How a 10 year old became the most memorable moment of my Bills season two years in a row is something I needed to share. For years now I’ve begun to look back on each season and think of the memories I will have of that season, and I separate them into two categories; football and non-football.
This won’t be about the football part. Those are easy, usually my friends and I are either at a game in Miami, or Tampa (as I was living in Florida), and then Atlanta before I moved back to Montana.
Now that I’m back in Montana I will explain what I like about it here before I proceed, because there aren’t a lot of people in this state and it takes a particular type of person who finds themselves consistently gravitating back to Montana.
I watch Bills games at a sports bar that’s like a second home to me during the football season. Each Sunday I usually have plenty of friends and family watching games in the bar with me, mostly not Bills fans but NFL fans of every variety.
There are a small contingent of Bills fans I watch games with and they’re all amazing people, which I always find surprises me because they are just so genuine and real. Before I moved away for years we shared many Sundays commiserating and celebrating our team, so being back feels like sliding on a comfortable pair of jeans.
A few years ago after I moved back is when I first met Logan. Logan is 10 now but at the time he was seven. He was born with severe health issues. He doesn’t talk. He’s going to need another new kidney at some point and he’s been through more in his life than any 10 year old should have to, but he goes through it in a fashion in which I doubt I have the strength to say I have.
Logan loves football. He loves Sundays and watching the games. He lights up when the games are on. He sits with a group of my family and extended family. They’re a mixed group, his dad is a Green Bay Packer fan, so there’s several of them usually sitting nearby. My Mom is a Panthers fan, her husband is a Rams fan and one of his friends is a Rams fan as well.
So Logan always points out what’s going on in every single one of those games. If he sees you talking and your game is going on, especially if something big happens, you can bet that Logan has seen it and noticed that you didn’t see it, and he’s tapping you and pointing out whatever you missed. He roots for any of our teams because he wants you to be happy. But he is a Lions fan, make no mistake about it.
Last season down the stretch he kept gravitating toward my group of friends more than usual. Maybe because we were extra boisterous because we had a chance at the playoffs, and as we all know it had been a long time since that happened for us.
Whenever Logan was around things went our way and we noticed. Logan quickly became our good luck charm. The last few weeks of the season he sat with us as much as he sat with his dad and it was special. He loved being our good luck charm and we loved having him around.
Which brings us to this season. We didn’t get to see Logan as much. I know he often wasn’t feeling well. But I kept looking forward to week 15. Bills vs. Lions. And there he was.
Logan came in and his dad said he was so excited to be there at the bar for this game. We made room for Logan and we proceeded to watch the game with him. Every moment of that game was special to me.
Here was Logan, talking smack in his way. Pointing out every play that Slay made, clearly his favorite player on the Lions. There’s something about how Logan can point out a replay to you in his quiet way that is worse than if some loud mouth talks smack.
You can’t deny it. It happened. There’s the replay of it. The game was close and while not the most exciting game of the season, I found myself hugging Logan every few moments. I almost wish the Bills would have lost just so Logan would have had the moment to exalt.
I’m 46 years old and I’ve now realized sports are important to me in more ways than just what happens on the field. We all have those connections. Maybe it’s the couple in your row you bond with because you all have season tickets. Maybe it’s the people you tailgate with. Your family that you share it all with.
Or, if you’re like me and have never lived in Buffalo, only been there a few times and watched a couple games there, the connections are on the road watching our team in almost every city possible – watching Bills games at Bills bars all over the country. Or maybe it’s through social media. But sports connects us as fans in ways that can transcend the game. Memories don’t have to be of just how the team played.
I try to have as many reasons to look forward to the next season as much off-the-field as on-the-field. When I look back at the last two seasons, memories of the non-football related stuff are special. But my very favorite memories are of a now 10 year-old, and how he lights up over the sport I also love with every fiber of my being. As this NFL season ends this Sunday, I’m already looking forward to next season. Logan will be 11.
Editor’s babble: Logan as our good luck charm FTW in 2019! Love this story and many thanks to Charles Sonsteng for this touching contribution to our blog. Which reminds me, during the off-season we would love to feature more of your fan stories. If you have a story you would like to share it, please contact me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO and we’ll be happy to publish it for you.