All posts by Matt Kabel

History of the New York City Buffalo Bills Backers

Hello all (400 of ya!),

I hope you all had a nice and safe holidays! We figured that since the first season of NYCBBB is over, we would write and let you know how it was all started, so below is the history of how everything came together to result in the success that we experienced in NYC this year. ENJOY!

Also, we plan on using our web page for anything Buffalo-related in NYC, as a link between former Buffalonians and the Queen City. Please keep checking our site for details and updates and send us any links, events, or info you may have that Buffalonians in NYC would be interested in!


Back in the mid-80’s, Buffalo Bills fans around the city began to meet up at a bar on the Upper East Side to watch their Bills. The name of the bar was originally “Name this Joint”, then the “Rugby Club” and finally “Brother Jimmy’s”. The bar would show the game with the sound on a large screen TV in the back, and lines would form out front to get one the prime seats. However, with each name change of the bar it became less and less of an official Bills bar and after the 2000 season, they decided to change direction and televise all games and give no special treatment to the Bills fans that had patronized them on Sundays for years.

At this same time, I had graduated college (lets go Fordham!) and was looking for a place in the city where I could watch Bills games. I looked on the official Bills site and saw that Mark Bishopp was the President and contact person. Mark had been in charge of the Backers at the old bar for a few years and told me about the upcoming change in the bar policy. Since he travels for his business he has trouble being at every game and asked if I could help him run things. It was agreed upon that I would go to the bar and get email addresses from all the fans there and we would begin to find a new bar. That very weekend I intended on going to the bar to do just that when I missed my train to the city, so I figured I would just go the following weekend.

Unfortunately, that particular Sunday that I missed my train was September 9th, 2001. After 9/11, Mark and I decided that we would wait until the following season to reform the NYC Bills Backers.

During the following off-season, I luckily met Matt Soreco, a native New Yorker and lifelong Bills fan that had never watched a Bills game in NYC with other Bills fans. Matt offered to help Mark and I out, especially with designing a web page. We decided to throw a draft party in April since the Bills had the 4th pick. We posted on message boards and created a web page to get the word out and picked another bar on the Upper East Side for everybody to meet at. Draft day came and we had about 25 Bills fans show up and spent the day watching our team select key college prospects. We made sure we had everybody’s email, started to keep a list, and NYCBBB started to take shape.

We now had a list of Bills fans, a web page, and a promising upcoming season. All we needed was a bar that would show the Bills game with sound and offer an affordable beer and wing special. The three of us spent the summer going to different bars around Manhattan and talking to owners about our group. One of my friends owned a portion of a large bar on East 42nd Street that received a small football crowd on Sundays (I was one of them!). After several emails and beers, the NYCBBB had a new home…McFadden’s! They offered to show the Bills game with sound on a big screen TV and give us a wing/beer special, and most importantly, accommodate us as we grew!

The first game attracted about 20 people. We figured we’d be happy if we got 150 people to show up by the end of the season. Little did we know that we would have more than that within 3 weeks! Every week there were more and more fans showing up, and we experienced growing pains, like running out of wings and beer! By week 9 we had filled McFadden’s with over 350 Bills fans. We decided that we needed to make Sundays at McFadden’s more “Buffalo-ish”, so with your suggestions we brought in Labatt Blue and the owners agreed to start making the wings with Franks Hot Sauce. As one fan said, “being in McFadden’s on Sunday is like being back in Buffalo”.

By season’s end, we had over 400 addresses on our email list and a great foundation to build on at McFadden’s for the 2003 season. We never expected it to grow this much so fast! None of this could have been possible without the spirit of Bills fans in this great city. Planning is already underway for off-season events and for the Buffalo Bills 2003 season, which looks very promising, both for the team and for NYCBBB. Please feel free to keep sending us suggestions.


