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Baltimore and Buffalo

Tonight’s NFL playoff divisional matchup features two teams I know and love very well: The Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens. I was born in Buffalo, and my entire family is from there. It’s where we spent holidays as kids. I grew up a Bills fan, despite moving to Baltimore and spending the majority of my life there. We didn’t have an NFL football team in Baltimore until much later.

The 90’s Bills had an amazing run of ups and downs. An incredible team led by one of my childhood heroes, Jim Kelly. They came so close to winning it all: 4 times in a row! Agonizing. There will always be a special place in me for the Bills.

A few years later we finally got that NFL team in Baltimore and I’ve been a Ravens fan ever since. Now my own kids are getting into it and are budding Ravens fans themselves. It’s a fun family tradition. Especially this year, with so many awful things happening in the world, football has been a great distraction from real life.

This should be a great game tonight. Of course I’d like the Ravens to win. But I can’t think of a team I’d be fine with losing to more than the Bills. Whoever wins this game we’ll be happy to cheer for to win the whole thing.

My pick: Bills 27, Ravens 24.

Post-game update: Wow! I was hoping that this game would at least be competitive and entertaining to watch. One team showed up, and the other seemed to not be ready at all. For the Ravens, it’s on to next season after that embarrassment. For the Bills, good luck in the AFC Championship. First time since 1993!