Now that the 2013 Bills rookie class has arrived in Buffalo, it's only fitting that we show them around the great Queen City.
The sixth annual Buffalo Bills rookie tour kicked off from One Bills Drive, as twenty-two of the newest members of the Bills team boarded the buses, eager to sightsee.
The first stop on the list was the U.S. Naval Park in Downtown Buffalo. Players had an opportunity to see some of the Buffalo waterfront, take photographs and experience historic aspects of the city.
"It's my first time out and there's definitely a lot more in the city than I thought," said Bills wide receiver Robert Woods. "The Naval Park was fun. We got to tour the ship, hear about how the ship is 'haunted' and listen to some stories of the guys who lived on the ships. Hard living standards in those days."
The rookies then made their way to the New Era Flagship store downtown, where they also toured the facility and had the opportunity to choose a hat as a souvenir.
"We were able to see the New Era establishment, and learn how they transformed the building from a bank into what it is today," said Bills linebacker Keith Pough. "It is a beautiful facility, with great staff members. They treated us like family. It was a great day here at New Era, the home of all hat making."
Rookies then made their way to the Buffalo Zoo, and met up with twenty-five Buffalo Public School #80 students, part of the United Way "Closing the Gap" schools.
Everyone gathered for a special check presentation, as the Buffalo Bills donated 10,000 dollars to the "Bear Necessities" campaign, helping keep polar bear Luna in Buffalo. Bills players EJ Manuel, Dustin Hopkins, Jonathan Meeks and Duke Williams all helped present the check to the Zoo, along with personalized Buffalo Bills jerseys for Luna and polar bear Kali.
"This is my first or second time to the zoo since I've been an adult," said Bills quarterback EJ Manuel. "When you get out here and see the animals in person, you want to help give and do anything to save their environment. I'm very happy that we're a part of something like that, giving 10,000 dollars to help the polar bears."
"It was great," said Bills defensive back Jonathan Meeks. "They were really excited about it and we were too. We're loving the experience here, seeing all the animals. It's a great experience for us all."
The tour wouldn't be complete without a trip to Niagara Falls, and even though the rain poured, our newest Bills players still could see the beauty of the Buffalo/Niagara region.
"I've never seen a waterfall this big," said Bills kicker Dustin Hopkins. "We don't have this down south or in Texas. It's breathtaking. The raw power of being on this side of it. It's amazing."