— Matt Kabel

Cincinnati Bengals RSVP

Hello all 400 of my fellow miserable Bills fans,

Well, I guess the fat woman finally sang, and she sang LOUD yesterday. I’m not even going to try and BS you right now. The Bills are officially out of playoff contention, and next weekend’s game against the Bengals is pretty much meaningless. But as Timmy Lupus proudly says in the movie The Bad News Bears:


I plan on returning from WNY on Friday night so that I can be at McFadden’s for the final game of the season. McFadden’s has gone out of their way to help us this year and it’d be nice if we could support them one last time this season. If you plan on being at McFadden’s on Sunday, can you please RSVP by replying a “HELL YEAH” to this email? I’d like to make sure McFadden’s is staffed accordingly. I’m sending this out early because I know many of you are working different days this week, plus I can check this email from home. PS…sorry to those of you that were unable to email me last week, my email was down for several hours!

We’d like to know if you have any suggestions for the off-season. Some ideas we’re tossing around are a Pro-Bowl party, a Draft party, Sabres activities, a softball/flag football game against the Boston Bills Backers….email me if you have any suggestions or if anything above interests you, or post on our message board.

Also, start thinking of good suggestions for next year’s season of NYCBBB.


— Matt Kabel

Buffalo Bills TNT movie tonight!

Hello all 400 of you,

Just a quick note…tonight at 8:00pm on TNT, the movie “Second String” which is about a Buffalo Bills team that loses its starters to food poisoning before the playoffs and the second string (hence, the obvious title) has to take over and lead the team through the playoffs. Many ex-Bills appear in the movie and Van Miller does the play-by-play for the game scenes.

For more details/review and up to date news, check out Steve Saslow’s (who was at McFadden’s last week) site.


— Matt Kabel

Buffalo Bills vs. San Diego Chargers

Hello all,

I am writing to you from good ol’ WESTERN NEW YORK!!! Getting wings and pizza tonight and going to the Bills/Chargers game this weekend and I can’t wait!

Now mathematically, the Bills are still in this, so they need your support! (someone has to be positive!!) Come join your fellow Bills fans and root them on at McFadden’s as they take on the Chargers…hey, if Drew Brees goes down, it could make for an interesting game if the shrimp..err, Doug Flutie comes in! Plus, it’s supposed to snow!!!

T-shirts are still on sale for $15. Ask any of the staff at McFadden’s for details.

Website and Message Board
Please check our website and message board from time to time for information, pictures, and postings about Sabres and other Buffalo sports tix and events.

OK…lets not be like Jets fans and give up on our team…come support your BILLS!!! I’ll see you all next weekend!!

— Matt Kabel

Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots

Hello all 400 of you!

“What? Over? Did you say over? Nothing is over until WE decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? HELL NO!!!”
— John Belushi, Animal House

With last week’s win…we’re back in this! This Sunday our Buffalo Bills take on the New England Patriots in a must win game…and some major revenge for the last Pats/Bills game! If you haven’t made it to McFadden’s for a game yet, this would be a GREAT game to watch with over 300 fellow Bills fans, as Drew Bledsoe makes his return to Boston in a Bills’ jersey!

McFadden’s has assured me that there will be extra staff on hand to accommodate the huge crowds we have been getting. Come on out and support your team!!!

Doors of McFadden’s open at noon. If you want a table, be there by then!

There are some new pictures posted from the tailgate party! Go check them out!

NYCBBB t-shirts are on sale at McFadden’s for $15 each. Proceeds will go to Hunters Hope and the Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation. Please help us support these worthwhile causes.

Please keep checking our website for updates, information and new pictures!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!


— Matt Kabel

Tailgate Pictures!

Hello all (390 of you!),

Matt Soreco put some pictures he took at the Jets/Bills tailgate on our website. Please go check them out by clicking on the link before. Just so you know….there is BOOZE in the bowling ball (you’ll understand when you see the pictures…trust me!). We have room for MORE PICTURES…so please send them to Matt and I when you get them.

Looks like we will have a nice crowd for the Miami game this weekend at McFadden’s as many of you have RSVP’d. I’ll see you there. WE’RE STILL IN THIS THING!!! I’M NOT GOING DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT!!!!

