Lee Evans remembers playing on a then-undefeated team in front of a packed house at the Ralph like it was yesterday.
"I remember getting off to a fast start and being 4-0 at the time and coming home to play games," he said of the 2008 season. "The atmosphere in Buffalo was just electric."
The former Bills wide receiver will have the chance to return to that electric atmosphere this Sunday when the undefeated Bills take on the Chargers and Evans returns to Ralph Wilson Stadium as the Leader of the Charge. Though he's made a few return trips for Bills games since his time with the team ended in 2011, this will be his first time as the Leader of the Charge, presiding over the tunnel as the Bills run onto the field.
"It's a tremendous opportunity and privilege to do it," Evans said on the John Murphy Show. "They invited me to come back and I'd been to a couple games last year, so to do it this week, I'm excited."
The Bills 2004 first-round draft pick will make the trip from Northern Virginia, where he just moved into a new house with his wife Miranda and son Lee Evans IV, who is now 6 years old and just might have inherited some of his dad's athletic genes.
"He's very in tune with athletics," said Evans. "Obviously he loves football, loves playing it, watching it, reading about it. Anytime he can get his hands on the football he's trying to be a part of it. It's nothing that's forced by me, he just loves doing it."
While Evans was still in the league, shortly after he set the record for receiving yards as a Bills rookie (a record Sammy Watkins is now chasing), he put together a small real estate business that he's had more time to jump into since he retired from the NFL in 2012.
"We were doing well before but now that I have more time and energy to put towards it, we're trying to take it to another level," he said. "That was the plan, to try to get involved in other things while I was playing, things that I'd be interested in doing when I got done."
In addition to real estate and as he and his family put their roots down in Virginia, Evans just this week received his diploma in the mail after finishing his degree in Consumer Science from the University of Wisconsin, where he played college football.
And on Sundays, he still follows and roots for the Bills, especially having played with some of the veterans on the team like Kyle Williams and Fred Jackson.
"I follow the games pretty closely," said Evans. "They looked good. Where they are right now, I know the excitement and the feeling going around the city and hopefully they can continue and build on it and finish a lot stronger than we did in years back."