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Heavy anesthesia couldn't prevent this Bills fan from feeling the pain


For a generation, watching the Buffalo Bills has felt like having your wisdom teeth yanked out.

Little wonder then that having all four of his back molars removed Friday brought Jeff Ruben to tears about his beloved Bills.

What made the 17-year-old from South Florida emotional, more accurately, was the anesthesia that hadn't worn off shortly after his surgery.

With pitifully hilarious examples already on YouTube and on shows such as "America's Funniest Home Videos," Ruben and his mother planned all along to record whatever he said during his drug-induced haze. For their amusement.

Ruben rambled about the misery of being a Bills fan.

He decided any embarrassment was overshadowed by the comedic value and posted the 4-minute video on YouTube. It has begun to go viral, even being played Monday on "The Jim Rome Show."

Early in the video, after noting he won't be able to go to school Friday, Ruben makes a hairpin non sequitur.

"Mom, I just wanted the Bills to win the Super Bowl!" Ruben sobs. "But they didn't win! They lost four in a row! They couldn't even win one!

"And now EJ Manuel's not even that good! He's not that good! And Jairus Byrd wants to leave Buffalo! That's not good for our secondary! It's not good!"

Ruben is just getting started.

"I just wanted them to win, mom," he says after calming down a bit. "Is it that hard to ask for? Why do they always lose? It's not fair. All I want to do is see them win."

When not quasi-sedated, Ruben speaks with a broadcaster's voice and communicates cogently. He's the online editor and a staff writer for The Torch, the student-run newspaper at Olympic Heights High in Boca Raton, Fla.

In the video, he pours out his feelings even though he says it "feels like bullets are attacking my mouth." He also gets emotional over being unable to say goodbye to his molars because having them removed "is kind of rude to the teeth."

But, just like that, he starts to cry about his Bills again.

So where did his Bills' stream of consciousness come from?

"The Bills are constantly on my mind," Ruben said today by phone from his home in Delray Beach, Fla.

"I'm a huge Bills fan. I've been a Bills fan since I was 6 years old, when the Bills beat the Patriots in 2003. I watch every game. I read all the blogs."

Ruben has grown up in Miami Dolphins territory and wasn't alive when the Bills went to their Super Bowls. But the Bills are in his DNA. He must always defend his loyalties from ridicule.

His father is an attorney from Williamsville. His mother, a teacher from New Jersey, also is a Bills fan. They didn't want to be interviewed for this article.

"My dad was raised a Bills fan. I was raised a Bills fan. I plan on my raising my kids as Bills fans," Ruben said. "It's generational."

In the video, Ruben is seated in the passenger seat while his mom drives him home after the surgery. The camera is positioned in the glove compartment.

Ruben said today he doesn't remember anything from the recording -- his mom clearly is enjoying the show and egging him on -- aside from knowing beforehand that he and his mom wanted to record the ride home.

Here's a partial transcript of Ruben's thoughts while under the influence (with today's lucid thoughts in parentheses):

"They just got a new coach -- his name's Doug Marrone -- last year. ... He's OK. I wanted frickin' Tony Dungy, but he's frickin' from the Cuse, Syracuse, I think."

("I like Doug Marrone. I think he's a really good coach. I'm willing to give him another few years.")

"Trent Edwards. Ryan Fitzpatrick ... Oh, my God, J.P. Losman. He sucked. Now we frickin' have EJ Manuel, who might not even be any good. It's just unfair. We got him last year and he hurt his knee every goddamn day."

("He didn't hurt his knee every damn day, but pretty close to that. What, three times? ... I'm willing to give EJ Manuel another year or two to see if he can develop into something special.")

"We lost to the frickin' Browns on 'Thursday Night Football.' That's when he got injured, and if we would've won we may have ... We could've won. We could've done something special. But they just didn't do it."

("All the mobile quarterbacks who put their bodies out there like that, that's probably what's going to happen. The only one who's avoided that is Russell Wilson, but that's because he's a pretty good pocket passer, as opposed to EJ's who's not that great yet.")

With the YouTube views piling up, Ruben said he doesn't regret revealing himself in such a vulnerable state.

"It's a diehard Bills fan, saying what's on everyone's mind and under the effects of anesthesia," Ruben said. "I think it's pretty funny. It's blown up. I never imagined I'd get 12,000 hits on YouTube.

"I'm just enjoying it. I hope the Bills' organization takes it to heart and see what loyal fans they have."

Ruben's video ended on this note: "Also, I hate Tom Brady."

  • Vidiot

    It's in my humble opinion, as a veteran Troll, that he was acting. Just my opinion.

    • ByTheNumbers

      Fake all the way. He checks on the camera in the first few seconds of the video. Dead give-away.

      • Tim Graham

        The video wasn't a secret recording, so of course he'll look at the camera. I imagine he knew he was wearing a seat belt, too. The video was discussed and set up before his appointment, as the story explains.

        • Vidiot

          Bad acting is bad acting whether planned or not. He simply tried to hard that's all. That doesn't mean it wasn't entertaining, it was.

          • Tim Graham

            He's such a good actor his crocodile tears still made his nose run, apparently. It's OK that you don't want to believe it. But saying it's fake without talking to the kid is just a guess. You're entitled to say whatever you'd like. Thanks for taking the time to read and to comment.

          • Vidiot

            You're right, heavy dental work can't do that. Darn, I'm wrong again! Oh well.

