Jews vs. Muslims vs. Christians vs. Sportsfans. Versus Ditka.

by Michael Reiss

 Buffalo Bills Fan number 10,732 ran over someone else on Monroe Ave and there's a 25-minute soliloquy on racial purity and eugenics and the garbage plate.   The local precinct saunters over and they pin it on the old woman who just got squashed and bloodied crossing the street and had the light.  The officer said she should've known better.  For good measure, the police write in their report that the old woman had an umbrella and they felt she didn't look both ways, that the driver was probably not speeding.   Then the officers and the Bills fan who ran her over talk about Jim Kelly's glory years and the Bills chances this year and how they still hate Brady for unspecified fanatical reasons.  

Burst blood vessels in drunkards with O-positive blood.  3 local yokels drown in beer urine and leftover Killarney powdered doughnut 8-ball speed rails.  Life in Allentown, Buffalo.  Far from Monroe Avenue.  

The Golem living in the Black Forest gets off the bus on Monroe Ave and hears another extreme cultural diatribe, a reduction of white and black people reduced to their surface by each other.    Another 17 locals officially anointed as alcoholic but highly capable that night.   A protest march posing as cultural progress just before the generation settles down and has kids and turn religious and traditional.
But motorcycles  and cars are the only reason the city of Rochester still exists. 

   ( ... three more Irishmen, all local, keep walking down East Avenue... one discarded paper bag.  An empty plastic bottle of Smirnoff. )

True story:   Ted Nugent's son owns restaurants in Brooklyn, where he grew up adopted, miles away to the south.   He discovered 9 years ago that Ted Nugent was his real father.  He got a call early one morning.  They said they had good news and bad news.  The good news was that they had located his father The bad news was that it was... um... 

Ted Nugent on his internationally available radio show says that what we need to do is kill all the Liberals to solve the problems that he says he knows damn well he didn't start.  He has his own radio show.  He has his own radio show.   He thinks we need to reduce the world's population to 10,000 chosen ones through a lottery system.
Mike Ditka says he's voting for Donnie Daisy David Dumpty Duke and somehow it makes the news.
Marty Golden the senator shows up with freshly capped teeth and the brand new shiney-white blinding rictus grin.  The latest grin.   Best grin ever, Marty thinks, definitely the best grin, definitely.   John Q. comes in from mid-morning smiling exercises and snacking and says "Definitely, Marty.   Definitely."   Three ribbon cuttings and 12 promises that morning.   

Michael Grimm is a free man again planning a new strategy from across the bridge down south in Staten Island, NYC.   Planning.  He's staying at his mom's place to save money.   His mom still loves him and thinks he's a good boy.  

The elections keep claiming victims and those same mistakes from 4 + 8 + 12 + 16 years ago persist like Tuesday morning or like Budweiser.

Sports is the tonic of culturally and economically ruined countries, what they sometimes pejoratively call "3rd world countries".   They become sports-addicted, obsessed, and religious about it... and in the end mentally ill.    Umpires and goalies are murdered.  The extremist sportsfans are sometimes seen in public dressed in fully authorized sports paraphernalia from head to toe.  And there are Bills pajamas, too.  Thousand dollar pleather Bills jackets.  $500 deluxe Bills jerseys.    But no one thinks to pull them out of the line at the airport, for some reason.  

Bills fans live nearby here.   You can see their Bills flags sometimes on the outside of their houses, on the porches.    You can smell the fervent mediocrity and the wandering spirits and the lack of books.  Hungry ghosts, lost souls...

Tattered ghosts of deceased Bills fans drift and spectate, watch, lost on Culver Road, moaning about not getting a championship since.... well, never.  Or looking for their lost ballcaps left behind at bars when they still inhabited a body -   at the Drunken Irish Barfly Saloon, the erstwhile and shuttered Blood Vessel Haven, the Drunken Nativist sports shithole with 199 screens of nothing to watch, whatever coke hole being protected by the nearest precinct is able to get away with.  The Bloodsport Tavern has ESPN and bourbon and all of the rest of it at 5 or 6 in the morning for some reason, best kept after hours RPD secret.   Eightballs are also still a thing there.  Witness protection program graduates littered all over Western NY.   Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse... 

There are moans and gentle wails, from those wispy, lamenting, spectral voices of the newly dead and the dusty dead, the wandering sports fans after the final beef & pork alcoholic coronary, their bodies while freshly laid out in the morgue sometimes still so saturated in booze that they can easily burst into flames.  Afterward, relieved of their mortal coil, you can hear them still on a tranquil night, drifting over to Irondequoit Bay and beyond... the kings of the spectator sportsfan ghosts...

Spectator sports cleaned him out.
   "#1... #1... "  audibly and spectrally whispers down the side streets on quiet evenings.

    "Kick your ass... kill you... the best... 27 world championships... fucking Boston faggot... Jeter... I fucking loved Tino..."  
Even the ghosts don't mention the Bills, though.  

 He left his family a bobblehead collection... all the cash went to the bookies.  His family is lucky that the credit card debts died with him.  
Dead.   Dead still without a Bills championship or a ring.  And his Yankees fading... 

Barkley never got a ring.   Nor did Pat Ewing.  Or Karl Malone.   Or Don Mattingly.  Or old Barry Bonds.   Or... Buffalo Bill OJ Simpson.  (Something spectral happened to OJ during his time in Western NY, something unexplained... )
 You wasted a lot of fucking time.  You know Aaron Judge's waist size, Jim Kelly's chemo & radiation schedule, but do you know your youngest nephew's birthday?  

You can hear that ghostly call over by Titus Ave sometimes:   "I want a ring..."  

His widow hawks the wedding ring at a pawn shop she knows in Batavia.   She actually feels better when she walks out with $350 dollars in her purse.  It helps heal the wounds.  She eats out alone that night.  Porterhouse steak.  Disabused of the ring. 

One ring to rule them all.   

Michael Reiss has been writing for 30 years and has also worked in the film industry.  He lives in Rochester and has a weekly radio show on WAYO.