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Chance encounters with current/former Bill players. Did it change your opinion of them?


Big Turk
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I have not had any of these since I was a teenager but I went to Jim Kelly's football camp and talked to Jim a few times when I was there and he seemed like a pretty cool guy...the kind of guy you'd like to sit down and have a beer with and talk football(looking back on it, not then obviously, I was awe struck as it was during the SB years).  Also got a chance to meet and talk with Andre Reed, Mark Kelso, Warren Moon, an Marino and a few others I can't remember that Jim had at his camps over the 2 years I went.

 

Have a buddy who lives down the street from Jake Kumerow and said he sees him walking his dog a lot(not recently I am sure), but never really had any interaction with him.  

 

Always curious as to hear stories about any interactions with current or former Bill players that you had and what that was like.  I am NOT talking at places like training camp when they wouldn't sign an autograph or something like that...more interested in the stories you have when you have interacted with them "in the real world" away from the football field.  

 

What were they like and did your interaction change your opinion of them?  I know eating dinner at a restaurant is probably going to be a common one, not sure if that might be the best measuring stick for what they are like towards fans tho.

Edited by Big Turk
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One time at a church concert I saw Don Beebe and Steve Tasker when they played. I told them both what Art Wander had said, draft Phillip Bobo so we would have a receiver duo of Beebe and Bobo. Beebe laughed. Tasker said he would tell Marv. 

 

A bunch of players went to a Waterbeds and Stuff fundraiser during a Monday Night Football game. Thurman, Bruce, Talley, Reed, etc. Thurman was a rookie and I was sitting at a booth with him. During a halftime contest I won a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses. I went back to the booth, and I got some drinks for those at the booth. I came back and Thurman is wearing the Ray Bans. I said "Thurman, give me back my glasses". Thurman goes, "They were your glasses". No harm, no foul. 

 

There have been other small encounters. All good. 

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Yes.  I used to run the front door @ the Ghostbar at The Palms in LV.  Our boy JP came into the club a few times.  Nicest guy ever.  Well, maybe not ever, but he seemed genuine and always offered me tickets to games, in which I never took advantage of.  I’d go up and have a beer with him and Mike Gandy-  both drank Bud Light.  No wonder they sucked.  Both nice guys and made it hard for me to hate JPs play on the field.  
 

Working @ the Wynn Cabanas, Donte Whitner came in with his friends.  Smoking blunts and smuggling in bottles of Hennessy. Meanwhile, in the cabana next to him, Larry Fitzgerald and his friends.  Sipping on watermelon juice eating fruit.  Donte was a prick.  Didn’t surprise me.
 

Eric Wood and Andy Levitre came to the Wynn pool every offseason.  Both great guys.  Didn’t change my opinion of them.  
 

Nate Clements had a cabana with us the year after he joined the Niners- he and his wife and baby were both super nice. 
 

Edited by NewEra
Edit- when I was 10, I saw Bruce Smith at BJs in Fredonia. I went up to him and challenged him to a game of centipede. I beat Bruce. Then I whooped Byron Franklin 3 times in a row.
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Nate Odomes promised me an autograph 3 different times and never gave me one.

 

I was at the hotel where the Bills were staying at for Super Bowl 28.  I got several autographs including OJ and Ralph Wilson.

 

I saw Nate Odomes standing by the elevator and I walked up to him....I was 12.  I asked him for an autograph and he told me he's got to run up to his room and get something...he will be back down and then sign my card.

 

I was a persistent kid so I waited.  He came back down about 10 minutes later and as he walked out of the elevator.  I asked again and he said he's got to run outside real quick and he will be back in.  

 

I waited again.  About 2-3 minutes later, he walks back into the lobby and heads towards the elevator.  This time he's got a white guy with him who had long hair.  I asked him for the 3rd time and he pretended like he didn't hear or see me.  I didn't know who that white hippie looking guy was but I now I'm pretty sure he was buying weed from him lol.  Nate rejected me 3 times.

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Yes, I’ve met several at event, training camp at Fisher, and autograph shows but also a few random public encounters.  
 

