One of the groundbreaking features of Super Techmo Bowl, other than Bo Jackson’s ability to outrun everybody, was the capability of playing a complete season. You could pick a team and the Nintendo would remember your last game, keep track of your stats, and you could fight your way to a Superbowl.
I didn’t have a Nintendo, but Jake did. One day Jake was taking too long to get ready and to alleviate my boredom, I grabbed the controller. A game was already in progress; I hit “continue”.
After 15 consecutive hand-offs to Thurman Thomas I was up four touchdowns and the clock was winding down. This was the first round of the playoffs and victory was fast approaching. On hand-off number 16, Thomas was collectively hit by everyone on the defense, the ball was fumbled, and Thomas was hauled off the field on a stretcher.
I looked around the room, it was still empty, quietly turned off the TV, and sat back trying to look like I had been comfortable and bored for quite some time. Jake came downstairs smelling like a bottle of Drakkar, and we took off for the night.
About noon the next day I got a phone call full of words I won’t repeat and it took about three years for me to be trusted alone in his room again.
This, and a missed field goal, were about the extent of my knowledge of Buffalo when I drove my big white van into town.
Downtown is surprisingly small. There is no wealth of skyscrapers, nor dramatic geography, but backed right up against the lake, is a gem.
Completed in 1931, it was one of the most extravagant public buildings of the time. Most think of the 30’s in light of the great depression, there is a flip side to that, and that flip side is called art deco. If you are unaware of what art deco is, it is the Buffalo City Hall.
YOu can walk right into the hall, get inside the polished brass elevator, and go up to the observation deck above. There you will have a great view of grey skies, a grey lake, and grey buildings. After doing this, I suggest going back inside and seeing inlaid walls, painted ceilings, and carved relief mouldings.
Within walking distance from city hall is a sweet surprise, Choco-Logo.
Inside I met Liz Donner. Liz gave lots of helpful history, explanations about how everything was made on site, but most importantly, Liz gave samples. I have now tried sponge candy, I like sponge candy, I still have no idea what sponge candy is. I have a better idea what the Salty Turtles are and according to my wife, one of my biggest mistakes in life is not having bought her more than one box.
Mrs. Brohammas once attended a presidential inauguration… sort of. (ask about the purple tunnel of doom). Buffalo once hosted a presidential inauguration… sort of.
In 1901 the President of the United States was assassinated. No, not Abraham Lincoln, no, not JFK, the correct answer is McKinley, yes there was a president named McKinley. My favorite Vice President ever was in Buffalo at the time of the unfortunate event, and he thought it would be in bad taste to have the usual festivities associated with swearing in a new president, so he opted to take the oath of office in the library of a friend’s mansion.
Just so you know, the name sake of the Teddy Bear, was cool.
Back to Buffalo:
Perhaps the greatest gift this city, or any rust belt city, has ever given the world, came from Buffalo. The Earl of Sandwich did no better, the town of Hamburg was affectively topped, France’s fries pale in comparison to Buffalo’s wings!
I am going to speak home town trash talking blasphemy; the Buffalo wing is a way bigger deal than the Philly Cheese Steak. A visit to Buffalo requires a stop at the Anchor Bar, the birthplace of the Buffalo wing.
Let me simply say that while not the best wing ever tasted, they do rival J.R. Cricket’s in Atlanta, and they do merit the stop. Meaty, saucy, and face scorching hot.
As if my point needed proving, while I was enjoying my meal made of an appetizer, a film crew from CNN came into the bar to talk to Buffalo locals about Wolf Blitzer’s tenure on the news channel. Even CNN knows the Anchor Bar is the place to be.
As I drove off, fingers smelling spicy, I decided that any town that produced someone with the name Wolf, was O.K. with me.