Vincent Gallo’s 1998 film “Buffalo ’66” is among my all-time favorites, although I’m not sure if the Buffalo native intended it as wicked satire or as a docudrama reaching into the minds of Bills fans.
A case for the latter was made in recent days as a Tweet was circulated showing a Bills fan wearing a red No. 49 jersey and tossing his very small son back-first into a cake on a folded-up table, in tribute to the tradition of overserved Bills tailgaters diving from the top of vehicles (including RVs) onto folding tables.
“That wasn’t a good look for us,” Ryan Stang said. “It played into the big misconception that it’s the only way Bills fans roll, that we’re all crazy …
“That’s only on game days.”
Stang and younger brother Aaron started attending games with their father, Richard, as tykes. “My dad wanted us to share his passion for the Bills,” Ryan said. “He also wanted to sneak beer into the stadium in our snowmobile suits.”
I was connected with Stang through mutual friend Chris Reuvers, the motive being a belief the No. 1 event on the 2020 NFL schedule released Thursday was overlooked. Brady vs. Brees on opening week — ho-hum.
What’s monumental is this: Buffalo at Las Vegas on Oct. 4. Even if it still had the real Mafia running the town, the Strip might be overmatched by Bills Mafia.
“I bought my ticket to Vegas immediately,” Stang said. “Within a day, I heard from 100 Bills fans who had done the same.”
The Bills reached the playoffs for the first time in 17 years in January 2018. They were in Jacksonville for a wild-card game. Reuvers was at the Sunday tailgate, which included building and torching a bonfire.
“A woman from security came running over and said, ‘Are you people crazy … you can’t have a bonfire!’ ” Reuvers said. “I pointed out she should have informed these law-abiding Bills fans of the bonfire prohibition in advance.”
Bills Mafia in Vegas. Let’s hope for no drownings in the Caesars Palace fountain.
Write to Reusse by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and including his name in the subject line.
Bills fans in action:
Gratitude: When Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton threw a late TD pass to beat Baltimore and put the Bills in the 2017-18 playoffs, Buffalo fans eventually donated $500,000 to Dalton charities.
Optimism I: “This feels real for the first time in 20-plus years,” Stang said. “We finally have a quarterback in Josh Allen who can become the next Jim Kelly.”
Optimism II: Anjelica Huston on the couch in “Buffalo ’66,” repeatedly watching Scott Norwood’s field-goal attempt in Super Bowl XXV, praying this time it will be good.