The 12th Man: Fandemoneum
Every weekend YNN is taking a look at the 12th Man... the Buffalo Bills fans who are as die-hard as they come. This week, YNN's Antoinette DelBel spoke with a man who's working to pay homage to the fans.
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Michael Weekes says the Bills are part of his DNA.
"I think it started when I was about five years old, and my father took me to the Rockpile for my first game and I especially remember him allowing me to go down and try to catch the football during one of these field goal attempts."
It's simple game-day moments that Weekes remembers fondly and it's those memories he wants to share with other Buffalo Bills fans.
"Memorabilia representing the 40s and the 50s and the 60s and the 70s even is so popular, because people yearn to reconnect with those sweet moments of their youth."
Reconnecting with the glory days and present days of the Bills is a vision Weekes had a few years ago, after returning to the Buffalo area from a nearly 30-year absence.
"Everyone that I've talked to has a Bills memory that means the most to them."
Weekes says he wanted to do something to memorialize the story of Buffalo told through the Bills and through the fan experience; something that inspired him after visiting the Bills 50th Anniversary exhibit tour.
"Western New York fans are looking for a place to go and connect with each other and connect with the moments and memories of the Bills and our WNY regional sports heritage."
To have something more permanent, Weekes came up with the concept of Fandemoneum; a type of museum with exhibits full of memorabilia and videos that pays homage to the fans.
"It's really shifting the camera from the field back to the stands."
Selecting where in the downtown area is still in the works, but Weekes says he's secured a million dollars of the $12 million he needs to make his vision a reality. He says he hopes to have Fandemoneum up and running by 2014.
"The fan is at the heart of the economic machine. No team would exist if it were not for the fan."