It was a great night to be a Bills fan. It’s like going to a high school reunion mixed with a roast. The Hall of Fame inducted Bruce Smith and Ralph Wilson, but the ones who stole the spot light weren’t the Hall of Famers, but the thousands of Bills fans. The sea of blue and red was all over Canton, Ohio. The highlights wasn’t just Bruce talking about his family, it was the crowd chanting Bruuuuce. The ovation that Ralph Wilson got gave me goose bumps (until he talked). But the night took back everyone to their Zooba wearing and mullet haired childhood or adulthood of the 90’s.
My favorite moment of the night was seeing Ralph Wilson pump his fist in the air when he was introduced. Chris Berman did a great job in building up Mr. Wilson and the city of Buffalo. Yes, I would have liked if maybe someone like Al Davis presented him. But Berman putting over Buffalo and the 90’s teams was a great moment. Berman’s best part of the intro speech was talking about how Ralph isn’t like newer owners, who have to be seen all the time around the sidelines and the press. Thank god for that. Wilson’s speech wasn’t that inspiring, but what can you expect from a 91 year-old guy. I think had Ralph talked more about the 90’s Bills it would have been better. Say what you will about Mr. Wilson, there are some days I want to strangle him, but if it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t have football in Western New York.
Ted Cottrell did a great job of introducing Bruce Smith. I was surprised by that, because I’d never really heard Cottrell speak before. The best part of Cottrell’s speech was making all of Bruce’s old teammates stand up and giving quick intros of each player. Bruce spoke very eloquently, which wasn’t a surprise. He spoke about the importance of his father in his life. His best part of the speech was talking about his former teammates and the importance of them, not just on the field but off it. The funniest moment was when Bruce told Thurman Thomas that he hid his helmet. My reaction was laughter, then oh yea.. Overall it was a great night for Buffalo and hopefully Andre Reed will get in soon. Once Reed gets in, it’s going to be a long time before another Bill gets in.