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The Bills will not hold Training Camp at St. John Fisher in 2021

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The Buffalo Bills announced that, for the second straight year, they will not be hosting their training camp at St. John Fisher College. Instead, they will hold it at the ADPRO Sports Training Center in Orchard Park.

I’m sure this news immediately makes people think about COVID and the player vaccination issue. How the team and players have handled it to date is not a conversation I’m here to have.

When asked if the decision had anything to do with the vaccine issue, Brandon Beane repeatedly said it was about “spacing” and NFL protocol. He insisted that they did everything they could to make it work. I believe that and I believe this team and this coaching staff really want to be at Fisher again in the future… and so do I.

Jon Scott said it perfectly:

“I like everything Bills training camp at St. John Fisher brings. Different setting brings different feel, one you know is beginning of the new season. There’s a charm to living/working in a dorm, walking outside and right at practice.”

Courtesy of @JonScottTV/Twitter

As someone who made it a tradition to attend training camp and got to experience the dorm life during a season-long internship with the Bills, it’s sad to hear that this pandemic might force the end of our time at SJFC.

From a fan’s perspective, there’s so much good that comes from this tradition. It expands the WNY circle. It offers a chance to visit the hidden gems that are Pittsford and Fairport, New York. Finally, it provides a reasonable excuse to stuff a garbage plate down your gullet. (Great article about the garbage plate for those interested).

Maybe St. John Fisher had an unfair advantage. Naturally, August was always a time filled with hope. A time where every kid didn’t know any better, and every parent rolled their eyes while their son or daughter got an inevitably worthless QB1 signature, passing on a young star who would later be traded and become a household name in the sport. (I passed on Marshawn to get a Trent Edwards signature if that wasn’t obvious.)

Beane reminded fans, “We always have that scrimmage a week before the (first) preseason game”, which occurs at Highmark Stadium. “We’re looking at that, plus another opportunity or two. Nothing’s in stone, but we’re trying to find some ways to have some open practices in the stadium so that we can allow our fans to come.” Western NY friends who can’t make it to Orchard Park for training camp deserve to see this incredibly talented roster. Hopefully, the Buffalo Bills will be back in Pittsford one day.