          • The 14221

            Tim you're driving me bananas with so many paragraphs.

          • Paul Kawalerski

            Maybe if you stuck to good sports journalism which encourage Bills fans rather than writing these constant ridiculous negative articles about our team and their players you wouldn't have to be defending yourself on the website. How about possible picks at the combine, how we could retain Byrd in FA, filling the needs through FA.; You know journalism that actually demonstrates some football knowledge. And hopefully "We won't get spoofed again". Sorry I'm having a Who flashback.

  • Carlos Danger

    Pretty clear you got catfished.

  • Carlos Danger

    Good thing he had his mommy.

  • William George

    Hilarious and wonderfully expressed. I laughed so hard I cried. None of us could have expressed our feelings better.

    • Paul Bruhns

      i agree William... if you're a Bills fan this was just a stream of semi conscious ... gut busting... analysis!

  • BeerHunter

    Sounds more coherent than Van Miller did at the end of his career.

  • jim

    Well, at least he's right about EJ...

  • Jamie Rozek

    Apparently this reporter hasn't seen the video that this video spoofs. That's okay, research isn't required to be a reporter.

    • Tim Graham

      This reporter says the video isn't a spoof. It was set up by the kid and his mother because (like the hundreds of others out there of car rides home from the dentist) they thought it would be funny. Unoriginal idea? Perhaps. Spoof? No.

    • Paul Kawalerski

      Hey, for once we agree on something.

  • Jeff Ruben

    This video doesn't spoof anyone. I had full intent to record myself on the way home after seeing hundreds of these videos on youtube. In fact, I told my Mom to record this the night before the surgery just wanting to see if I would say anything crazy. Thanks for watching!

    • ByTheNumbers

      Total BS! Scripted from the start!! Not worth the time I sprnt watching it.

      • Livvy

        sure is worth the time you took to comment, though. Sorry you aren't entertained. Your time is obviously worth so much more than everyone elses.

    • Jeff in Chicago

      even on anesthesia you have the presence of mind to hate Tom Brady. you're not alone.

  • Chris Schmidt

    We feel your pain

  • Jan Reimers

    As a lifetime Bills' fan since 1960, I have often expressed similar thoughts in similar ways. Beer was generally the causal factor.

    • Buzz saw

      Same here. And it ususally ended the same way on the field as it did in the parking lot. Vomiting...

  • Cashsurfs

    Great representation of a Bills fan in training. He's got the whining down, drooling on himself and slurred speech- and he hasn't even downed a twelver of Genny Cream Ales yet... Winning!

  • Quaker

    Stupid video. I want my 4:18 back.

    • ByTheNumbers

      Agreed!! Scripted from the start!!

  • Buzz saw

    I feel the same way and Im not even medicated. I should be but Im not....

  • BuffaloFan4Life

    Fake or not, I don't need to watch this kid. Like hundreds of thousands of my fellow Bills fans, I'm more then old enough to have watched all 4 Super Bowls. I went to one in person. While I do not want to lesson the actual pain of having 4 molars yanked out of his mouth at the same time, and of course while I do not want to be cynical regarding "Ruben's thoughts while under the influence", this kid who was not yet born to actually live through those 4 consecutive SB losses, knows NOTHING about the real PAIN of being a life long die hard Bills fan.

    I do love his last line about hating Brady, though! Tom Brady, a little known QB from Michigan who the Bills could have drafted 6 times before the Pats did on that infamous draft day, late in the 6th round, is the perfect super star future Hall of Famer every Bills fan hates.

  • Ridgewaycynic2013

    M. Kunz Goldman's 'Buzz' column? Yes.

    Pergament's 'Talkin' TV' column? Maybe. That's probably an insult to Pergy.

    Graham's column? Beneath you.

  • Ken Elder

    At least with wisdom teeth being pulled, they give you good strong painkillers. With the Bills, the only option is heavy consumption of booze.

  • Jim Johnson

    I suffered through those four Super Bowl losses as well. It was agonizing. I grew up in WNY, but I moved to Florida ten years ago. I still refer to myself as a long suffering Bills fan to the football fans here. As far as Tom Brady is concerned, do you think he would have developed as he did if the Bills had drafted him instead of the Patriots?

  • ByTheNumbers

    Total BS. If you believe this isn't scripted, you're on more drugs than he is.

    • Jeff Ruben

      I think you need to comment one more time about how it's "BS." Is 3 times enough?

  • Paul Kawalerski

    Ah Yes; Leave it to Tim Graham to print another Derogatory story about Buffalo. I really wonder why you are still in this city. Didn't you grow up in Cleveland or something? Maybe it's time for a change. I hear Cleveland is looking for Journalists. Yes the story is funny to a point, but do we really need hear any more negatives about the Buffalo Bills, especially just before the combine when players are being interviewed by Buffalo coaches. Players do read you know. It never ceases to amaze me the inempt rational of some Buffalo journalists. This team is trying to change for the better and change the culture here. Too bad some people just refuse to buy into that. Go Bills!!!

  • christopher

    lifelong bills fan now living in Baltimore and hating it .ravens make playoffs every year and have won two bowls since moved beloved bills lose 4 in arrow and I am still diehard fan if they learn to stop the run they will be winners with or without manuel

  • Tim Graham

    Thanks to all the truthers who commented here. You inspired me to write a followup article with Jeff's oral surgeon:

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.