My name is David Alpuche and I'm a Buffalo Bills fan. I know you are cringing right now, there is no other acceptable reaction to that statement and I'm used to it. This upcoming football season marks my 21st year as a football fan with equal number of years as a Buffalo Bills fan. How does a Mexican that has never set foot anywhere near Buffalo became a fan of one of football's most inglorious franchises?
It all started with 8 year old me heading to watch my first Super Bowl, actually my first football game ever, at the house of a family friend. You'll see, the Super Bowl is THE sporting event of the year here in the US, but in a country dominated by soccer and without a professional football league, the Super Bowl is a very niche event, especially 20 years ago, when Cable TV was just starting and you were limited to 4 channels.
In any case, my family had a friend that was heavy into football and we were on our way to his Super Bowl party to watch the New York Giants take in the Buffalo Bills. Super Bowl XV, live from Tampa Bay! I honestly don't remember why but I picked the Bills to win the game. It might have been the name of the team, the logo or who knows, 8 year olds are not known for educated decisions or their sound judgment, but that decision ended up deciding my future as a football fan.
I remember being dazzled by the game itself: The speed of the runners, the strength of the blockers, the agility of the receivers, the fast thinking abilities of the Quarterbacks. It all aligned to impress an admittedly very impressionable 8 year old that night.
That the game itself turned out to be one of the all time greats was just a plus. After almost four quarters of non-stop action and with just 8 seconds left on the clock, my team had one last chance to win the game. All my team -- yes, MY team-- had to do was bring Scott Norwood, aka the guy that kicks the ball, to the field and he would kick the ball between those two posts far away for three points, a celebration and a trophy to take home. My first Super Bowl and I was going to be on the winning side! What could go wrong?
As it turns out, kicking that ball is not as easy, especially from 47 yards away and as I watched the ball go to the right, wide right, of the posts, the Giants erupted in celebration and I, along with the rest of our team, stood there in disbelief. Game Over.
My newly adopted team lost but I was hooked for life, and the Bills and I were coming back to win it all next year!
If I only knew what the next three -- ok twenty one-- years would bring me and the rest of the Bills fans it probably would've been smarter to wait a few more seasons to pick a team to root for.
Oh well, too late for that now, so.... Go Bills! Make me proud this 2012 season.
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