She's been playing fantasy football for the better part of the last five years and the Home Team Challenge has been part of Donna Proctor's weekly routine in the fall. The North Carolina resident has always fared rather well in her respective fantasy leagues, but finishing the 2011 season as the Home Team Challenge winner among all Bills fans in the country was a first.
"I've probably been playing Home Team Challenge for about five years," said Proctor of the Budweiser sponsored online fantasy game. "I'll be honest I didn't have a defined approach to playing, but a lot of the time I'd play a lot of the same players on my fantasy team. There were instances where I'd play players that were performing well week to week."
Leading all Bills fans in points through the final few weeks of the season Proctor almost couldn't believe she had a chance to win the Home Team Challenge grand prize of Bills season tickets for 2012 along with a Budweiser mini-fridge.
"I thought it was too good to be true," she said. "I thought there was no way I was going to pull it off. I saw I was in first place coming down to the end, but I thought someone was going to beat me and I wouldn't end up in first place. Then when it was over I wasn't contacted for a couple of weeks, but I didn't say anything to anybody because I didn't want to jinx it. But I finally got the email."
Proctor, who got the news after coming home from work one day, was all by herself and didn't have anyone to celebrate with so she told everyone she knew on her phone and with social media.
"I was so excited and I couldn't stand it," she said. "I was by myself and I was calling everybody and texting and put it on Facebook. We live in North Carolina so I was contacting all of our friends in Western New York. I can't wait to see when the games are going to be to see which ones I can go to."
One game she knows she will attend with her husband and daughter is the Miami game seeing as both of her family members are Dolphins fans, which should make for an interesting atmosphere. What will make the first game that she and her family attend extra special is it will mark the first time she has ever seen an NFL game live.
"I've never been to a live NFL game before so this is really exciting for me," she said. "Our friends will fill us in on the tailgate experience too having never done that at Ralph Wilson Stadium either. We're going to be making road trips up and trying to make a weekend of it."
Usually it's the husband that drives his wife batty with the constant chatter about fantasy football like the Home Team Challenge, but in the Proctor home the roles are reversed. However, the nagging from her husband has subsided considerably since her big victory.
"My husband he doesn't play believe or not," said Proctor. "He says I drive him crazy with the fantasy football, but when I won the season tickets and the Budweiser mini-fridge he was really happy I play."