Some Bills’ bits with the first practice of training camp only 19 days away.
IF YOU DOUBT the impact of social media on every aspect of life, including professional sports, consider this:
This morning at 9 o’clock the Bills opened a presale of this season’s individual game tickets, 24 hours before they’re made available to the general public. The sale is accessible via an online promo code made available to Bills’ Facebook and Twitter followers, email subscribers and those who have downloaded the official Bills Mobile app.
Meanwhile, the public can purchase individual game tickets starting tomorrow at 9 a.m.
However, no such tickets are available for the season opener against New England (Sept. 8). They were sold out as part of the team’s Season Ticket Holder Benefits Program. Season ticket holders had the opportunity to purchase group and individual game tickets in advance.
Group tickets (15 or more) had also previously been open to the general public and special group pricing is still available for the Cincinnati (Oct. 13), Kansas City (Nov. 3), New York Jets (Nov. 17) and Miami (Dec. 22) games.
And though individual game tickets for the opener against the Patriots are gone, season tickets for the upcoming campaign are still available.
Besides the regular season, Bills’ tickets are being sold for Buffalo’s two preseason home games, Aug. 16 against Minnesota and the “Kids Day” meeting with Detroit on Aug. 29.
Tickets can be purchased online through buffalobills.com/tickets, by phone at 1-877-BB-TICKS (1-877-228-4257), or by visiting the Ralph Wilson Stadium Box Office.
SPEAKING OF the Bills’ schedule, Buffalo fans can’t help but be teased by a good conspiracy theory.
In this case, it’s the rest being afforded some of the foes of their favorite team.
Last season, four Bills’ foes came into that game more rested than a Buffalo squad that lost three of those games.
This year, five Bills’ opponents will be coming off either a Thursday night game (10 days off) or a bye week: the New York Jets twice (Sept. 22 on the road and Nov. 17 at home), at Miami (Oct. 20), Cincinnati (Oct. 13) and at Jacksonville (Dec. 15).
No other NFL team has as many such games.
But riddle me this.
Why would the league toughen the schedule of a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in 13 years — the longest live streak of the 32 franchises — and likely won’t break that skid this season?
What motive would there be to make the slate more difficult for a team that has had five general managers, as many coaches and nine starting quarterbacks over that span ... especially since the Bills have done such a great job of sabotaging themselves?
Sorry, but this year’s schedule seems to be nothing more than happenstance.
BUFFALO’S training camp, for the 14th straight year, is set for St. John Fisher College in suburban Rochester.
The first practice will be Sunday July 28 and the last is set for Wednesday, Aug. 21.
Over the 25 days, the Bills will have 18 practices, three of them in the morning closed to both the public and media. There will be five night sessions (6:10-9 o’clock) open to fans, but a free ticket is required. In addition, there will be six morning workouts (8:10-11:10) and four in the afternoon (2:10-5:10).
Information on the Bills’ training camp is available online at www.buffalobills.com/camp.
(Chuck Pollock, the Times Herald sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)