The Houston Texans aren't the only ones awaiting their former teammate's arrival.
The entire city of Houston has been abuzz about this weekend's matchup and the return of Mario Williams since the schedule came out in April, says Bills Backers of Houston President Katie O'Brien. Needless to say, O'Brien and her Backers are ready to show Houston what Bills fans are made of.
"We've been waiting since 2006 for the Bills to come back to Houston," O'Brien said. "I have my Bills Mario jersey just to wear to this game to shove it in their faces."
With this spirited attitude and the understanding that nobody does tailgating better than Bills fans (and certainly not Texans fans, she said emphatically) O'Brien set out to bring a "real" tailgate weekend to Houston. Her Backers Club partnered with George Wilson's S.A.F.E.T.Y. Foundation to throw a Saturday night pregame bash, hosted by Christian's Tailgate Midtown where the Houston Backers meet for games each Sunday.
In preparation for what she thinks will be more Backers than the bar can hold, O'Brien warned the bar owner – who loves the Backers after having an all-time record night the last time the Bills and their fans flocked to Houston – that this wouldn't be your average pregame party. "You're going to be well over fire code," she said. "You have to have enough Labatt Blue or people will leave."
Bills memorabilia and other items will be raffled off, with all proceeds going to George Wilson's charity. Terri Carr, manager of the S.A.F.E.T.Y. Foundation, said the event in Houston will benefit kids in various communities throughout the holiday season, including those at the North Buffalo Community Center. "Bills Backers around the country have been so great to us," Carr said.
Though this event will bring Bills fans from all over, including a big group of Atlanta Backers who are making this matchup in Houston their annual travel weekend, a solid crew of 75 to 100 Backers meets weekly at Christian's for the games. O'Brien says her group, and other Backers from around Texas, really came together when Kevin Everett was going through rehab at the center she works at in Houston. They made and delivered a big "Get Well" poster signed by hundreds of Backers to show their support.
"Texas - although it's a big state - we all come together for the Bills," O'Brien said. "I'd call it more like the Texas Bills Backers."
In that case, these Texas Bills Backers sound like they're ready to bring their tailgating back to its pregame, Orchard Park roots before they'll make their presence known in the stands of Reliant Stadium on Sunday.
Want to join the Bills Backers of Houston? Contact Katie O'Brien at email@example.com or head to Christian's Tailgate Midtown during the game each Sunday.