If Buffalo Bills fans weren’t already pissed off, they are now.
One year after the NFL allowed one of the team’s biggest rivals to be the squad the Bills “hosted” in Toronto, the word on the street (or, more specifically, at NFL.com) is that the biggest draw of their 2009 schedule will be coming to the Big Smoke rather than Orchard Park.
The Indianapolis Colts vs. the Buffalo Bills. You know, with Terrell Owens now in Buffalo, this isn’t looking so bad. Throw in the game’s biggest face in Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, and you have yourself sort of a star-studded matchup.
And so maybe this is just what the city of Toronto needed. Or at least what the American football fans in Toronto wanted.
Last year’s game was a battle of two fairly bland teams. The game’s biggest stars were Miami’s Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams.
Now, we go from Ronnie and Ricky to Peyton and T.O.? No Comparison.
Toronto’s a big-league city, with big-league fans. Last year’s game didn’t give them anything to cheer about.
It’s extremely early, but this one’s starting to look like it could be something a bit more special.
One thing’s for sure. If this thing’s a failure, as the initial regular-season game was, Toronto will no longer have an excuse. The NFL’s giving it the best it has to offer. If you walk away from this football, you don’t want football at all.
Yeah, it would be nice for Torontonians to see their team play at Rogers Centre, but before that happens they need to prove they can show up and support the game itself.
That has to happen this year. Ticket prices are expected to be lower, and the game is likely going to be better.
The football fans of Toronto need to step up now. And they’d better, because the football fans in the Queen City can’t be happy with this decision.
Season ticket holders aren’t losing a divisional game this time around, but they are losing the best home game on the schedule. Other teams that will be at Buffalo this season include the Dolphins, Patriots, Jets, Texans, Browns, Saints and Buccaneers.
Sure, when the league makes this official at next week’s owners’ meetings they’ll probably be able to chalk up the decision the simple fact that the Colts also play in a dome, but this is the league giving Toronto a real chance to watch the cream of its crop.
The ball’s now in the T.O.’s court — both the player and the city.