Travels with Tammy. It’s the only suitable subtitle for Part 3 of my continued adventures at Bills’ Training Camp. This little bundle of blonde energy puts the ‘Energizer Rabbit’ to shame!
It was a pleasant and thankfully uneventful drive from Pittsford to Canandaigua after practice on Sunday, Aug. 5, when Siri helped me find Tammy and Ted Boglione’s beautiful home on Canandaigua Lake.
You know BillsMafia is tight when you’re invited to stay at someone’s house that you have yet to meet in person and they’re not home when you arrive. They gave me their pass code because they had a prior engagement and just opened up their home, no questions asked. BillsMafia is something else!
Ted and Tammy are two very busy people who took the time to show me around the Canandaigua area and then some. On Monday Aug. 6, Ted drove us all around Canandaigua Lake in their beautiful boat, a place I haven’t seen since childhood.
And if that wasn’t enough, Ted drove us to the Ventosa Winery in Geneva on Seneca Lake for lunch. We sipped on wine and I had the best Pinot Grigio I believe I’ve ever tasted, along with a Tuscan five-cheese pizza that was out of this world.
Coming from Wyoming where Pizza Hut is arguably your best option… you can only imagine how I savored the pizza and the company!
Onward we went to the Three Brothers War Horse Brewery to do some thorough research on beer and raspberry cider slushies to quench our thirst on a dog day afternoon. I can only imagine how much fun a wine trail afternoon in October with the leaves in full bloom must be in the Finger Lakes region.
After we returned to their Canandaigua home, Ted & Tammy scurried off for more prior engagements they had scheduled that evening. I rested for what seemed the first time since I left Wyoming. It was a feeble attempt to be well rested for our jaunt to an early morning training camp practice on Tuesday, Aug. 7 at St. John Fisher College.
Early Tuesday morning we were off in Tammy’s little sports car – we don’t get to drive around in them very much where I live in Wyoming so it was a real treat! A two-row pickup truck is considered the Cadillac or Porsche of vehicles out here in the boontillies.
The weather was the biggest story of training camp on that day. Intermittent showers throughout a padless practice didn’t make for much in terms of getting any insight on how players were progressing through camp.
But that was OK because it’s hard enough when you’re just trying to keep up… with … you know… ‘Travels with Tammy’ :)
Tammy is like a ball of fire and her vitality is only surpassed by her passionate love for the Buffalo Bills. From the moment we stepped on the St. John Fisher campus that day, it was like riding shotgun with Butch Cassidy.
After hitching a ride on a cart to the hospitality tent, we ate breakfast and braved the elements and check out practice. It was truly a social experience rather than a studious one because the players weren’t in pads and the rain threatened to shut things down most of the morning.
I was tickled to have the opportunity to reach out and shake hands with the fabulous AP journalist John Wawrow, while waiting to meet the incredible Michelle Girardi Zumwalt. Michelle and the Pegula Sports and Entertainment team produce all the glorious video content we get to see from Pegula owned sports teams.
Michelle connected us to defensive-end Eddie Yarbrough, a player from the University of Wyoming who I wanted to meet since he played himself on to the Bills’ 53-man roster last year. I will always be Eddie’s most passionate fan.
Eddie is an outstanding young man with a pure heart. He’s dedicated to being the best at his craft as is humanly possible. When you’re in Eddie’s presence you can feel the happy vibes emanating from him. His smile is infectious.
We are blessed to have a group of players on the roster who care about fans and the WNY community. Huzzah.
So after another intense downpour, practice came to an end. As we walked toward the hospitality tent area I spotted Darryl Talley and thought I would faint. He was with his daughter Gabrielle, a beautiful soul we met earlier in the day. This time I didn’t need any nudging to run up and ask him for his autograph and a picture.
And finally, we know ‘Travels with Tammy’ wouldn’t be complete without revealing a classic “Tbog” move before leaving the facility after practice. As we walked toward the parking lot we passed an attendant who pointed out to Tammy that LeSean McCoy was standing nearby us chatting with two people.
This old recluse would have just continued walking but not when you’re walking with ‘Travels with Tammy’. We started walking toward Mr. McCoy and were met by a security guard who tried to shoo us away. Before I could bolt out of there post haste our little blonde bomber shouts out, “Hey LeSean… can we get a picture?”…
O.M.G. The entire day was surreal.
‘Travels with Tammy’ were also a gastronomic delight. We topped off the evening on Tuesday at the Canandaigua Country Club with a meal I’ll remember fondly for the rest of my life. Eggplant parmesan the likes of which I can only dream of tasting again :)
After a wonderful meal and a surreal day, we returned to get some rest. I was leaving early in the morning for the last leg of my journey, back to Buffalo and the first preseason game against the Carolina Panthers.
Stay tuned for last (but not least) installment of my #BillsMafia excursion sometime in the next few days.
Editor’s babble: Unfortunately on this leg of the trip I missed the chance to meet @coachsdaugher5 as hoped. I also missed connecting with the lovely @vchiesibrown and intend to rectify both situations next time I’m in the hood. Big thanks to everyone I met at training camp that day. You can find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.