A View from Calico Jack’s – 10/29/2008

This past week, the Bills became the last team in the entire NFL to play a divisional opponent.

We could have used an extra week.

No reason to dwell on it; if we split our divisional games, we still have an excellent playoff shot: we’ll get ‘em in Buffalo. I mean, Toronto. Whatever. Some place where it’s cold outside.

Enough of that. Rather than focus on a game we’d rather forget, let’s move on to an old NYCBBB standby – the Calico Jack’s Fan of the Week.

Allow me to introduce our first, and perhaps last, Fan of the Week for 2008: Tim Downey. Otherwise known (by me, anyway) as “The Guy Who Dances Like A Hillbilly – And I Mean That With Nothing But Respect And Fondness – After The Bills Score.”

You should know two things immediately: one, Tim dances only after touchdowns, never field goals (“I’m a little superstitious that way.”) And, he’s no hillbilly: Born and raised in Lancaster, he holds a graduate degree from Rutgers. Tim also works as a sales person and is a part-time actor (one day, he hopes to reverse that and make acting his full-time job. I smell Dancing with the Stars down the road.)

So, where’d the dance come from?

Let’s let Tim tell the story: “The dance came from a moment of pure joy last year. I don’t remember the game but I was so happy that we scored (a rarity last year) that I started to do a little hop and jig. It changes a little each game depending on the space available or how out of breath (see beer) I am in the middle of it.”

While we all enjoy Tim’s dance – the more he does it, the more points it means we’ve scored – he has an especially captive audience of more than a dozen friends who sit with him and cheer him on, many of whom he met through watching Bills and Sabres games. One of the group, Brian (aka, “The Guy In The Zubaz”) even maintains an Excel spreadsheet to determine who’ll be going to Calico Jack’s each week. The first good reason I’ve heard to actually learn Excel.

Like many if not all Bills fans, Tim has his favorite team memories. One is obvious: the Comeback Game. The other is far more personal, and once again let’s let Tim tell the story himself:

“My first favorite memory is watching the AFC East championship in 1988 when we won and fans rushed the field and tore down the goal posts. I watched the game from home and was struck by the pure joy and anarchy of the situation. A little later I heard on 97 Rock that on Monday, they were going to cut up the goal posts and sell the pieces. I begged my dad to try and get a piece. Lo and behold when I got home from school on Monday there was my Dad in the kitchen with three pieces of post. He still has them and I have a piece as well.”

Excellent. Let’s hope we’re cutting up some goal posts again this January.

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