Finger Lakes native Paige Clark is the January honoree of the 2021-22 Buffalo Bills Season Ticket Member of the Month Program, and she's been rooting for the Bills for over a decade.
Originally from Hammondsport, NY, Paige now resides in Lewiston and will be entering her 10th year as a season ticket holder this fall. Her stepfather, James Johnson, originally purchased seats in the 300 Section of the stadium but then passed them down to her. She would then move down to Section 125 and now watches from Section 124.
Paige's love for the Bills began after her first time watching them live against the New York Jets on Nov. 2, 2008. James, or JJ as Paige calls him, is still one of the biggest influences on her connection to the team. But it's more than just watching the Bills play that brings them closer on game day.
"He has been a huge reason I became a Bills fan and continues to be my meat grilling partner because we throw epic tailgate parties," Paige said. "Anyone who knows me knows that if they plan to tailgate with us, it's going to be a good time. It's a huge piece of the gameday experience.
" … I've been to a few away games and there's nothing like the home-like, neighborhood atmosphere that we have here with our tailgating experiences in Orchard Park. So, it's definitely the best place, for sure."
Paige said her and her family have been tailgating at the same location on Big Tree Road for 10 years strong.
Paige's biological father, Kevin Kaiser, is an Indianapolis Colts fan, so on Jan. 3, 2010, they attended the Bills' home finale when they downed the then 14-1 Colts, 30-7. It was the first time the Bath resident got to see his favorite team and in-state team play each other in person. Paige was able to capture the moment of her father in a picture, but ironically, there was a pleasant surprise to come with it.
"During the game, I snapped a photo of my dad, of him kind of screaming at the crowd. And we didn't find out until months later when I met my now husband Chris [Clark], that Chris actually was in the photo in the background," Paige said. "So, we didn't even know each other … so it was definitely fate for sure."
One of the Clarks' mutual friends would connect the two months later, which led to them dating for several years. Fast forward to 2015, their connection to the Bills got even stronger when Chris decided to propose to Paige during Buffalo's 41-14 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 27, 2015.
"I remember it was after halftime and I remember our offense was on the field because they were running towards our end zone," said Paige, alluding to their Section 125 seats.
"I was focused on that, then all of a sudden my now husband looked at me and got on one knee during the play. And I'm like 'I'm trying to watch the game!' But it was so cool. … The sweet thing was that a fan behind us saw that he was doing it, so he popped out his phone and took pictures. So, I have some pictures there as well."
Paige has many favorites to share about her Bills fandom. Her favorite current players are former All-Pros and Pro Bowlers Josh Allen and Micah Hyde. As mentioned before, Paige loves handling the grill at tailgates, but her family and friends also play a favorite party song to maintain tailgating traditions.
"Every tailgate we always play Thunderstruck," said Paige, referring to the 1990 AC/DC classic that's become a fixture as a party game at tailgates and bars alike. "So that's something we do every single time, it gets people going."
She may not be a Buffalo native, but Paige has assimilated to the culture in Western New York. She was able to provide perspective on what has allowed for her to now call the 716 home.
"[It's] the home-like atmosphere, no matter where you go. It's the City of Good Neighbors right?" Paige said. "And it's not just the City of Buffalo, it's everywhere around it. So the experience, wherever you go, everyone is like family. And everywhere you go, if you're wearing Bills stuff or not, you always leave the store and they say 'Go Bills!,' it's just kind of that thing.
"There's no goodbye, it's 'Go Bills!,' that's it."
Paige and Chris also have two young children together—3-year-old Harper and 6-month-old Jaxson. Harper got to attend her first game during the Bills' preseason Kids Day event in August 2019, but Jaxson will have to wait until this coming fall to watch the team live. For Paige, she's just thrilled to be kickstarting their fandom from a young age.
"I'm super excited to start this next generation being Bills fans," Paige said. "It's really awesome to bring them into this positive world of football when the rest of the world around us is kind of crazy right now."