BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — With blizzard conditions restricting travel back home, the Bills will stay in Chicago for Christmas Eve following Saturday’s win against the Bears. The team plans to fly to Rochester on Sunday morning.
“Listen, I know we can’t get home,” Bills coach Sean McDermott told a pool reporter after Saturday’s game. “Everyone’s health and safety is of the utmost importance, whether it’s us or people back home.”
While the Bills won’t be back in Buffalo for Christmas morning, McDermott said he did not want people having a “woe is us” attitude about the situation.
“There are a lot of military people who aren’t able to come home at all right now, or people out there, emergency workers,” McDermott said. “Yes, it’s a shame we can’t get home. But there are a lot of people who have got it a lot worse than we do out there, including some people back home right now.”
McDermott’s thoughts were with people in Western New York battling the severe weather event on Sunday.
“I came in, and that was the first thing, I didn’t even make it into the full locker room,” said McDermott, who was informed of the altered travel plans immediately after the game by Chris Clark, the Bills’ director of security, and general manager Brandon Beane.
“This is where communities come together, right?” McDermott said. “As hard as this is, it’s only going to make us stronger as a community.
“From everything we went through over the offseason there, when we had a chance to go downtown and serve our community and help some of the healing around the Tops situation. And then we had the 6 1/2-foot (snowstorm) that came through a month ago. I think we get a lot of the attention, right, just because we’re out there and we’re in the public eye, but there is a lot of other people who are going through just life.
“Forget just playing a sport. But just life. I mean, to get displaced and have to change schedules as a professional sports team is one thing. But when you’re struggling just on the everyday life end of things, trying to make ends meet, and how sometimes businesses are affected by these things. I think that’s proper perspective right now, especially around Christmas time.”
McDermott sympathized with military personnel and emergency workers who also won’t be home for Christmas morning.
“I think that perspective, that’s way more important than the couple hours we’ll miss on Christmas morning,” McDermott said. “Some of those people won’t be home at all. We’re thankful for our situation, knowing it could be worse and praying for everybody else out there.”
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Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.