Updated: January 17, 2021 12:53 AM
Created: January 17, 2021 12:35 AM
ALBANY - For a typical NFL playoff game McGeary's Bar in downtown Albany would have football fans standing three or four deep at the bar. Saturday night illustrated these are not ordinary times in which we're living.
Many of the so-called Bills Mafia members were donning and displaying their familiar blue jerseys, hats, and logos prominantly and proudly. For Bills fans it's a time to gloat and celebrate, and yet, even though their team is on a memorable winning streak, deep down, there's something missing.
"It is what it is," said Chris Penman, of Clifton Park, "This is happening and I can't really do much about it."
What the Bills fans can't do anything about are the Covid rules set forth by New York State, which mandates they need to be out the door of any bar by 10:00 p.m., even though the game won't be over.
"It feels good to be here with my friends," said Andy Romack, of Cambridge, "But at the same time, not being able to see the whole game is really quite the disappointment for us."
"That was a little unfortunate but we're just going to have to go home and finish it there," says Mahlon Schaffer, of Philadelphia, "It's not going to be as fun but at least we'll be able to do something."
"Everyone here, we're all Bills fans and having to leave and go home early, it's not the same," added Jackson Inchalik, of Connecticut.
If you think it's a downer for football fans, imagine what it's like to be a bar owner in the age of Coronavirus.
"The ten o'clock closure has been devastating," asserts Tess Collins, McGeary's owner.
Collins realizes business owners who thumb their nose at the governor's executive order risk a $10,000 fine, and even worse, the revocation of their liquor license.
So even though Collins says she's not making much money these days, she follows the rules.
"When I ask people to leave, it's harder for them because they just got their food, they just got their drink, I put their check down and I have to kick them out," she explains.
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