A View from Calico Jack’s – 10/19/2008

Now I’ve seen it all – precisely because I couldn’t see it all.

As was the case for anyone not actually attending Sunday’s Bills/Charge-less, I mean Bills/Chargers game, I missed lots of it because of “Balloon-Gate”. More on that in a moment.

What I could see was a wonderful sight. I’ll admit that I feared an Arizona-type of offensive explosion from San Diego, but it never happened. I also feared that the Chargers would take a late lead, but thanks to a play-of-the-game interception by Kawika Mitchell (followed soon after by his not-the-play-of-the-game-but-still-very-impressive forced fumble and recovery), the Bills once again won a game they might have lost last year. The Bills were also helped tremendously by the true play of the game in terms of actual merit – a near-miraculous Lee Evans TD reception that almost invoked memories of Mitchell’s former Giants teammate, David Tyree.

Back to the balloons. I’ve searched hard for the right words to sum up my feelings, and I think I’ve finally put them together: what the f**k? Seriously, what kind of stadium is brought to its knees by Mylar balloons? What’s going to happen next – a flood because of some kid with one of those wands that blows bubbles? Western NY has enough problems. We don’t need this.

Nonetheless, some good things came out of the truthfully comic situation. Those of us at Calico Jack’s maintained a generally good attitude, and found creative ways to stay connected to the game – mainly thanks to the Internet and frequent calls to friends actually in attendance. We sang and clapped (sort of) to Shout when word came of a Bills score. And we became quite excited by something we usually take for granted – the game reappearing on our TVs.

I do want to point out something I read in one of the post-game news accounts:

“With no power, though, the atmosphere was a little surreal. The crowd would cheer without prompting and there was none of the loud music being pumped in through the expensive sound system. Also missing were the commercials being broadcast during breaks in the action.”

Cheering without prompting, no commercials and the ability to actually talk to the person next to you? Sounds like an improvement to me.

Bring back the balloons! Just leave the satellite alone, please.

E-mail feedback and comments to Phil Mann at
pjmann at nyc.rr.com