Conehead Celebrates 50 years in Western New York
If you've been to a Bills, Bisons, Red Wings, Sabres, Amerks, or Bandits game sometime in the last half-century, there's a good chance you've seen local legend Tom Girot. And there's an even greater chance that you bought a beer from him.
Girot, who is affectionately known across Western New York as 'Conehead' first started serving suds at NBA games here in Buffalo back in 1972. But back then, at his very first game between the Buffalo Braves and the Virginia Squires, he was just Tom. It wasn't until 5 years later, in 1977, that his now Iconic cone appeared.
Girot's wife bought the cone that year for her Halloween costume. At the time, the Coneheads skit starring Dan Akroyd on Saturday Night Live was taking the nation by storm. Girot figured he would put the costume to work after Halloween, and the next Sunday he wore it to a Buffalo Bills game. The rest is Western New York history.
The Rochester Red Wings this week, paid a tip of the cap, or rather the cone, to Tom Girot as he celebrated his 63rd birthday, and 50 years of serving up beers, peanuts, and cracker-jacks to generations of Western New Yorkers.
The man is such a part of WNY culture, that in 2012, to celebrate his 40 years in the beer game, Resurgence Brewing even named a beer after him, the Conehead IPA.
I still remember seeing Conehead for the first time at Frontier Field and immediately wanting to get my next beer from him. I was sad when I moved from Rochester to Buffalo because I thought I wouldn't see him at games anymore. I had no idea that he had been such a prominent figure in the Western New York sports scene for so many franchises, and for so many years.
Happy Birthday, Conehead! I'll be looking for you next time I head to Sahlen field!
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