This year, in honor of the NFL's 100th season and Buffalo's 60th, the Bills will pay tribute to the individuals and moments that have contributed to franchise history. Recently, buffalobills.com caught up with former kicker Steve Christie, who played for the Bills from 1992-2000, the team's all-time leading scorer. Find out more about Christie's tenure with the Bills, how he spends his time now and more.
1. Why are you excited to come to game this weekend?
We were just up there for Legends Weekend, so that was nice to see everybody, but I always love watching the Bills play Miami. Because back in the day, when I was there, it was a real [big] rivalry back when [it] was Jim Kelly versus Dan Marino back in that era…From then on, it's always been, for me, a rivalry. Now that we moved down to Florida, it's always great to see the Bills play Miami – even down here.
2. Given your battle with cancer, and that this is the Crucial Catch game, that has to be special for you.
I mean I was diagnosed five years ago, and I really didn't say a whole lot about it. I thought it was kind of a personal journey and the only reason I did mention anything at the time, and it wasn't to too many people…but the only reason I said anything at all, is because I had colorectal cancer and the screening process doesn't start for your colonoscopies, endoscopies, doesn't start until your 50. Well, I got diagnosed at 46. So, my whole point was if there's anything wrong, don't wait. Get in there and get checked. That's the only reason I decided to do anything publicly about it and now that come November 20th, it will be five years for me where I'm cancer free.
As the Bills prepare to play on the road against the Miami Dolphins, scroll through to view photos from previous matchups between the two opponents.
3. What was your favorite thing about playing for the Bills?
My first impression was going to camp at Fredonia and thousands of people there to watch us practice because when I was with the Buccaneers, you know, you'd get a few hundred, but it was thousands at the time. Back in the Super Bowl era, I just couldn't believe the number of fans that came out for practice at camp, you know. At first, it was a little overwhelming but then I quickly realized that I was with the right team, at the right time.
I'll tell you this, there are Bills fans, as you know, all over the country and no matter where we've lived or visited, I see Bills t-shirts everywhere. It's really incredible.
4. What is your favorite memory or moment with the Bills?
Probably the "Comeback Game" against Houston. Just the ups and downs of the game and coming into halftime down so much and even though we came back out in the second half. Frank [Reich] threw a touchdown but then he hit Andre [Reed] and Don Beebe and we just had so many big plays to come back in that one and to be able to finish it off in overtime, was probably my biggest memory there.
5. What was that like to be the person that sealed the victory?
Yeah, it was really neat. I'm coaching down here and it's something I tell the guys. You could be down by a lot and still be in the game. Never give up. You never know when you'll make a few big plays and before you know it, you have a chance to win – just like the Houston game. Sure enough, that's what happened with us. There was a certain point where I think we just wanted…to at least bring some respectability back and give them a good show, get a few points on the board. But then before long, you're in the game and you realize 'Man, we can actually win this thing' and that's what was so special about it.
6. At what level are you coaching?
High school. My daughter's at Lakewood Ranch High School and I'm a volunteer there. I coach the kickers and punters and long snappers. I help out on special teams, of course. It's usually one or two days a week and then Friday night lights and you know, they bring in a pretty good crowd. Whereas, when I played high school football in Canada and we'd only have about 20 people there and those were all the dads who took off early from work. So, [it's] quite a contrast really experiencing a big-time, I call it big-time, high school football because I never really had that…A lot of kids get recruited…to really big schools and it's fun to see them play at the high school level before. One kid that we played against last week, has already committed to Florida State and you can tell he's just a special athlete. I appreciate seeing kids play at that level, at that age. It's kind of exciting.
7. Who did you consider your best friends in the locker room?
Well, Adam Lingner, Ethan Albright, Chris Moore, Steve Tasker – we had a good bunch of guys – Pete Metzelaars, our end of that locker room at the time was a good bunch. Don Beebe was down there, and we had a pretty good crew…[the] same thing happened when I was in San Diego. The older you get, they kind of stick you with the old guys and it is pretty good that way…it was like that in Buffalo. Even though I was relatively young at the time, they stuck me with older guys, and I appreciated that.
8. Do you still keep in contact with a lot of your former teammates?
Yeah, I check in with them here and there. You know, the same bunch of guys and like I said, it's nice to come back…and catch up with the guys and oddly enough, [I've seen] some of the guys that I played with in Buffalo and San Diego. So, that's also kind of neat. There's a weird little bond there with the guys that left Buffalo and went out there, basically following John Butler out there…
9. When you were playing, did you have any game day rituals or superstitions?
No. Most people think that kickers are superstitious, I'm not. I like to get to the field early and I just read the Game Day program. That's basically my deal. Then I went and stretched and did my warmup and I did that my whole career, but I really didn't follow any particular regiment. I just, you know, got to work early and got ready to go.
10. What is your favorite Bills uniform combination?
I still like the red helmet. That's just me. I just associate with the red helmet and that's probably what I liked about it.
11. What do you miss most about playing in the NFL?
I think I miss Sunday afternoon at 1 o'clock. I miss coming out of the locker room and regardless of the weather, knowing that the Bills fans would be there. The stadium would be packed, and you know, I think that goes back to another question, "What do you remember most about playing for the Bills" and that's the fans. No matter what our record was, no matter how cold it was…they still packed the house. And to come out of the tunnel in Buffalo, was incredible. That was something you never forget. That's a feeling that you don't get everywhere.
12. Besides coaching, what are you up to now?
My wife Kelly and I do real estate down here and most of clients are from Western New York – the Buffalo area, some from Chicago, but a lot of Northeasterners come down and we handle a lot of their real estate stuff. Then I paint. I majored in fine arts at William & Mary and mostly oil painting. Now I do acrylic – I do a lot of painting still. It's very therapeutic.
13. Do you sell your work?
I do. Whatever Kelly lets me sell. Whatever pieces she really likes, she'll keep. Then other stuff I donate to charity or occasionally I'll sell something.
14. Do you have any favorite TV shows that you're watching right now?
'Vikings.' We watch 'Vikings.' love that show. I'm part Norwegian, so…I can relate to it. I've been to Norway and Sweden, Denmark, I've been to Scandinavia a few times and I really do connect with the area. I love watching that show…
15. What is your ideal vacation spot?
Kelly and I got married in Ireland. I would say, I'd go back to Ireland any day or go back to Scotland any day. Those are my favorite spots, despite the weather – a lot of rain.
16. If you could pick one, would you go back in time or to the future?
Well, if I wasn't going to be a football player, I wanted to be an architect and I couldn't study architecture at William & Mary because the practice schedule and the lab times conflicted. So, if I could change one thing as to somehow make that work, because I really wanted to be an architect and obviously still be able to play football, if I could change that, that's one thing I would do – for me anyway.