We sent BC Assistant Editor Rob to Pittsford, NY last night for a Buffalo Bills training camp report and the guy comes back with a camera loaded with the Bills trainer dwarf and dirty d-bags. That’s why we show up at these training camps. The d-bags hear ‘FREE’ and it instantly becomes a place to out d-bag each other. As for the dwarf trainer, that’s Chris Fischetti. He’s something of a Bills legend.
St. John Fisher College has garnered quite a reputation ever since it became the training camp home for the Buffalo Bills in 2000. Located in the quiet town of Pittsford, NY (a suburb of Rochester), the Bills have found a home away from home at the small liberal arts school. Similar to the feel of Jets training camp in Cortland, you really get a great, small-town feel when you are driving towards the campus. Then you arrive. The Bills do one HUGE thing wrong…parking and shuttle buses make for a hell of a headache.
We’ll get the one negative out of the way here. The parking situation is a disaster. If you don’t have a VIP pass, you are forced to park at a middle school about ten minutes away from camp and take shuttle buses. Obviously with the number of people attending you can end up waiting for quite some time to get on a bus back to your car.
Take a tip from the training camp veterans here at BC…sneak your way into the VIP lot. If you get the right staff member they don’t really care if you have a pass or not. This is a much better alternative than waiting in line to get on a cramped school bus.
Buffalo Bills Training Camp Notes & Insider Tips
Location: St. John Fisher College, Growney Stadium Complex, Pittsford, NY
Cost: Free…however some practices require you to have a ticket.
Parking: Free…but if you get stuck having to take a shuttle bus, they charge you $1 for the ride.
Food: There are multiple food tents, offering hot dogs, pizza and more. Also, Tim Hortons has a tent and was offering free coffee while we were there. Everything is reasonably priced.
Beer: Sorry fellas, yet another camp with no beer sales. However, the staff was extremely laid back and didn’t check any bags. Translation: easy to sneak your flask in.
Bills Camp Observations:
- The Bills make sure the fans are happy, especially during their night practices. We went to a practice that went from about 6:30-9:15 p.m. and the team was very active throughout. A lot of time was spent in 7-7 and 11-11 drills, making for an action packed practice session.
- Unless you have VIP passes, you are better off getting a good spot in the bleachers. What little standing room there is is usually occupied by kids and autograph hounds. Get a good seat, kick back and enjoy the action.
- Much like the Jets camp, the Bills had plenty of activities for the kids. Whether your kid wants to do an obstacle course or a football toss, there are plenty of things to keep him occupied while you watch some practice.
- Players spend time after practice walking along the fenced area, signing autographs. Honestly, not worth the headache, and unless you have a kid, you’re much better off just beating the traffic.
Proximity To Players
The majority of fans are relegated to a large bleacher section. The seats are great for watching the practice, but you aren’t getting splattered with Mario Williams’ sweat bombs. Unless you get a standing room spot along the fence, you don’t really feel close to the players.
At Bills training camp, unlike with the Jets, it felt like the fans were there to watch football. When we were in Cortland, it seemed like half the people were there to gawk at Tebow. In regards to Buffalo, the fans were into it and were paying close attention to the action. However, they never got too excited or created a real strong atmosphere.
- For how bad the Bills have been over the past decade, an impressive fan turnout for practice…on a rainy day nonetheless.
- Most popular jerseys: Stevie Johnson and Mario Williams
- Poor effort by the Bills in regards to their pro shop. Tons of outdated gear and even some Reebok attire!
- The most obnoxious fan BC encountered on our Training Camp trips was the d-bag in the video below. Watch and enjoy.