CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – We are just one day away from the big Bills-Patriots match up in Foxborough, and Bills fans were flying out of Buffalo Niagara International Airport Friday morning to get to the game.
“Going to Gillette stadium. It’s such a legendary stadium, the New England Patriots, and it’s going to be a cool experience,” said Niagara Falls resident Mike Paretto as he was preparing to head through security for a Jet Blue flight to Boston Friday morning.
NFTA officials say Friday was expected to be one of the peak travel days of the year. AAA analysts predicted about 115.6 million people would be traveling for the holidays nationwide this year.
There were three flights to Boston Friday morning, at around 6 a.m., 9 a.m., and noon.
And of course, there were plenty of Patriots fans on those flights, too.
Having rival fans sitting side-by-side on the planes promised to be an interesting experience.
“Hopefully the Shout Song is sung on the plane,” Paretto said.
“I’ll probably have my earplugs in when that happens,” laughed Patriots fan David Crowley as he was heading back to board the same flight. Crowley, a Boston native, said the Patritots-Bills rivalry was in good fun.
But, that Bills-Patriots rivalry is a story line that seems inescapable this weekend, with Bills fans heading out to destinations across the country.
They told News 4 they planned to watch the Bills game where ever they are.
“At my son’s house in Austin,” said Springville resident John Porterfield. “He’s a Patriots fan.”
That’s sure to make Christmas dinner a little awkward this year.
And another Bills fan we met was sure to be in for his fair share of holiday tension, too. Justin Dixie and his wife were getting ready to fly to West Palm Beach, Florida, Friday morning.
“My wife’s cousin is getting married and the wedding is at 4:30 on Saturday, so I’m hoping they have a TV. I might have to find it on a phone. I’m not going to be paying much attention to the wedding, actually,” Dixie said.
When asked how his wife felt about that plan, Dixie told News 4, “She’s great” and gave his wife a thumbs up sign.
Any conflict will be worth it, as long as the Bills come out on top.
And, after the season we’ve seen so far this year, fans we talked to at the airport Friday said they had very high hopes.
“They’ve played great. It’s been a fantastic year, and I’m expecting them to win this game,” said Bills fan Michael Brown as he prepared to fly home to Charleston, South Carolina.
Of course, any victory over the Patriots feels extra sweet to Bills fans.
“It’s just icing on the cake. It’s the hot sauce on your wings, so to speak,” Porterfield said.
News 4 is getting you set for Saturday’s game with a full hour of Bills and Patriots talk Friday night. Our special edition of Buffalo Kickoff Live airs from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Channel 4.