Orchard Park, New York, is a strange place. First of all, not a ton of orchards there, in my experience. Far more Tim Hortonses. But more specifically, Orchard Park is an unassuming bit of flat land located 12 miles away from downtown Buffalo. Founded in 1803 by a man named Didymus and his wife, Phebe, it sits just off of Lake Erie, in the heart of a snow band that consistently pummels the area while other nearby towns remain dry. The wind swirls mercilessly and painfully. And as the home to the Buffalo Bills and Highmark Stadium (née Ralph Wilson Stadium), Orchard Park is a plastic-table graveyard that also regularly sees grown men covered in ketchup and mustard, hard liquors of all colors consumed out of bowling pins, and a man/child/golden retriever who’s so gloriously ungainly that his juke moves are confused for fake slides.
But currently, there’s something going on that’s weird even by Orchard Park standards. Something supernatural. Something that eludes explanation and exceeds whatever good mojo might come from donating to opposing players’ charities and whatever bad mojo might come from still having O.J. Simpson’s name emblazoned on your team’s Wall of Fame.
There is a pit now, and it must be fed.
I just saw a TikTok and apparently the Bills are building a new stadium and so far it’s just a big pit in the ground. 5 games ago, a fan fell into the pit and then they won. Since then a fan sacrifices themselves to the pit before every game and they win— ⸆⸉ (@perfectlyfine89) January 15, 2024
I’m dead serious
Unless you’re wearing red and blue Zubaz, I’m sure you—like this sweet Swiftie—are confused right now. Scared, even. But I promise that all of this is rather easy to explain, even if it’s impossible to understand. Put on your warmest coat, and let us venture into the unfathomable depths of discovery.
What … is the Pit?
The Pit is a massive hole in the ground adjacent to Highmark Stadium. That hole exists because the Buffalo Bills are in the process of building a new stadium, set to be completed in 2026. It will feature statues of roaming buffalo, the size of which is hotly debated among Bills Mafia. By all accounts, the stadium will look really cool (and also very out of place) when it’s done:
But right now, it looks like this:
It looks like a pit. A rather hungry one …
And you’re telling me this hole in the ground has magical properties?
Yes, I am. The Buffalo Bills came into the season as one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. Then Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles in a game against the Bills in Week 1, and everything went fucking bonkers: The Bills lost that game on an overtime punt return; then, in a blowout win over the Dolphins in Week 4, cornerback Tre’Davious White tore his Achilles (and linebacker Matt Milano broke his leg a week later); and then the Bills went on to lose games to the Jaguars, THE PATRIOTS, and, most embarrassingly, the Broncos (on a last-second field goal that happened only because the Bills had 12 men on the field on the previous missed attempt). Buffalo fired offensive coordinator and expected-points-added merchant Ken Dorsey after that loss to Denver, even though he had no connection to the special teams unit (but let’s not get into that). After another overtime loss, to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Bills went into their bye at 6-6, with just a 15 percent chance to make the playoffs and with games remaining against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Miami Dolphins.
Somehow, the Bills haven’t lost in the six games since. They took down the Dolphins in Week 18 to win their fourth straight AFC East title and then last weekend defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild-card round. They’re now set to host the Chiefs—a team previously responsible for reiterating how cursed the Bills franchise is—in the first true road playoff game in Patrick Mahomes’s career.
As the thinking goes, this is all thanks to the Pit.
I have a source (Dr. Jerome Silberman) inside the ECMC Emergency Room that has informed me that, despite no reports shared by local media, they have seen a patient that has fallen into the pit on EVERY SINGLE GAMEDAY since the start of the Bills 5 game win streak. pic.twitter.com/S1HlXaI6C1— BuffaClothes (@BuffaClothes) January 12, 2024
So this has nothing to do with Sean McDermott’s embrace of jihadism?
Dude, he apologized for that. Move past it.
OK, fine. So is this like a Poltergeist situation?
Well, technically it’s a reverse Poltergeist—good things are happening because the Buffalo Bills disrupted the earth. Also, there’s no evidence that the new stadium is being built atop a former cemetery. At most, it’s being built atop the fallen hopes and dreams of generations of past Bills fans.
And how did the Pit come to prominence?
This is the best part. On Sunday, September 17, the Bills routed the Las Vegas Raiders 38-10. Meanwhile, outside the confines of the stadium, a pioneer was embarking on a journey. By that, I mean he jumped into the Pit. Or, as @WNYFireAlerts put it, “Victim Jumped a Fence in the Construction Area & Fell Down a Hole (Unknown how Deep the Hole is).”
The following day, members of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office expounded further: A 29-year-old man (hero?), who was under the influence of “LSD, cocaine and marijuana,” had walked into a porta-potty, covered himself in feces, and then ventured toward the construction site. Authorities eventually discovered “how Deep the Hole is”—about 30 to 40 feet—and said that it took about 20 minutes to retrieve the man from the bottom of it and get him to the hospital.
Who was this man?
To this day, we still don’t know his name. We don’t know what he was looking for. We don’t know why he covered himself in human excrement. We know only that his actions unleashed something truly powerful.
And so now Bills fans are sacrificing people to the Pit?
If you’ll allow me to put on my real journalist hat: That tweet from @BuffaClothes above hasn’t been corroborated by any reputable news outlets. We currently have only one verified instance of a person going into the Pit.
[Takes real journalist hat off.]
Yes, fans are definitely sacrificing people to the Pit, and the Bills cannot lose. There is literally no other way to explain the team’s turnaround.
Is any of this legal?
Allow me to consult my lawyer, local Buffalo personal injury attorney William Mattar. (“Hurt in a car? Call William Mattar.”)
Who will be sacrificed next?
The options are endless. The Pit is indiscriminate. But to name a few just for fun: maybe Bills fan/One Tree Hill star Chad Michael Murray? Or what about Tony Romo? He’ll be in town, as will, I’m assuming, a certain extremely famous singer-songwriter (the only thing that can make the Pit stronger is if it eats Taylor Swift). Or maybe we should toss that nerd William Mattar in there.
What about Peppa Pig?
No. Peppa’s on the team. We need Peppa.
OK, so how does this all end?
With the Bills’ first Super Bowl victory, obviously—lest we hubristically reject the Pit’s wishes and beckon the apocalypse.
The Bills will defeat the San Francisco 49ers on February 11. Super Bowl MVP Josh Allen will look Tracy Wolfson in the eye and say, “Tracy, I’m going to the Pit!” And all of Buffalo will join him—high on LSD, cocaine, marijuana, and the sweet relief of delayed gratification and covered in feces—in a celebration that razes Orchard Park and destabilizes the American economy. Stefon Diggs will be wearing the wildest sweater.
And by 2026, the new stadium will be completed. And they’ll tell us that it’s still called Highmark Stadium. But we’ll all know its true name: the Pit.
Correction: While the new stadium is not being built on a former cemetery, the current stadium is built atop an early Native American burial site.