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Bills prayers blowing in the wind

Bills fans

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills might not be on top of the world right now, but two of their fans came pretty close.

I got the above photo of Alex and Lynn Slanovich emailed to me earlier this season, and was curious about its origins. Lynn emailed me this week to explain. Here’s their story:

        “Alex and I are both from the area, he is from Arcade and I'm from Tonawanda. We got married last October and went to Nepal and India on our honeymoon last November. While in Nepal, we went trekking in the Annapurna range in the Himalayas for 20 days. People in the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu, are mostly Hindu, but in the rural and mountainous regions are mostly Buddhist. Buddhists in Nepal and Tibet put prayer flags everywhere -- but especially on mountain ridges and peaks. The flags are strings of squares in primary colors which represent five elements (sky, water, fire, air and earth) with prayers printed on them -- the idea is that when the wind blows through them, the prayers are dispersed into the sky.

        "Alex decided to bring the Bills flag with us, intending to leave it in an auspicious location. The highlight of our trek was crossing Thorung La pass, which is the highest point on a trade route through the Annapurna range where we trekked. You can see from the picture lots of people leave prayer flags at the high point of the pass, which is at 17,769 feet. We left the flag there in mid-November of last year, right around the time the Bills were embarking on that seven-game losing streak … so it seems that patience is a virtue in the Buddhist faith in terms of these prayers being addressed. Or maybe it just takes a really long time for prayers to get all the way to Orchard Park via the wind.”

Lynn and Alex, who live on the west side of Buffalo, are season-ticket holders. You may see them at the Ralph on Sunday. Their game-day vehicle, pictured below, is rather distinctive.

Bills bus

(Photos courtesy of Alex and Lynn Slanovich.)

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

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.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |