Two Buffalo-area natives open up as honorees for the Buffalo Bills Season Ticket Member of the Month Program for the 2021 season. Celeste and Michael Cline are the recipients for the month of September, as the spouses were jointly selected after nominating each other.
Michael became a season-ticket holder first in 2007, while Celeste was a few years behind in 2013. They are also from two different ends of the region, as Michael grew up near the team in Orchard Park and Celeste lived in Medina.
The two initially met on a dating app and what piqued Celeste's interest was that Michael shared that he's a Bills fan on his profile.
That eventually led to the Clines being married in front of Highmark Stadium in June 2020, rather than inside of it due to COVID restrictions. The ceremony took place in the Bills Mafia House's backyard, which allowed the Bills' home stadium to be set as the backdrop. Members of the wedding party walked out to different NFL Films tunes and the Bills 'Shout!' song was played after the ceremony.
Michael also has a Bills wedding band. The couple even had a Bills themed 1-year anniversary party, which featured a split Bills-Miami Hurricanes helmet cake, rally towel party favors and custom blue and red shoes for Celeste.
For Celeste, her favorite current Bills players are Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs. Some would pick the QB-WR combo's on-field connection for their fandom of the tandem, but Celeste has a different take on the two.
"Their relationship is just so cute," she said.
Michael's favorite current Bills player is 2021 first-round pick Greg Rousseau, since the Hialeah, Florida native played at the former's favorite college program — the University of Miami (FL).
Seeing the team go through a 17-season playoff drought, Celeste's favorite Bills memory was watching the 2017 squad make it into the postseason after defeating the Miami Dolphins, and getting help from the Cincinnati Bengals with a comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens. That was also the first season Celeste and Michael were together, as they joined the packs of fans who welcomed the Bills home at Buffalo Niagara International Airport after those Week 17 games.
Michael had many favorite memories to choose from, but one that stood out was the Bills' 2003 season-opening shutout against the New England Patriots.
Although they do not take part in tailgates traditionally, the Clines often spend gameday mornings visiting friends who may be coming into town for Bills home games. Michael and Celeste added that they do not have a go-to tailgate food, but their pregame Tim Horton's run is a must before kickoff.
Buffalo may be New York State's second largest city, but Celeste loves how small and tight-knit the region feels. She was able to elaborate on what sticks out to her the most about the City of Good Neighbors.
"Especially within the Bills community, everybody knows everybody," she said
" … The team brings people together and it still amazes me, to this day, that we have an NFL team. We watch all the games and play fantasy and do all that stuff, and you hear about all the big names out there.
"And then it's like here I am [Sunday] standing in the front during warmups with my cousin and being like 'dude, Stefon Diggs is right there. Can you even believe that we live here and this is right here in front of our faces?'"