Backers make gamedays their own in Jacksonville


Good, hometown food is a common thread amongst Bills Backers chapters all over the country – and rightfully so, as moving away from Buffalo leads to chicken wing, beef-on-weck, and Sahlen's hot dog withdrawals.

But what about Scum Dogs and ROC Piles? We'd never heard of them either, until we talked to the Bills Backers of Jacksonville. Scum dogs, a version of a chili dog, and ROC Piles, a takeoff of the famous Rochester garbage plates, are two creations that make gamedays in Jacksonville feel a little bit like home.

Co-president of the Jacksonville Backers Bob Hoppe says the relationship they've developed with owners at their gameday spot, Wing-It Restaurant and Sports Pub, has not only enabled them to make unique menu requests but to create other traditions that get these Backers excited on gamedays.

"We've developed a connection with the place," Hoppe says. "We can get loud and rowdy and we don't have to worry about it."

After touchdowns, one of the younger Backers puts on a Bills helmet and runs around the bar, making sure each of the fans touches it. All the while, the Shout song plays from a boombox topped by red rotating police light that's put into motion after each score.

The group of about one hundred has even been known to play a game or two of corn hole inside the bar.

All of these quirks, Hoppe says, give the Jacksonville Bills Backers the character that keeps the chapter growing, and its members forming close bonds with each other year after year.

"I moved to Jacksonville for the Florida beaches and lifestyle," Hoppe said "However, something was always missing.  In the Bills Backers I found that piece of home that I was missing."

If you're in Jacksonville, head to Wing-It Sports Pub to join in on the fun. If not, click here to find the Bills Backers Chapter near you.

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