In October, when the weather was still quite balmy, my dad e-mailed me, Ryan and my two sisters with a crazy idea. The New York Giants were playing the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 23 in Buffalo -- was anyone interested in joining him at the game? As my mom wasn't interested in going, part of the offer included a free day of babysitting Austin.
My sister, who is as much of a Giants fan as my dad, was all over the idea -- and I think my brother-in-law ended up with a ticket by default. My other sister figured what the heck, it would be fun, which were my thoughts exactly. I'd never been to an NFL game, and although I'm not a huge football fan, live sporting events are always fun. Ryan, who is a fan of football in general -- regardless of who's playing -- also jumped at the idea.
The problem with a Dec. 23 game at an outdoor stadium, is December is not exactly known for its balmy weather. It could be 10C, it could be -10C. It could rain or it could snow. Or we could get really lucky and it could be sunny and warm (for December anyway).
We woke up that morning to a torrential downpour. The temperature was holding steady at about 10C and it poured for the entire drive to Brampton (to drop off Austin) and then for the entire drive to Buffalo. It was around this point that we all started thinking, 'what the heck have we gotten ourselves into'.
But, the weather gods appeared to be on our side as we pulled into park near the stadium. The rain let up, the clouds even started to break up and the temperature was holding steady. Yes we bundled up in winter coats, hats and gloves, but we were optimistic. And looking forward to the game.
The first quarter was fine -- with Buffalo scoring two touchdowns at our end (our seats were near the top on the goal line) -- and no rain to speak of. In the second quarter, just as the Giants were driving for a touchdown, it started to monsoon. The rain was coming down so hard that you could actually see it sweep across the field. We may have all had ponchos that fit over our winter coats, but we were still soaked.
The rain held steady, although the monsoon let up to a hard rain while the temperature dropped for the next hour and a half -- and then it started to snow.
Within seconds, the cold, hard rain turned into big, heavy, wet snowflakes. Now we were soaked to the bone and shivering.
But for some crazy reason, none of us wanted to leave -- even me, who isn't a football fan in the first place.
In the end, the Giants won -- although it was a close game right up until it started to snow and the Giants intercepted two Bills throws for touchdowns.
It was then a cold walk back to the car, but somehow, sheer determination kept my now frozen legs moving. I didn't feel the pain in my legs or hands until I started to thaw out in the car.
Needless to say, my first-ever NFL game was a fun adventure and one I don't care to ever repeat. If I'm ever brave enough to go to another NFL game it will be in a dome or in September.