Temperament can win football games. Maybe. Sure, you have to put just a little effort into it. But a team’s character is what focuses energy. Maintaining a style in victory is a signature of athletic success. Said identity is naturally a reflection of the coach. Pete Carroll’s Seahawks play like a manifestation of his psyche, while the Patriots resemble their amorally joyless sideline drifter. In the same way, the Buffalo Bills look to bruise on behalf of their new boss. Rex Ryan seeks to cast a team in his image. Nothing makes compatibility easy like double-digit wins. While intent is the easy part, facing in the right direction makes the steps count.
Ryan has the chance to join an exclusive fraternity, as the Bills have had three good head coaches. Ever. Marv Levy, Chuck Knox, and the late Lou Saban wait for someone to join them on the franchise’s coaching Mount Rushmore. The incumbent hopes to fill the formless vacancy before the sculptor gets desperate and adds Wade Phillips. He seems like a logical fit, at least in terms of being a memorable fellow. Buffalo’s best football chiefs would get along despite their particularly divergent personal traits. My favorite brand of coach is one who gets his team playing in January.
The small round table of successful Bills coaches would obviously be a most fascinating place for Mafia members to edge in with a chair from an adjacent table. The figurative gathering would center upon the common ground discovered among men with different backgrounds and tactics for getting the most from their rosters. The preference for which method each man used for training camp or in-game modifications is ultimately secondary as long as each gets to the tournament. Meanwhile, Doug Marrone can keep waiting for a seat with Hank Bullough.
Flaunting dauntlessness is great if it fits. Fans don’t have to look outside Erie County to find a coach who achieved success without bombast. The remarkable moments where Ryan welcomes new Sabres bench boss Dan Bylsma to Buffalo before they hang out at practice bring to mind how the two differ in not just emphasis. The football man’s focus on defense compared to the Bylsma’s offensively-geared squads as noted in Ryan’s gracious clip is just the start. The coach for that other team is straightforward in a more unassuming manner. Such an outlook may be better suited for a game where players glide on ice. Either way, Buffalo’s teams are in the hands of men respectively comfortable for who they are. Which concept is correct? It’s the one that wins games. That hopefully means both.
Accomplishments are molded by approach. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Whatever. What’s important is how people with different experiences contribute their own experiences to the mosaic. For example, the Pegulas and Doug Whaley seem more restrained by comparison to the guy who will make game day decisions. Of course, anyone can seem reserved when held against our favorite Pizza Hut spokesman. Multiple viewpoints contribute to a single goal.
Personality diversity brings perspective individuals simply can’t provide. There’s even a difference within Buffalo’s permanent prom king and queen: Terry and Kim’s complementary natures have allowed them to simultaneously address different aspects of their businesses. Those who merely cheer or live nearby benefit from complementary partnerships.
Get wins however you’d like. There’s no one right way to maximize results. Drill instructors yell at future Marines to toughen recruits, which is why America’s soon-to-be-best fighters learn not to take it directly. In professions without national security consequences, the Bills happen to have nabbed a leader who radiates the rousing spirit embodying what we love about football. He’s only yelling out of excitement, so relax with your dainty feelings.
Bills historians are familiar with what works, as there are sadly few examples to remember. Regardless, Buffalo’s fresh start during their second half-century means they have a chance to redefine themselves. Unlike Jay Gatsby’s place in the eponymous story of his arc, this squad can write its own story to ensure it doesn’t end in tragedy. It’s not a spoiler if you finished your assigned high school reading. West Egg may seem far from Western New York, but the latter does host the Empire State’s only franchise.
Lifestyle notwithstanding, this year’s Bills should strive to play like Tom Buchanan, starting with the nonfictional Michael who shares his last name. The way you’ve been is the best measurement for the way you’d like to be. Buffalo’s reinvention is already novel.