Back in the day I ran into Gabe Northern at Eastern Hills Mall.  He was freaking huge and stood out like a sore thumb.  He also had a pretty nice looking leather jacket.  I immediately recognized him and he chatted for a few minutes.   Very cool guy that didn’t seem to be bothered that he was recognized.

I also got to talk to Dick Jauron at a special Training Camp VIP reception  at Fisher.  I was not happy with him as coach at the time but he couldn’t have been a nicer and more personable guy.  After leaving the event that day I remember feeling pretty good about the direction of the Bills….little did I know!  

 

Edited by JohnNord
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6 minutes ago, NewEra said:

Yes.  I used to run the front door @ the Ghostbar at The Palms in LV.  Our boy JP came into the club a few times.  Nicest guy ever.  Well, maybe not ever, but he seemed genuine and always offered me tickets to games, in which I never took advantage of.  I’d go up and have a beer with him and Mike Gandy-  both drank Bud Light.  No wonder they sucked.  Both nice guys and made it hard for me to hate JPs play on the field.  
 

Working @ the Wynn Cabanas, Donte Whitner came in with his friends.  Smoking blunts and smuggling in bottles of Hennessy. Meanwhile, in the cabana next to him, Larry Fitzgerald and his friends.  Sipping on watermelon juice eating fruit.  Donte was a prick.  Didn’t surprise me.
 

Eric Wood and Andy Levitre came to the Wynn pool every offseason.  Both great guys.  Didn’t change my opinion of them.  
 

Nate Clements had a cabana with us the year after he joined the Niners- he and his wife and baby were both super nice. 
 

Funny....in college I valet parked cars at a spot bills players would go to all the time. Donte whitner's car always smelled like weed.

 

Ryan Fitzpatrick tipped one dollar, cheap ***. Still love him. 

 

One time Roscoe Parrish left the Bills playbook right there in the passenger seat. A huge binder. I didn't look at it. 

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20 minutes ago, Big Turk said:

I have not had any of these since I was a teenager but I went to Jim Kelly's football camp and talked to Jim a few times when I was there and he seemed like a pretty cool guy...the kind of guy you'd like to sit down and have a beer with and talk football(looking back on it, not then obviously, I was awe struck as it was during the SB years).  Also got a chance to meet and talk with Andre Reed, Mark Kelso, Warren Moon, an Marino and a few others I can't remember that Jim had at his camps over the 2 years I went.

 

Have a buddy who lives down the street from Jake Kumerow and said he sees him walking his dog a lot(not recently I am sure), but never really had any interaction with him.  

 

Always curious as to hear stories about any interactions with current or former Bill players that you had and what that was like.  I am NOT talking at places like training camp when they wouldn't sign an autograph or something like that...more interested in the stories you have when you have interacted with them "in the real world" away from the football field.  

 

What were they like and did your interaction change your opinion of them?  I know eating dinner at a restaurant is probably going to be a common one, not sure if that might be the best measuring stick for what they are like towards fans tho.

I think we were at the camp at the same time!  i was there the year they brought warren moon in, (i'm guessing between 97-99).  Everyone was very nice, but i remember thurman thomas being the least pleasant out of the group.  almost off-ish to the kids.

 

i've met john fina a number of times.  incredibly nice.  my mom and his aunt went to church together, and the aunt was the head secretary at my high school.

i met steve christie in his rookie year, and he was just happy to have someone interested in him.  Saw ruben brown at the mall...said hi and was very nice back.  i've also meet flutie on a number of occasions while in college, and he was super friendly and engaging.  

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12 minutes ago, jayg said:

Jim Kelly in Richmond,  VA in 1991.  Let's just say he wasn't very nice and I'll leave it that.

Why even bother with posts like this?  Either share your story or don’t 

1 minute ago, teef said:

I think we were at the camp at the same time!  i was there the year they brought warren moon in, (i'm guessing between 97-99).  Everyone was very nice, but i remember thurman thomas being the least pleasant out of the group.  almost off-ish to the kids.

