As a certified sports junkie, I can tell you that it's getting harder and harder to be a fan these days. It seems there's more arrests, lawsuits and big money wheeling and dealing in the sports pages than there are scores. But for every negative story involving athletes, there's many more positive ones that don't get nearly as much attention, and we're lucky to have many of the good ones playing right here in Western New York.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and his wife played Santa Claus to two families who lost everything in separate fires in November of this year. Even though his beard is brown and not white, "FitzMagic" provided a little more to these families than Saint Nick usually leaves under the tree. Thanks to a generous donation through the United Way, the Fitzpatrick's have completely stocked these families new homes with furniture, TVs, computers for school, household supplies, blankets and, of course, toys. Over coffee and donuts generously donated by Tim Horton's, the families got to met their "Secret Santa" at our Administrative Headquarters on Delaware Avenue Friday evening, as the Fitzpatrick's took time out of their busy schedule to personally deliver just some of the holiday cheer their support made possible.
The stories of these families, like so many that come through our doors throughout the year, are heartbreaking. But to see the looks on their faces when they met the star quarterback and saw what he did for them really made me understand what the holiday spirit is all about, and every one of you that has ever donated, volunteered or supported the Red Cross in any way should know that you help create those same feelings all year round.
With seven straight losses heading into this afternoon's game against the Broncos, it's easy to wonder if there's been anything positive to come out of this 2011 Bills season. But no matter what the results are on the field, Ryan Fitzpatrick has shown us he is definitely someone we can all root for!