I got back home at about 4:00 this morning after another sucessful road trip. Once again, as I tend to avoid planning the details of my RT's and just make them up as I go, God was gracious to fill in the important details. It's not easy to arrive in a strange city on a Saturday night and expect to find a hotel room, but God saved the last available room for us at the first hotel we tried. He also provided a safe trip there and back and an enjoyable experience at the game, for which I am once again thankful.
We left the Twin Cities at about midnight, Friday night and headed west on I-94. Steve Camp provided most of the music for our ride. We also listened to lots of Piper sermons. We got on I-90 in central Wisconsin which took us the rest of the way. We must have hit about twenty toll booths between Illinois and New York on I-90. We arrived in Buffalo finally at about 4:00 in the afternoon, found the stadium which is actually in Orchard Park, and then got the last available room at the Hampton Inn.
We got up early on Sunday and headed over to Ralph Wilson Stadium. We spent a couple of hours just walking around and observing the tailgating experience. When the gates opened up we went in to find our seats which were in the 34th row of the upper deck in the corner of the end zone. We were pretty high up, but still had a good view of the field. It was pretty windy up there, but not too cold. We had a great view of the city from our seats. We could look out and see for miles up there.
The game was pretty good. The Bills scored first on a Willis McGahee 10-yard run. Then the Jets took a 10-7 lead and the Bills tied it 10-10 at halftime. The Bills defense shut down Chad Pennington in the second half. Pennington didn't even complete a pass in the second half and left early in the 4th quarter with a shoulder injury. The Bills were up 22-10 in the fourth quarter with Quincy Carter quarterbacking the Jets and looked to have the game in hand. But Carter hit Santana Moss on about a 60 yard TD pass with about four minutes left to cut the lead to 22-17. The Bills got the ball back and needed to get a first down in order to run out the clock. On third and one from their own 29, Drew Bledsoe threw a long pass to one of his receivers who made a great catch on the sideline to seal the game. The final score was 22-17 in favor of the Bills.
We decided not to make the trip back all in one shot, so we stopped about 100 miles east of Cleveland and spent the night there. The next day I decided to take an alternate route home because we were tired of having to pay tollbooth Willie every half hour. We went up I-75 through Michigan, over the Mackinac bridge, through the Upper Peninsula of MI, and then took highway 8 across Wisconsin all the way back home. My alternate route ended up adding about 150 miles to our trip, but at least we avoided tollbooth Willie. The toughest part of the drive home was trying to avoid all the deer which were everywhere in Michigan and Wisconsin. I had a couple of them jump out in front of me, but they were able to cross before I could hit them. We saw a lot of their friends laying on the highway who weren't so lucky. When I used my brights I could see lots of them just hanging out on the side of the road. I had to fight sleep the last couple of hundred miles through WI, but made it home safely at about 4:00 and went right to bed.
I made it home without finding out what happened in the Vikings game last night and watched the tape when I woke up this afternoon. I was surprised that the Vikings were able to hang with the Colts so well without Moss, but they ended up losing on a last second field goal, 31-28 dropping them to 5-3 for the year.