Longtime Buffalo Bills center Eric Wood will return to New Era Field this Sunday, Oct. 7, as the team’s ‘Leader of the Charge.’ Find out more Wood’s nine-year career with the Bills, what he’s up to now and other fun facts about the fan favorite.
1. What do you do in your spare time now?
I stay pretty busy. I like to play golf, and we spent some time going to the lake this summer and doing some traveling. We’ve taken in a Louisville football game this year, I went to a Bills game [and] I went to Purdue last weekend for a game. I’ve had little bits of media work mixed in. I have my column with The Athletic now and a bunch of radio stuff so far.
2. Why are you excited to come back as the ‘Leader of the Charge’?
I’m excited to get back in the stadium and experience another game day atmosphere. I’m excited to experience it from another perspective now, maybe tailgate before the game. We're still going to do our normal plan postgame…Just get back into that game day routine one more time and enjoy it.
3. What was it like for you to be drafted by the Bills?
It was awesome. I was born in the mid-80s, so in my early childhood the Bills were an excellent team, as I was growing up. I grew up a big Bengals fan, but you quickly learn post-college, when you’re getting ready for the draft, that you really don’t care who drafts you, you just want to be drafted high to a good fit, a good city [and] a good organization and I got lucky that was it for me with the Bills.
4. Do you remember how you felt your first game day here? What was that like?
My first game was Monday Night Football at New England and my second game we came home and beat Tampa Bay. That was a fun home opener in my career.
5. Who was the funniest person that you played with?
Probably Ryan Fitzpatrick.
6. What was your most memorable moment playing for the Bills?
Making the playoffs will always be my lasting memory. It was my final memory with the Bills and also my lasting one. It was such an awesome experience ending the drought. Prior to that, we had a few awesome wins that were a ton of fun.
7. What do you miss most about Buffalo?
I miss the season in Buffalo. For us, we spend our offseasons in Louisville and our whole family would be up there for the full season in Buffalo and we just really enjoyed our falls. We had all our routines and we loved having people come in for games and there was always family around up there. It was a ton of fun.
8. What do you miss most about game day?
Just going out there and competing. That’s kind of what I’m missing in my life right now – something to be truly competitive at. I don’t think you’ll ever replicate going out on Sunday and competing with the best in the world at something, especially as physical as football but I do miss just going out there and competing.
9. Who was the toughest person you had to play against?
I get asked this a lot, and depending on the situation, it could be a number of people. I thought Damon Harrison with the Jets was down-by-down one of the toughest nose guards I went against. As a center, if you ever had to block a guy like J.J. Watt or Aaron Donald one-on-one then that was always really difficult.
Throughout his time as a Buffalo Bill Eric Wood has made a significant impact on the community. Relive some of the most memorable moments from his past nine seasons.
10. If you didn’t play professional football, what would you have liked to do?
Now I would say a professional golfer because I really enjoy that but growing up I was into sports. If I couldn’t be a pro football player, I would’ve loved to play pro basketball.
11. Who were your idols growing up?
I would say my parents. A Cincinnati guy I liked growing up was Ken Griffey Jr. I’ve always had a ton of respect for Anthony Muñoz.
12. If they were going to make a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?
I guess it depends on the setting. If it’s a football movie then…I would say looks-wise, I kind of have a Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen look. So, I guess I’d go with that, but I don’t know how well they’d do in a football movie.
13. If you were to play Will Ferrell in a movie, which Will Ferrell movie would you want to star in?
14. Do you have any guilty pleasure reality TV shows that you watch?
I’ve grown out of it, but for about five seasons I did watch “The Bachelor” with my wife.
15. What scene from a TV show will you never forget?
The ending of “Breaking Bad.”
16. What is your most treasured possession?
I would say my house in Louisville.
17. What’s the most important lesson that life has taught you so far?
Stay positive and enjoy the moment.
18. Who is someone that if you were to meet them, you’d ‘fan boy’ over?
Bob Seger. I was going through a list of musicians and a lot of them that I would fan boy over, I’ve met already. That’s on my mind because I’m going to see him [Bob Seger] in concert in a few months.
19. What’s the weirdest or craziest interaction you’ve ever had with a fan?
A few years ago, someone said something [asking if they] can they send something for an autograph. So, I said ‘Yes, here’s the address’ and then that got real popular. Bills fans started sending me weird stuff and I said I would put the weirdest stuff on Twitter. So, that period of two months when everyone was sending me weird stuff in the mail that was a series of my weirdest interactions with Bills fans.
20. What is the weirdest thing you received?
It was everything from beer growlers to an eviction notice.
22. What is the best vacation spot that you’ve ever been to?
We really enjoy Cabo [San Lucas, Mexico].
23. What would you do if you were invisible for the day?
Go out to Area 51 and walk around and check it out.
24. Would you rather live for a week in the past or a week in the future?
A week in the future. I don’t necessarily want to change anything from the past. This is greedy, but I would probably check out the stock market and see what it’s doing.
25. What is your workout routine like now?
I eat a lot less than I did when I was playing – it was always hard for me to keep on weight. I own a gym in Louisville and I generally do a boot camp class most days of the week with all of the other stay-at-home moms and dads at 9 a.m. when most people are working.
26. Do you also own part of a race horse? How did you get into horse racing?
I own part of a race horse and she finally won. Her name is “Miss Loyalty.” Rick Pitino named her. It’s hard not to get into it when you live in Louisville, but a bunch of my buddies are into it and so they kind of got me into it. I was down in the Winner’s Circle after a Derby one year because a mutual friend of me and Rick Pitino won, and he said, ‘Hey we should get a horse’ and I said, ‘Let’s do it’…
27. What is your favorite childhood memory?
It’s not really childhood but, winning the state championship in football in high school.
28. Did you play the same position in high school?
I did not. I played tight end until my senior year and then I played tackle my senior year.
29. What is the most impressive thing that you can cook?
You know, I cook almost all our meals. We’re pretty simple. We’re like meat and fish and veggies – that type of family. I think I can cook a good steak.
30. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?