In Kansas City for the AFC Championship Game

Hi from Kansas City.  Arrived last night with an old buddy from High School, Mike Aronson. We hooked up in KC for a few drinks with Ralph and Jeanna and a bunch of their extended family. Funny, more Bills fans around than KC fans, it seems.

The gang. Bills fans are EVERYWHERE!

Jeanna and Lauren

We were debating last night how many Bills fans will be in the stadium here. I’m guessing maybe 10% (2,000 vs 20,000 KC fans) but some of the folks think that KC fans might have sold their tickets (EXPENSIVE tickets) and there will be a higher percentage of Bills fans. I hope I’m wrong and that they are right.

Mikey and I tried to get some KC barbecue last night so went to Jack Stacks, but it was an hour and 45-minute wait so we just went next door to some German restaurant. It was really good. Had some real Hungarian goulash.

We’ll be sitting at the game today on the 25-yard line with Lauren and her husband, Leo. These are our seats.

Funny, Mikey and Leo are both from NYC (me too, actually) and are really Giants fans, but for today they are Bills fans and will be wearing Buffalo blue.  Should be easy to spot us on TV, as we’ll be the Blue Wall amidst the KC Red Sea.

Big game from Josh and we can win this!

LET’S GO BUFFALO!!!!!

Let’s Go, Buffalo!

Got to see the Bills first playoff win in 25 years (since before Josh Allen was even born! 🙂 )

I lived in Buffalo for 13 years, went to school there, both my kids were born there, and back in the day (the ’90s), when they played in all the playoff games and went to 4 Super Bowls in a row, we went to a lot of the games (actually, Derek and I went to their 2nd Super Bowl in Minneapolis in 1992, and I walked out just after halftime—but that’s another quite demented and telling story 🙂 )

Anyway, the game was a great time, and first time, unanimous Hall of Fame Bills QB, Jim Kelly, stopped in to say hey. Icing on the cake and a great game and a good time with some good peeps. Only 6,700 folks were allowed in (first fans allowed in ALL season) and we were lucky to be a part of it.

Next week, Baltimore.

Let’s Go, Buffalo!

Funny

GE, as most of you know, was our very first and longest term customer (going on 23 years!)

Last night was their annual “Bids for Kids” dinner, which LP has always sponsored. A nice dinner and auction that supports Shriners Hospital, the Boys and Girls Clue and Make a Wish Foundation (all great organizations). A very nice event. It was a roaring 20’s theme, so Hallie and I dressed up appropriately.

Kids for Bids 01

Had some good quality time with a lot of our old friends at GE: Jim Meyer, Greg Sbrocco, Kevin Uht, Bill Hallie, Jessica Barker, Natalie Lee. Nice to see them, and nice to see the optimism with the upcoming Wabtec merger.

As always were a lot of cool items up for bid. Autographed helmets, vacations, concert tickets, football and hockey games, but there were a few things that we wanted to bid on. (Sorry guys, we lost out on the Pens/Caps tix and the Ju Ju Smith Shuster autographed helmet and the Penn State Season tickets—can’t win ‘em all) but we did win some things.

There was this beautiful tapestry from Kashmir that I thought would look great in Union Station and we were able to win that.

Bids for Kids 02b

It’s like 5’ tall and very heavy. Beautifully made, and a real work of art.

There was also a bag full of Gannon stuff that we won and can give to Hallie’s daughter, Rylee—a freshman there. Blankets, thermoses, coffee mugs, towels and a bunch of other cool Gannon University things.

My main target for the night was this model Indian Railways locomotive. It is really big, and since LP helped moved the first 100 GE locos to India (and hope to move the next 900 over the next 10 years) I thought it was fitting we win it. Hallie cleverly outbid the competition and now it is ours. Cool!

Bids for Kids 03b

And last thing we won was a very nice Specialized bike that Hallie wanted for her Dad since he can’t drive and will need some way to get around. Wide tires, good bike. The only problem is how do we get it home, but I solved that. I rode it (in my suit and tie—see above) the 5 miles from the Convention Center to our house at 10pm in @ 20 degree weather.

When I told the LP gang at our table (Cassie, Stephanie, Meghan, Molly, Jason and Cisco—thanks for coming, guys) what I was doing, most of the girls (who have only known me for a year or two) were kind of in shock. But Cisco just looked at me, laughed and said, “Of course you are”.  He knows me too well 😀.

Made it home safe and sound (though wish I had a pair of gloves) to end a very fun (and successful) night for a good cause.

Jim Berlin, CEO, Logistics Plus