As the draft approaches and the Pegula era kicks into high gear, it seems appropriate to go back to our tool box and figure out how to proceed through the relatively unknown and unfamiliar territory of “expected success”. An entire generation of fans have reached adulthood since the Bills were talked about by analysts in such glowing terms.
OTAs begin next week, and there isn’t a person on this planet who would have accurately predicted where this team would be sitting today. For prehistoric fans like myself, it almost seems staggering to think about how much has changed with this franchise over the last twelve months.
I expected this season to be a watershed moment for the team ever since the Pegulas bought the team. What I didn’t realize is how it would affect me on a personal level. I’m downright giddy these days, and making no apologies about my joyful state of mind.
As some of you may remember, I wrote a bizarre post awhile back about the important role of music in understanding our moods and behavior. It was surprising over the years how helpful it was to have clients find music that conveyed their emotional state in ways that words never seem to adequately explain.
If you haven’t checked this out and have a lot of time to waste, here is my earlier post about developing personal “theme” songs and the benefit of music therapy. The bottom line about theme songs is that they constantly change, depending on the issue(s) someone is experiencing at any particular point in time.
For instance, for the last few days my theme song has been “Walking On Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves . I woke up the other day with that darn old song playing on repeat mode in my rotting brain. Pretty sure it was because I went to sleep thinking about how the city of Buffalo is experiencing a massive rebirth while the Bills are simultaneously on the upswing. I kept seeing myself dancing around HarborCenter with that song being blasted full throat in the streets.
When you play the video, dreary old London looks “ERIE-LY” similar to Buffalo. So here is Katrina, “walking on sunshine” in spite of the weather and the mythical ‘issues’ following her around. The message for me was that no matter how dire and dreary the world looks on the outside, there is joy to be found everywhere you look.
Play that video a few times while thinking about the current state of the Bills and you can’t help but to feel excited about what the future holds in Western New York. Spring is in the air, and the NFL draft hasn’t seemed this insignificant in a very long time. Yes, we are “walking on sunshine” for the first time in ages as Bills fans.
When I watch the video, I visualize the guys trailing behind Katrina as representing each of the Bills rival fan bases in the AFC East. As she confidently struts her stuff and joyfully sings, they follow behind focusing on trying to drag her down, but she’s not having any part of that game.
It’s these type of theme songs that help pull us from our collective funk by infusing our mood with joyful optimism. In a world where you don’t have to search far to find something depressing, simply moving your feet to the right theme music will cut through the ties that bind us.
After decades of deterioration and despair the light at the end of the tunnel is so bright that it keeps us from seeing that brass ring right in front of us, and grabbing it with gusto. We have been beaten down for so long that going “all-in” with this team has become a frightening prospect.
I found over the years that expecting the worst (and therefore anything different comes as a nice surprise) is not really an effective coping strategy. The urge to protect ourselves from disappointment does far more to damage our psyche (and our immune system) than we realize.
By not allowing ourselves to experience joy as we move forward with our collective goal for the Bills to return to the playoffs, we miss out on the best part of the ride to the top. Most of all, if we spend our time worrying about why things might not work out for the Bills, we miss the entire reason for being a sports fan in the first place.
As many of the “old timers” can attest, there hasn’t been a more exciting time to be a fan of the Bills since the Super Bowl years. There are a significant number of Bills fans who are too young to even remember what it was like to be a fan of a good football team, period.
It’s time for BillsMafia to be as “all-in” as we expect the owners, coaches and players to be as we move forward into a new era of Bills football. It requires pulling our collective heads out of our collective butts and not only stepping into the light, but leaping head first right into it.
What say you, BillsMafia? What’s your theme song for how you feel about your Buffalo Bills these days? It’s getting boring during the off season writing blogs with very little feedback, so help me out here. I’d like to get more interactive with this blog as the season progresses anyway.
So, how about posting a theme song that reflects your current feelings as a Buffalo Bills fan? Post your song here in the comment section. Let’s see what musical choices you make that will illustrate our collective state of mind.
Let’s see just how “all-in” this fan base is at this point in the off season. Rock my world, Bills fans. I’m ready.