I met a man named Jarvis Smith, who had the Buffalo Bills' logo carved into one side of his haircut and Thurman Thomas's number, 34, carved into the other side. He said the job was done back home, at Hair Flair 2000 by a barber named Nate. The price was $30.
I met a woman named Janet Paskuly, who had the Bills' red, white and blue colors painted on her nails. She said the job was done back home, at Nail Connection. The price was $25.
I met a woman named Shari DeMarco, who said she owned the only Buffalo Bill brassiere in existence. "Where'd you buy it?" I asked.
"It was a gift," she said. "Some friends said this was the missing piece, because I have worn Buffalo Bill clothes on every other part of my body."
"You wear this brassiere?"
"I'll wear it on Sunday," she said. "I wear it all the time. I wore it last Thursday to work. I'm an accounting teacher at Bryant and Stratton Business Institute, a two-year college in Buffalo. I wore the bra over a sweatshirt, a Bills sweatshirt, of course. I was giving an exam to my classes that day. One of my students came up and asked me to take it off. He said he couldn't concentrate on the test. I took it off."
I met a man named Rich Amico, who said he had been married next to a dumpster in the parking lot at Rich Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. His family and friends are all Buffalo season-ticket holders, and they always park next to the dumpster and tailgate before games. They usually decorate the dumpster with Bill banners and signs. When love bloomed, there was little debate about what to do.
"It was a beautiful service," Amico said. "We did the whole thing, invited 200 people. The tuxedos. The wedding gown. Beautiful. The wedding favor was a bottle of champagne with the name of my wife and me and BILLS VS. DOLPHINS printed on the front. September 1, 1991. First game of the season. What a game. Bills won."
I met a man named Mark Reusch, who said he and his friends always park in Mrs. Richey's backyard in Orchard Park. The price is five bucks, and Mrs. Richey always has a charcoal fire roaring in a 55-gallon drum by 9:30 a.m. on game days. For, the first three games of the season, the fire is mostly used for barbecuing. For the rest of the season, the fire is used for warmth.
"This is my third straight Super Bowl," Reusch said. "The first one...Scott Norwood missed that kick, the game ended, it was unbelievable. My friend Phil, he just sat in the stadium, crying by himself for about a half hour, waited for everyone to leave. Me, I went outside. Where we'd parked, there was a little forest or something next to the lot. I walked into the forest by myself. I pulled down a branch from a tree. I started bashing it against the trunk. I did it for about 10 minutes, just getting everything out."