Wingfest

by Ryan

The title really does say it all.

Wingfest was this weekend at Dunn Tire Park, and while that may not have anything to do with sports, it certianly does have a lot to do with Buffalo.

Sure, they had competitive eating events, but anyone that considers this the pinnacle of competition is grossly misunderstanding the definition of sport. No, really… that’s pretty gross.

The food was good as always. The wings in the picture above are from the Anchor Bar, which lived up to the hype. (For those not from around here, the Anchor Bar is, as the kids say, the cat’s pyjamas.)

It was interesting to look around Dunn Tire Park from the field. When the National League was looking for expansion cities, Buffalo was looked at very seriously. Dunn Tire was also looked at when the Expos needed a place to, um, not be the Expos anymore.

What kept anything from happening were the usual problems that come with Buffalo. Too small of a city, not enough money, no corporate sponsorships to speak of. Everything that keeps us trapped in the fear of losing the teams we love also prevents us from ever seeing anything more come in.

The sad thing is that it could be done. With a bit of imagination you can see the stadium expanded. Bleachers in the outfield, just jutting out above the onramp to the highway. An upper deck above the lower bowl, new press box, and a state of the art video board in center. In my mind it looks pretty darn good, before all that reality comes back.

Sure, the Bisons have a storied history and a loyal fanbase. But this city is a very, very different place if we have the Rockies or Marlins playing downtown. Even with a very strong alleigance to another team, I would be hard pressed not to be a fan if we had a National League team in Buffalo.

I know it’s pointless, talking about all these what ifs, but it is something to think about. What would this city be like if we never had an NHL team? The Bisons of the AHL played at the Aud long before the Sabres took their place. What happens if the Knox brothers never take that chance?

Pointless, I know, because they did take that chance. But on these days before anything happens, what else is there to do but wonder about potential?

Wingfest wasn’t about the what ifs, but in between all that sun and wing sauce I couldn’t help but be reminded of it.