 

i've met john fina a number of times.  incredibly nice.  my mom and his aunt went to church together, and the aunt was the head secretary at my high school.

i met steve christie in his rookie year, and he was just happy to have someone interested in him.  Saw ruben brown at the mall...said hi and was very nice back.  i've also meet flutie on a number of occasions while in college, and he was super friendly and engaging.  


How was Jim Kelly’s camp?  Was it actually helpful for you as a player or more of a chance to rub elbows with NFL stars?

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Not a player but had the pleasure to meet Wade Phillips at an NFLUK event on draft night when we ended up trading up and taking Sammy. I asked him who he thought the Bills should take at #9 (think that is right) and I remember he was super high on Anthony Barr. Despite that (I thought Barr was meh) he was a great guy. 

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10 minutes ago, NewEra said:

Yes.  I used to run the front door @ the Ghostbar at The Palms in LV.  Our boy JP came into the club a few times.  Nicest guy ever.  Well, maybe not ever, but he seemed genuine and always offered me tickets to games, in which I never took advantage of.  I’d go up and have a beer with him and Mike Gandy-  both drank Bud Light.  No wonder they sucked.  Both nice guys and made it hard for me to hate JPs play on the field.  
 

Working @ the Wynn Cabanas, Donte Whitner came in with his friends.  Smoking blunts and smuggling in bottles of Hennessy. Meanwhile, in the cabana next to him, Larry Fitzgerald and his friends.  Sipping on watermelon juice eating fruit.  Donte was a prick.  Didn’t surprise me.
 

Eric Wood and Andy Levitre came to the Wynn pool every offseason.  Both great guys.  Didn’t change my opinion of them.  
 

Nate Clements had a cabana with us the year after he joined the Niners- he and his wife and baby were both super nice. 
 

I sat in the luxury boxes with Nate Clements’ family for a game, Super friendly, his little one fell asleep half in the chair and half on me, cute kid.

 

Met Flutie once, unfortunately that did change my opinion of him, he was quite smug towards everyone around.

 

Not a player, but had a drink or two with Doug Whaley not long after Mario Williams signed.  Super nice guy, loves the game, saw the value of getting big time players in the building.  He was enjoyable to talk with, I was rooting for him to succeed, but IMO nobody was going to have any sustained success with the organization the way it was at the time.

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Lived in an apartment below George Wilson at a complex near the stadium that many players live at during the season. George was super nice, always said hi in passing. Would hold the door open when we were carrying in groceries, etc... Ran into Jason Peters coming down the stairs, this was around the time he was still relatively unknown outside of Bills fans. Said "Hi" in passing and didn't even acknowledge me. My wife worked in the apartments office. When he first got there he stopped in asking for the owner. Owner wasn't there so she asked him if he wanted to leave a message. He said to let him know Jason came by. She asked Jason who? and he replies, "Just Jason." He was a prick even when he was a fresh undrafted tight end on special teams.

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5 minutes ago, JohnNord said:

 


How was Jim Kelly’s camp?  Was it actually helpful for you as a player or more of a chance to rub elbows with NFL stars?

it was actually a good camp for technique and concepts.  they had regular "chalk board" meeting, clinics, and brought in coaches from around the area.  i remember entire offensive lines of schools being there.  more of a camp than you would think.  i was a bit late coming out one morning for stretches, and jim kelly made me run laps.

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7 minutes ago, teef said:

I think we were at the camp at the same time!  i was there the year they brought warren moon in, (i'm guessing between 97-99).  Everyone was very nice, but i remember thurman thomas being the least pleasant out of the group.  almost off-ish to the kids.

 

i've met john fina a number of times.  incredibly nice.  my mom and his aunt went to church together, and the aunt was the head secretary at my high school.

i met steve christie in his rookie year, and he was just happy to have someone interested in him.  Saw ruben brown at the mall...said hi and was very nice back.  i've also meet flutie on a number of occasions while in college, and he was super friendly and engaging.  


I have Fina’s autograph from probably 30 years ago now haha, he was a super nice guy.

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