An announced crowd of just under 40,000 in Toronto went to a NFL pre-season game, and a CFL game broke out.
Well, there was some high-scoring action in the first half of the NFL preseason game as the Indianapolis Colts visited the Buffalo Bills at Rogers Centre. Buffalo won the exhibition 34-21.
The Bills three touchdowns in the first half were scored on a 31-yard run, a 78-yard interception return, and a 70-yard pass. Not typical for the NFL, much less the NFL preseason.
It will be the fourth game of Buffalo's eight-game series in Toronto through the 2012 season.
Some of the fans came out to see Indianapolis QB Peyton Manning — one of the best players in the NFL — as he went 8 for 15 for 91 yards in limited action. Manning threw two TD passes, though one of them was scored by Buffalo on the interception return.
One "fan" did his best to be a part of the game at the 1:55 mark in the fourth quarter. The Bills TV announcers praised the security for tackling him quickly.
After these Toronto games, the argument always comes up as to whether Toronto can support an NFL team. But the Bills aren't really Toronto's team, at least in Toronto. Given the layout of the Rogers Centre and downtown Toronto, there is no chance to tailgate, which affects enthusiasm. And the prices are exorbitant, especially in terms of a preseason game where stars such as Manning don't even finish the first quarter.
I've read enough anecdotal evidence that shows a better financial deal for people in Toronto can go to Buffalo, tailgate, get a ticket, and come back for a comparable cost of a ticket in Toronto. People in Toronto do support expensive tickets for the NBA Raptors and NHL Maple Leafs, but those teams belong to Toronto.
The Ontario capital might also think of the Bills as their own if they had a similar relationship with Buffalo as Green Bay used to have with Milwaukee. The beer city hosted three regular-season games at the old County Stadium.
In the five-year deal bringing eight games north of the border, the Bills have three preseason games and five regular-season games. This year's regular season game in Canada features the "hometown" Bills hosting the Chicago Bears on November 7.
I am personally amused by this since, being based in Chicago, I can watch the game without having to go to a bar. And thanks to the NFL Network, I was able to watch the Buffalo TV feed for last night's game. In the telecasts, I like to see what the announcers have to say about being in Canada. But given that the Buffalo announcers are used to this, and Toronto is a touchy subject back in Western New York, little was said about being north of the border.
Unlike the regular season games, the roof of the Rogers Centre was open last night. Hopefully, November 7 will be warm enough so the roof can be open as well. The other football team at the Rogers Centre — the Toronto Argonauts — will be in Montréal that day for the last regular season CFL game.