While last Sunday's power outage during the San Diego game made life difficult for fans at the stadium in a handful of ways, Bills fans made the best of it. From singing the Shout song without music prompting them after Rian Lindell's opening field goal, to cheering when the Windows computer software chime blared over the public address system indicating power had been restored.
But the situation was far more desperate for Bills fans scattered across the country trying to tune into the game. Below are some excerpts from just a few of the more interesting, inventive and impressive means that Bills fans employed last Sunday to both provide and receive all of the Bills action that was not broadcast.
Thanks to all the fans that submitted their anecdotes in connection with Sunday's game.
- I was at the game this past Sunday, however my mother, aunt, and one of my best friends were unable to attend. And of course, they could not watch a lot of the game on television. So I got on my cell phone and called my aunt and did play by play for the duration of the "blackout." She in turn was on the phone with my mother giving her the updates I was providing. I also had my buddy's cell phone up to my other ear giving the same play by play to my friend back home. Our entire section was helping by keeping track of the score, down and distance, etc.
It was actually pretty fun to do the play by play, and I got so used to it that when power was restored, my instinct was to call out things like "Edwards under center, I-formation behind him." It was a great experience, and one I'll never forget. If John Murphy ever needs any additional help from the stands, just let me know.
- At Delilah's, the Bills Backers bar in Chicago, we had an interesting way to deal with the CBS feed going out. After calling friends at the game to find out what was happening and learning the game had started again, I used my blackberry to get play by play updates online and announced each play over the sound system in the bar.
When the Bills scored we still played the Shout song, as we always do in the bar. Thankfully, the power came back on in the second half before the battery died in my blackberry.
- We were all geared up to watch the game down in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Charlottesville Buffalo Bills Backers gathers around 30 Bills fans for each game and we were out in force of this one. Right after the coverage stopped and the game switched over to the Bengal-Steelers game, everybody was panicking and calling whoever they new that was at the game or lived in Western New York. Finally, one of us tuned into the radio broadcast on his phone and gave us updates on each play. Here we were, about 30 Bills fans all huddled around a guy listening to his phone and cheering every time the Bills made a first down or got a stop. But this wasn't enough.
We borrowed the laptop from one of the members who was keeping track of fantasy stats and hooked it up to the stereo we use to play "Shout" every time the Bills score. It was like the days before television, everybody quiet so we could listen, talking about how the play developed in our heads.
It was so frustrating, but also so weird - nothing like this had every happened in my years of watching the Bills. Anyway, the power came back on at the Ralph and we enjoyed actually watching the rest of the game. It was certainly a Bills experience to be remembered.
NOTE: For those fans that want to see coverage of last Sunday's game the NFL Network is broadcasting the game on their NFL Replay series. The first airing will be Wednesday night at 9:30pm. It will be broadcast again at 2:30am Thursday morning and one last time on Thursday afternoon at 2:30pm.