Why this book??
This is a question I have been asked quite a bit in the last two weeks. This book has been in the making for almost a decade. I was preparing to deploy to Iraq in the fall of 2004 while the Bills where getting ready to put the finishing touches on another mediocre season. A campaign that saw them go 9-7 and miss the playoffs for the 5th year in a row. While I was at Fort Drum, one of the units' that was training to deploy with my division was from Massachusetts. As we were completing our training prior to our eventual deployment to Tikrit, the RedSox made their historic comeback against the Yankees and went on to win the World Series beating the St Louis Cardinals and ending their 86-year championship drought.
When the Sox won Game 4 and were crowned World Champions, I watched grown men, soldiers, in the face of going off to war cry real legitimate tears as their Red Sox swarmed the mound in victory. These soldiers hugged one another, they cheered and overwhelmingly said that their lives were a little more complete having just witnessed their beloved "Soxs" win it all. That night these soldiers got on their cell phones, or borrowed one from their buddy and started immediately reliving this victory. I watched them call brothers, fathers, uncles, friends from high school and college and with unbridled joy celebrate what they had just witnessed. It was a mixture of elation and relief. With all the anxiety associated with going off to combat I saw these soldiers feel more complete because their team had done something they thought was never going to happen, at least not in their lifetime.
And I understood. I understood the importance these guys from Boston and all over New England placed on this victory, this championship. I envied them for having seen their team win it all. I realized that they felt as if a burden had been lifted. It was at that moment that I knew someday I would write my thoughts and feelings down about the importance of the Bills to me, to my family, to Buffalo and all of Western New York.
I had to write two other books first. Yet, I kept coming back to the 2004 World Series and the joy I saw a bunch of minutemen soldiers from New England experience at lonely Fort Drum, New York. Almost 10 years later that night still resonates with me and inspires me to keep watching and believing that I too will be able to call home and celebrate the end of my team's long, frustrating drought. I believe Someday!...the Bills will win it all.