Patriots

Morning sports update: Buffalo Bills billboard installed down the road from Gillette Stadium after fan vote

Patriots fans will be subjected to the local eyesore until early January.

Bills fans
A fan-funded plane flying over Bills Stadium in September ahead of the team's game against the Rams. AP Photo/Brett Carlsen

The Celtics begin the 2020-2021 season on Wednesday night (7:30 p.m.) against the Bucks at TD Garden. Fans will not be in attendance due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

And the Patriots prepare to face the Bills on Monday at 8:15 p.m.

The newest addition to local billboards: The Buffalo Bills won a league-wide competition at the start of the 2020 season (determined by voting) to be named the team with the best fans in the NFL.

As a reward, FOX (which hosted the competition) allowed the Bills to place a billboard at a place of the team’s choosing.

Buffalo, which recently clinched its first AFC East title since 1995, unsurprisingly targeted the most conspicuous obstacle in its decades-long pursuit of the division crown: The Patriots. Bills fans voted overwhelmingly (71.9 percent) to place the billboard in Foxborough.

And as the Bills revealed on Monday, Massachusetts is now the home to a new billboard, which will not be a pleasing sight for New England:

Located on Route 1 down the road from Gillette Stadium, it has quickly became a tourist destination for Buffalo fans. (Despite the initial fan vote, the billboard is actually located in Wrentham, not Foxborough).

A FOX Sports NFL tweet revealed that the billboard (which shows Bills players and the team’s mascot, reading “The Best Fans in Football”), will be up until Jan. 4 in the new year.

Trivia: The last NBA year to be shortened (before 2020) was 2011-2012, when a lockout meant each team played just 66 regular season games. What Celtics player led the team in blocked shots that season?

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(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He played college basketball at the University of Wisconsin.

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On this day: In 1956, Bill Russell made his Celtics debut in a dramatic 95-93 win over the St. Louis Hawks.

Russell, Boston’s much anticipated first-round pick earlier that year — selected using a draft choice acquired through some classic Red Auerbach ingenuity — got a later start in his rookie season due to his participation in the 1956 Olympics.

The Summer Games were held in Melbourne, Australia, meaning that all events with the exception of equestrian competitions were held in November and December. Russell led the U.S. team to victory, and arrived in Boston having won back-to-back NCAA championships and an Olympic gold medal.

With Russell’s defense and rebounding, Auerbach finally had all the pieces to the puzzle, and the 1956-1957 Celtics went on to defeat St. Louis in a thrilling seven-game series to win Boston’s first title.

Celtics Bill Russell DebutDaily highlight: Ryan Finley somehow ran for a 23-yard touchdown against the Steelers on Monday night.

Trivia answer: Greg Stiemsma

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