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Buffalo is a bitter city. A city that makes its way through at least nine months of winter; one that constantly feels as though it has something to prove to the rest of New York state; one that’s always trying. You know the joke about it—it's a drinking town with a sports problem. But at least we have pride; our ‘80s slogan was literally “We’re Talkin’ Proud.” It’s an against-all-odds kind of place, which is what makes the beginning of September a time where, for a change, we are are blissfully optimistic. We might finally win something. Things might just work out.

The night before the nationally televised Bills home opener against the Jets, one of my best friends texted me: "Something about the Bills always sucking makes Buffalonians overall the best people." It was in response to me telling him that I quite possibly had one of the most fun afternoons of the summer watching the Bills lose to the Ravens during the season opener three days earlier. At the Pinebox Bar in Bushwick, Brooklyn, I watched men emblazoned with team logos pound beers and ignore their girlfriends for hours while our boys suffered a humiliating defeat. It felt like home.

If there’s one thing I miss about Buffalo, it’s that the city lives and dies by the single saddest sports team in North American sports—every single week, from pre-season to the playoffs that we never make. To our town, the Bills make working 9-to-5, Monday through Friday, worth it. It’s something to look forward to as you spend two hours shoveling your car out in October. It gives us life, and is arguably the thing most closely associated with the city. Thanks to the Internet, Bills Mafia—a collection of crazy fans who take tailgating to the extreme eight Sundays every season—could be a close second. And on the day of the Bills’ 2016 home opener, where else would any self-respecting Bills fan rather be than among the rowdiest parking lot party animals in the NFL?