In the weekend leading up to Buffalo's Week 4 game, the Bills celebrated fandom in a big way. The team's "Fantennial Weekend," the Bills paid tribute to the great players, coaches and fans that have contributed to 60 years of Bills franchise history. Given the theme, it was only fitting that the Bills honor longtime fan and Season Ticket Member, Ron Walters.
Although he's not from Buffalo, the connection Walters does have to the area was enough for him to develop a deep-rooted love for the Bills. In fact, it was fate that brought his parents to the area. After meeting one another in their native Pennsylvania, the two moved to Buffalo for work. His father, who was in the service, and his mother, who was a nurse in training, then tied the knot in the Queen City.
"… I just always liked Buffalo," he explained. "My parents actually, when they got married, they got married in Buffalo and they lived there. My father worked…[there] for about four or five years and my mother was a registered nurse and [then] they moved down here to Corry Pennsylvania and ended up buying a farm that I still live on today."
Taking an interest in the Bills, Walters started attending games in 1986 and has been a proud Season Ticket Member since 1992. After making the drive from his home in Columbus, located 90 miles from New Era Field, for more than 30 years to cheer on the team, Western New York has become a second home for Walters.
Over time, his game day traditions have evolved, but one thing has always remained the same – the bonding experience he shares with his friends and family each time he makes the trip. Purchasing his first motor home 20 years ago, Walters would bring the party with him to Orchard Park from Pennsylvania! Taking 14 friends along for the adventure, Walters and his crew would cook out and spend time getting to know other tailgaters before taking to their seats to watch the likes of Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Don Beebe and other Bills greats.
At 72 years old, Walters, who nowadays has quite the weekend schedule, still enjoys attending games with his son and his son's friends. In addition to supporting his Bills, Walters makes time to root for his hometown Penn State team, along with watching his grandson who plays at the high school level.
"I also have season tickets to Penn State," he said. "I still take my motor home to Penn State. So, if Penn State is playing on Saturday and the Bills are playing on Sunday, I drive back Saturday night and park the motor home and get up Sunday and go to the [Bills] game. Then my grandson is also the quarterback for Corning High School, in Corning, New York, and he plays on Friday nights. So, if we take the motor home to State College, we tow our truck down and then we drive up there for that game and then drive back to State College."
A unifying factor in Walters' family, football has given him an opportunity to create countless memories that he will never forget, with people he may not have met otherwise.
"I just like the people," he said. "I see a lot of the same people [at Bills games]. The people that sit around me in my area, they're kind of like me. They've stayed with the game. It's kind of neat – obviously, you haven't seen them all year long then the first game you hook up with a lot of people…you know their faces and you get to spend time with them. There's one usher…in my section, who is just a super person. Everyone loves the guy…"
The Buffalo Bills would like to thank Ron for his many years of being a loyal Bills Season Ticket Member and our Season Ticket Member of the Game. In addition to Ron being selected as a Season Ticket Member of the Game for the Patriots vs. Bills matchup, he received a club seat upgrade, an autographed item and select Bills merchandise.
If you would like to nominate a Season Ticket Member of the Game, please fill out the form located here.
Photos of Bills fans smiling during Buffalo's home game against the Patriots at New Era Field. Say Cheese is presented by Yancey's Fancy.