saying, they’re not going anywhere,” said Pharaoh Paige, of Buffalo. “And just to have that, ‘I told you so.’ We’re going to the Super Bowl.
“It’s exciting, we’re feeling great, man,” added his friend Larry Miles. “It’s been 17 years. The minute they won, this man went online and grabbed tickets.”
It’s the same story for Jennifer Keem and and her husband Brad, who’s been a season ticket holder for 12 years. Their New Year’s celebration got an enormous boost when the all the chips fell into place Sunday night.
“So excited. I can’t wait to get down there, see all the other Bills fans,” Brad said. “We’re meeting some friends from college there. That’s really what it’s all about is, there’s so much camaraderie and family in the Bills Mafia. It’s going to be great.”