Released: 4/10/2020 11:59:17 AM
By Mark Gaughan
Published April 9, 2020
Stephen Hauschka and his wife are 2,500 miles away from Buffalo in their offseason California home but came up with a creative way this week to help hospital workers and their favorite restaurant.
The Hauschkas paid to have 500 meals provided on Monday to hospital workers at Erie County Medical Center and Buffalo General Medical Center. The food was prepared and delivered by the Grange Community Kitchen in Hamburg.
“The world got flipped upside down, and we were trying to figure out ways we could help in the City of Buffalo because we’re across the country,” the Bills’ kicker said Thursday from his home in Newport Beach, Calif.
“We were watching what was happening all over the country, and we have some friends in health care,” said Lindsey Hauschka. “One of my really good friends is an ER doctor here in California. So seeing firsthand what they’re going through and hearing what’s going on in New York State – obviously it’s been hit so hard – we just tried to think of a way to support the people on the front lines who are working so hard and putting themselves in health danger, and their families.”
The Hauschkas have been friends with the Grange owners Brad Rowell and Caryn Dujanovich since Stephen was signed by the Bills in 2017.
“We met Brad and Caryn as soon as we came to Buffalo, and we went to brunch at the Grange,” Lindsey Hauschka said. “They were just so welcoming. So ever since then, the last three years we love going to the Grange. All the Bills love going to the Grange. They put up with all our nonsense and the parties we host.”
“Caryn and Brad did all the work, they made all the meals and delivered them,” Stephen said. “We feel fortunate that we’re able to help. Lorenzo Alexander and his wife, Manjanique, and Jamie and Sean McDermott both have expressed an interest to do something similar with the Grange in the coming weeks. So it’s kind of cool that it’s taken on something bigger than us.”
The Grange owners appreciated the support. They said they have been able to keep 50% of their staff working via their takeout business.
“Restaurants obviously have been hit so hard by the coronavirus,” Rowell said. “It was great for us to keep things going. We’ve been doing curbside pickup and a lot of Easter items.”
Normally, Hauschka would be heading to Buffalo this month for offseason training work. He said the pandemic has not yet impacted his offseason training regimen.
“It’s an interesting time as an athlete because we don’t know when we’re going to get started up,” he said. “It’s the normal training right now for me that I would be doing this time of year. I feel fortunate to have a whole gym set up at home with everything I need. I have my Pilates Reformer, my squat rack and weights. I feel fortunate to be able to do all the training I need right in my home gym. ... I’ll be totally prepared as well as anybody because of the setup I have here.”
Hauschka said he normally would start kicking in April, and he has been in the same kind of contact with his personal kicking coach, Vermont-based Steve Wolf, as he would be in any offseason.
“I’ll probably start kicking pretty soon,” Hauschka said. “I’ve been talking to coach Wolf and talking to our other specialists, too. We had a specialists’ Zoom meeting the other day, so it was good catching up with them.”
Hauschka had some uneven moments in 2019, finishing 22 of 28 on field goal tries (78.6%), less than his career average of 85.7%. However, he made 13 field goal attempts in a row over the last six games to end the season. That included a 4-for-4 showing in the playoff loss in Houston. He hit a clutch, 47-yarder to send that game into overtime.
“I learned a lot about myself last year,” Hauschka said. “I learned a lot about the mental state I need to be in and the groove I need to get into for the season. What that looks like and what that feels like and how to get into that even quicker, before the season even starts.
“I know I can make kicks. I know I can make them in all different types of situations,” he said. “It felt good to be there for the team when they needed me the most.”