The ties that bind us to Buffalo...
March 3, 2001

What happens when you are forced to leave Buffalo? When the economy is in a slump and taxes are too high and you can't make ends meet without a decent job?

You miss those things that make Buffalo great! You miss those things that allow you to call Buffalo HOME no matter where you live.

I left in 1991 when the economy was heading south. Textron decided that what "synergy" really meant was moving most high tech jobs from Bell Aerospace in Niagara Falls to Textron Defense Systems in Massachusetts.

I decided that moving to the East Coast with the company was not a good economic move, so I headed to Indiana and the Midwest. I landed at Magnavox in Fort Wayne.

This was the first time in my 30 years that I lived away from Western New York.

I spent the first couple of years trying to find a high tech job in Rochester. I even had a couple interviews in Buffalo as the economy improved. But, for one reason or another, I was destined to long for Buffalo from afar.

I missed my family. I missed my friends. I missed the Broadway Market. I missed Bison Chip Dip. I missed Chiavetta's Chicken Bar-B-Ques. I missed Buffalo-style pizzas and chicken wings. I missed the Buffalo Bills.

I made trips back for holidays and stocked up on my favorites. I went to some Buffalo Bills' games. I stopped by Mighty Taco and Louie's Hot Dogs. I ordered chicken wings and pizza from La Nova's.

Soon, the Internet gave me more ways to stay in touch with Buffalo -,,,, Alumni.NET,

Then DSS came around and offered NFL Sunday Ticket. I got to see "my Buffalo Bills" again. I heard news of Buffalo struggling to keep the Bills in Buffalo. They needed to sell box seats to guarantee another five years.

Doug Flutie came from the Canadian Football League. He won Grey Cups. He was MVP. He was the spark Buffalo needed. He was a good person - the character of a Steve Tasker, the competitiveness of a Jim Kelly. He donated signing bonuses to charity, he raised money for the Foundation for Autism. They couldn't keep Flutie Flakes on the shelves.

Doug Flutie won games. He took us to the playoffs. He improvised. He got up every time he was knocked down. He made good out of bad. He brought the team together. He filled seats in Rich Stadium. He was the underdog. He beat the odds.

Doug Flutie is the living metaphor for Buffalo. In the early 1900s, Buffalo was a great city because of the spark of electricity generated in Niagara Falls. Through the first half of the last century, Buffalo was a great port city. The hard work of struggling blue collar workers made Buffalo a successful center for steel mills and grain companies.

But, Buffalo was old. Not fresh and exciting. Buffalo was not the city with a vision of the future. There were other bigger cities. There were stronger work forces. The others had potential.

Buffalo lost its hope. The Buffalo Bills cut my hope.

There is more to love about Buffalo than you can ever describe in words. There is more to love about Doug Flutie as a Buffalo Bill than you can ever see in stats or salary.

God knows I love Buffalo, I love the Buffalo Bills, and now I'll miss the best thing the Bills had going for the team.

Farewell Doug; I'll add you to my list of things I miss most about Buffalo.

Jim Krzyzanowski
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Buffalo resident (1962-1991)

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