1) The Pegula Era begins.
Friday was a momentous day for all in Western New York and for Bills fans around the world as the Pegula family assumed ownership of the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo is where the Bills will stay, and Sunday's game will be a celebration of that gift, that reassurance, that many years from now, there will still be no other place this team calls home. And celebrations with over 70,000 of our closest friends are the best kind of celebrations, don't you think?
2) The Ralph is dressed to impress.
The offseason renovations were nearly complete for the home opener and the Ralph showed them off in style. We were all impressed. But this is the re-opener, folks, and the Ralph has stepped up to the plate yet again with a major addition to its signature towers: backlit charging buffalos. You heard us. Backlit. Not only do they make a statement during the day, looking iconic against the black, but they'll emit a cool glow after dark.
3) Big things are happening pregame.
As the Pegula family begins their ownership of the Buffalo Bills, here are photos of their first day at One Bills Drive.
We know two things: there will be a special pregame ceremony, and Terry Pegula said in his introductory press conference that he will be on the field pregame. Let's do the math, Bills fans, and all make a plan to be in our seats in plenty of time to for the 12:40 once-in-a-lifetime pregame ceremony to begin. Something tells us it'll be one to remember.
4) It's the Patriots!
Brady and Belichick will be in the house, and not as welcomed guests. This won't be a "make yourself at home" kind of situation if the Bills have their way. A division lead could be ours. Pride is up for grabs. There's a lot at stake between the white lines.
5) Uncle Rico makes his home debut.
Say what you will about the legendary mustache adorning Kyle Orton's face – the man can ball. Orton got us a win last week and will come out guns blazing again this Sunday, at home, where the energy will surely be enough in and of itself to fuel a victory.
6) We Billieve.
The Bills and ECMC hosted the 9th annual Billieve event, where a number of Bills players and fans joined together in the fight against breast cancer.
In honor of breast cancer awareness, in memory of those who courageously fell to the disease, and in celebration of survivorship, we come together as a community to support this Sunday's Billieve game, sponsored by ECMC. A number of survivors will be welcome onto the field, recognized in front of the crowd of thousands in what will surely be yet another emotional moment on an emotional day in Buffalo.
7) You won't leave empty handed.
You won't leave nor enter Ralph Wilson Stadium empty handed. Commemorative t-shirts celebrating all that this game is are being handed out at the gates, along with an ECMC and APDRO Sports Billieve Yowie rallywear. If you have half as much fun with your Yowie as Bills players did, they'll be the highlight of your gameday.
8) Did we mention it's the Patriots? And they're beatable.
It was every Bills fan's favorite Monday night in recent memory when the Patriots got stomped in Kansas City two weeks ago, 41-14. Tom Brady fumbled twice, was intercepted twice, and was sacked twice, which just made everything twice as nice. They bounced back well against the Bengals last night and proved those wrong who quickly wrote them off. The bottom line is that they're beatable, but rightfully so, Bills player are taking no chances in their preparation.
"New England is New England," said Kyle Orton. "They're going to show up and they're going to be ready to play. Everybody thought they were going to get beat badly by Cincinnati last week and you saw what they did to them. This is a team that's coming in and we have to be ready to play and we have to be ready to match that."
9) It can't get much more Buffalo.
Oh, and did we mention that Sunday's game will be even more Buffalo than we could have possibly imagined? National recording artist and Buffalo-native Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls will be singing the national anthem before the game. We have chills already.
10) Off the field, it's a party. On the field, it's a business working towards one goal: a win.
Off the field it's been an incredible week, and will be an incredible day on Sunday. On the field, it's been a week of work and business as usual as the Bills prep for a tough foe in the Patriots.
"What we have to focus on is just playing on Sunday," said Fred Jackson. "It's great for the city. It's great for the organization and we're extremely excited about that but what we have to focus on is going out and playing trying to win a game in this division and setting up ourselves up throughout the season…The city's excited about and they should be but if we don't go out and win a game on Sunday, it's going to be a bit of a downer."
It's going to be a historic day no matter what, but with all that's on the line this week on the football field, a a win would be more than just the cherry on top. A celebration of this incredible city and the start of a new era in Bills football, ending in victory over division rivals, could very well make this one of the best days Buffalo has ever seen.