NYCBBB t-shirts are available for sale at McFadden’s for $15. Proceeds will go to Hunters Hope and the Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation. Please ask the your server/bartender to purchase one and help out these worthwhile causes.

Anybody else see the snow this morning??

Have a GREAT Thanksgiving!!

— Matt Kabel

RSVP for this weekend!

Hello all!

Anybody else disgusted this morning? I know I am! But you know what…the fat woman has yet to sing! The Bills have been down and out before and bounced back…so lets try to stay positive!

Thanks to all who came to our tailgate party yesterday! Especially to those of you that showed up at 9am and stayed til 6pm after 2 kegs of beer, several bowling ball shots, vodka soup, a 6ft SUB, and 3 trays of wings were decimated! If I learned anything…its that:
1) NYC Backers are AWFUL at kicking fieldgoals drunk in a parking lot (especially the Kresse family), and
2) never use glass bottles for pins when you are bowling in a parking lot with angry Jets fans around.


OK…to the point of this email….as you know this coming weekend is a holiday weekend. Several of you informed me that you will be in Buffalo for this weekend’s game. I’d like to get a headcount of how many people will be at McFadden’s to watch the Bills squish the Fish so McFadden’s can staff properly. I am returning early from a trip so I will 100% be there…as will Matt Soreco.

For this ONE time only…please let me know if you WILL BE at McFadden’s this coming Sunday by emailing me a “HELL YEAH” and how many people you are bringing.

If you aren’t coming, don’t worry about emailing me and I’ll see you in 2 weeks.

From me, Matt and the staff of McFadden’s…we’d all like to wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving!!!

— Matt Kabel

Tailgate and Tickets

Hello all,

ONLY 2 more days!!!!!!!!

It appears some people still need tickets…email me AND post on our website if you have tickets you are looking to sell.

It now appears that the first bus to leave Port Authority will be at 10:30…and after that its load n’ go.

One last time…we’re meeting in C-16 at 9:00am…a lot of people are coming, so the keg might not last long…so bring beer to be safe. Also bring sunglasses…its going to be sunny!

I may have found a tap…but if you have one…bring it! Also, if you have an extra table…let me know! We need to put the food that McFadden’s gave us on something!

I almost forgot…whoever is bringing a Bills flag…I DEMAND that an American Flag be flown with it.

I’ll see you guys on SUNDAY!!!


— Matt Kabel

NYC Buffalo Bills Backers Update!

Hello all (385 of you!):

Is everybody that’s going to the game as fired up as I am??? As of now, the weathermen are saying its going to be 50 degrees and sunny! The football gods are providing us with perfect gridiron weather!

REMINDER – we are meeting at 9:00AM IN LOT C-16. Bring beer, snacks, beer, a football…did I mention beer? I will have a keg of Labatt Blue, a couple trays of wings, and a 6 foot SUBMARINE SANDWICH…all supplied by our friends at McFadden’s! Also…bring a camera and take pictures so Matt Soreco can put them on our website! I encourage you to drive because the busses from Port Authority only run 2 hours before the game…and only 30 minutes after.

my cell phone #….AGAIN…is (516) 425-9463


Since the busses from the meadowlands stop running 30 minutes after the game, some people who want to do post-game tailgating have asked if anybody driving back to Manhattan will have extra room in their car. If anybody will, please let me know. Also, if you are one of these people looking for a ride, I suggest going around and asking your fellow Bills fans at the pre-game tailgate for a ride back to the city. Its a good reason to introduce yourself and meet everybody!

Let me know if you are still looking for tickets!

For those of you NOT going to the game…McFadden’s WILL be open and running the usual specials. Please patronize them. Several fans have told me they will still be going there, so you will not be alone if you decide to go. Again, can you beat Labatt Blue, wings, and Buffalo Bills Football with other fellow fans?

Visit our website for more details!!


— Matt Kabel