Jock itch

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By Eli Shupak

I can hardly blame the Buffalo Bills marketing department cancelling my trip to New York for Sunday’s game against the hapless Indianapolis Colts. Less than 20 tickets were sold for train with room for 1,000 people.

What infuriates me is the NFL came calling, but people in the Toronto area couldn’t have cared less. I guess they figured a Colts/Bills game would be a yawner.

Well, I missed one hell of a football game because of you people. The Bills rallied from a 26-0 second-quarter deficit to pull out a 37-35 thriller.

It’s the second biggest comeback in regular season history, surpassed only the San Francisco 49ers, who recovered from 28 points down against the New Orleans Saints on December 8, 1980.

And who would forget Buffalo’s overtime win over Houston in the 1992 AFC Wildcard game when Frank Reich brought the Bills back from a 35-2 half-time deficit.

I just don’t understand how Toronto can pack the SkyDome with 53,000 people for a meaningless American Bowl game, yet not be able to get a few hundred to go down and see a real game in Buffalo. And no it wasn’t -20C at Rich Stadium.

Just what do we want here in Toronto. The defending Grey Cup champion Argos are again the best team in the country at 11-2, but they’ve only had one crowd over 20,000 in six home dates.

Our game level is great, just the talent level is not what it is down south. Three downs up here creates more passing attempts with our bigger balls and lots of action in a wide open game. It’s a shame Canadians can’t appreciate it.

The Bills have another train booked for the game against New England on November 9. So far a 100 tickets have been sold. If numbers don’t pick up, future road trips like these could fall by the wayside.

“We are recognizing that day as a salute to our Canadian fans,” said Brad Groff, a marketing associate with the Bills. “We may do it if we have a couple hundred people and it may be done at a loss, but for future trains next season it could help get us some exposure.”

I can’t make it down that day to watch the Bills take on the Patriots because I plan to be at the CFL Eastern division final at SkyDome. Another game few people in Toronto will care about.


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