This week at McFadden’s: 2013 Game 9


SNAP IMPRESSION: The less said the better. One bad play…one 14-point swing. You can’t do that and win. On a positive note, at least the Bills weren’t responsible for members of the 1972 Dolphins opening their annual bottle of Champagne; that honor will probably go to the Broncos. Finally…good luck, Matt Flynn. We hardly knew ye. Perhaps you and Matt Leinart can exchange jerseys.

On to our Fans of the Week…


Ah, where to begin.

Let’s begin with names and pertinent stats: meet Kristin Ruesch (left) and Alex Valentine (right) – two hardcore, fun-loving Bills fans who take no crap, but can dish it out with both hands (figuratively). Kristin hails from Angola, NY, while Alex proudly calls North Buffalo her birthplace.

Kristin and Alex are veterans of McFadden’s famed Table 8; I assume all of the tables have numbers, but it’s the only one I know. To sit at Table 8 is to know that, many weeks, the Bills are only the second most entertaining show in the room. One minute, you think you’re sitting with Lucy and Ethel. The next, you think (hope?) they might throw down like two WWE divas. I was going to say Linda Evans and Joan Collins on Dynasty, but that reference may be too dated. But you should totally check it out:

Anyway…one of the cool things about Alex and Kristin is that they’re great friends who met at McFadden’s. In Alex’s words: “I started coming (to McFadden’s) as soon as I was legally able to do so…in 2006. I was invited to (sit at Table 8) in 2009 and the rest is history.” Alex says that she and Kristin consider Table 8 to be their “weekly tailgate,” which is why they deck it out with all kinds of Bills paraphernalia, down to a red tablecloth. They have an annual Bills-related, opening day gift exchange, which they treat “like Christmas morning.” Above all, Alex wants people to know that Kristin’s cheerleader’s outfit is child-sized, which she thinks is “awesome.”

And what about the woman-child Kristin? Both of her parents were “ridiculous Bills fans” who watched every game – a tradition Kristin has kept up since coming to New York City after graduating from Binghamton. Even as a single in her early 20s, Kristin began staying in on Saturday nights to ensure she’d get to McFadden’s first thing on Sunday mornings – but, among her best memories of McFadden’s are the five games she’s gone to in other cities with Alex. Actually, I don’t know if they’re among her “best” memories…but it keeps the story moving. Her favorite all-time Bill? Bruce. Alex’s? Thurman. And, today, at this particular moment…Leodis McKelvin.

Finally, in case you wondered – if they were traveling to a Bills game and discovered, at 2 am, that one of them had forgotten a toothbrush…Alex would let Kristin use hers. And Kristin would let Alex use hers, as well. But, after that, Kristin would immediately throw hers out.