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Buffalo Yawns: No Bills in Super Bowl, No Blizzards, No Fun

January 26, 1995

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Where’s the snow? Where’s the football? Where’s SOMETHING to drive away the boredom in this sports-crazy town?

The past four years, this has been the week for Buffalo residents to get behind their Bills in the Super Bowl.

But this Sunday’s NFL championship doesn’t have the Bills. It’s just another game between two faraway West Coast teams, the San Francisco 49ers and the San Diego Chargers.

``Yeah, I’m disappointed the Bills aren’t in it,″ said Buffalo fan Bruce Daniels. ``I’ll be doing the same thing, sitting home and watching with some friends, but your heart’s not in it. I won’t care who wins.″

There aren’t many other sports to choose from, either. Because of the hockey lockout, the Sabres didn’t play their home opener until Wednesday night, three months late.

And Buffalo hasn’t even mustered up a decent snowstorm to keep people occupied. One of the mildest winters on record has spoiled skiing, skating, sledding and other winter sports, although some golfers managed to get in 18 holes in the middle of January, when temperatures shot into the 60s.

So how are people coping with the monotony?

``That’s a good one. I couldn’t even hazard a guess,″ said Patrick Cuonze, manager of Garcia’s Irish Pub, a hangout for fans of the Buffalo Sabres hockey team. ``I’m starting to read more. I’ve been reading some books. We’ve had no hockey, there’s nothing to watch on TV.″

The minor-league baseball season is still two months away, and the major-league strike has silenced the usual speculation that Buffalo might finally get a big-league team.

Wayne Davis, sales manager for the minor league Buffalo Bisons, said he’s substituted doses of ex-Buffalo Bill O.J. Simpson’s murder trial for his daily sports fix.

The boredom extends beyond Buffalo. Charlie the Butcher’s Kitchen, a Buffalo restaurant, is catering a Super Bowl withdrawal party for a Bills booster club near Washington, D.C., this weekend.

``People in Buffalo are survivalists. We make the best of things,″ said owner Charlie Roesch. ``Our team’s not in it, so we’re drowning our sorrows by eating.″

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