Who needs snow? There are other ways to make Miami suffer. The home opener’s overwhelming atmosphere wasn’t just a reminder that Western New York has four amazing seasons. More importantly, the Bills finally won a game where destiny would seemingly favor them.
The squishy Dolphins were the perfect patsy, as they couldn’t beat both fate and Sammy Watkins. I don’t know how the Bills concentrated with the sea of aqua jerseys in the crowd. But home fans somehow managed to roar appropriately for hours. Seattle sets off earthquakes by cheering. The Bills should check if they made volcanoes erupt.
An exuberant moment in team history was only made wholly enjoyable by players who rose accordingly. This roster competed with a flair for drama. Kyle Williams was as intense as expected on a day when the home side was high on life. On the end, his brother Mario was only credited with a single tackle and sack. But the younger sibling made his presence known even if he only hurried passes instead of stopping them.
Meanwhile, defenses already know Sammy Watkins is good and they still can’t cover him. I sincerely hope Miami’s looking forward to facing the rookie twice per season for many years. And one of their top offensive weapons got things done without even waiting for a snap, as C.J. Spiller scored on a long handoff that happened to be kicked to him by Miami. A rule that mandates whiffing on the first attempt to tackle him would be redundant. To top it off, we can’t enjoy enough how Dan Carpenter outscored the Dolphins on an extra-special special teams day, so thank them for releasing him.
But the MVP is a fan who happens to have many place-holding commas in his bank account. One guy owning two teams might provoke trepidation about concentration of power, but it’s okay if it’s this guy. Terry Pegula is just the fellow we want next after a day when the team unveiled Ralph Wilson’s name in gold.
The enhanced home game should serve as a model for the future, even if a recuperating Jim Kelly isn’t going to stirringly honor the owner for the team’s first 54 seasons at each of them. Fans might not experience Sundays at the Ralph indefinitely, and finally for good reason: the local pro sports proprietor will undoubtedly ensure players and fans get a new venue when the time comes.
Pegula seems like the sort of owner who would build a stadium because he felt like it was needed. After all, he’s presently putting the Harbor Center on his hockey team’s front lawn, so adding buildings comes naturally to him. He’s clearly willing to spend what’s earned. The double owner has been suitably compensated for acquiring the energy that literally powers our lives. Now, he’s energizing Bills fans figuratively, as well. He gave us that part for free.
I can’t think of, say, any mayor who has done for the Queen City what King Pegula has. His expertise and entrepreneurship led to him having a couple of billion dollars to ensure both Buffalo major sports franchises feel at home. Shrewd boldness is as in fashion as shirts praising the new boss.
We’re assured the Bills won’t move farther than your aunt’s ZIP code. Being undefeated one-eighth of the way through the season is just the start of the fun. Locals can look forward to more rabid outings in their present home, and perhaps a future one as well. A new stadium would look fine on his new ice palace’s roof if they’d like to hire Lindy Ruff’s Tie as architect. Or, they could hold Bills games in a sub-basement if they’d prefer a more lair-like atmosphere. Any stadium within a short walk of Buffalo’s next favorite Tim Hortons would be extra whipped cream on top of this Iced Cappuccino of a sequence.
We don’t need to review the multiple overwhelming struggles that plagued the Bills earlier this year. Perpetual uncertainty about performance was the most pleasant part of an off-season clouded by mortality and impermanence.
But circumstances have improved infinitely, thanks in part to two wins, one new owner, and no wins for cancer versus the club’s all-time quarterback. The commemoration of Wilson is recognition of a fulfilling life despite death’s inevitability. Coping with his death is one of the challenges that reveal character while strengthening it.
The Bills 2.0 can start fresh, in part by banishing memory of the postseason exile from respectability. Preston Brown was three the last time this squad won a playoff game. The interval has of course been agonizing. But this is also an opportunity for relief, as players on today’s roster shouldn’t feel tainted by stumbles of players who held their jobs in past years.
The forced transition means a chance to appreciate a new frontier. After all, embracing the unknown with hardy willingness is how this team got its name. And there is undiscovered territory ahead to cheerily explore. Calling them the Pegulaville Bills does sort-of rhyme, although such a change would mean no longer honoring the great Wild West man. Either way, this is an even brighter time to be a Bills fan than in 1960, as we have decades of precious football memories, the internet, and Fred Jackson under contract.
We should savor events going according to plan even though we know life isn’t scripted in Hollywood. Bills fans know that better than most; otherwise, the kicker would’ve made it to come from behind and win the championship. In fact, the best movie about Bills and sports addresses the theme of coping with things not going to plan. The chance for redemption is possible as long as the story continues. We’re in the midst of a long film, as there are sunny days plotted ahead even while the temperature drops.