The Buffalo Bills did not represent America well. Patriotic fans of truth and justice in 30 other markets were cheering for the team of virtue to beat the equivalent of Ivan Drago possessed by Satan. But you have to buy movie tickets and not football ones to enjoy scripted finishes.
We’ll have to hold the hot iron a little longer, as a wholesale change wasn’t enough for these mortals to compete with the league’s Lex Luthors. Putting themselves in position where a figurative miraculous comeback would be necessary is too familiar. This may be the second era, but circumstances haven’t changed enough yet from the first.
The sudden inability to create or resist pressure represents a reversion to a sadly consistent phenomenon. And it will continue to loom. There are rumors that rivalries should be close to even over time. Taking out irritation on the Dolphins won’t balance out things even though that’s totally how this roster should cope with stewing. Re-learning how to pressure the quarterback will help ownership get its money’s worth. As it stands, that last quarterback they faced threw for over a quarter of a mile against them, so they have a new standard for how quickly they have to breach the line.
The overenthusiastic crusaders couldn’t have trouble with someone more worth beating. Buffalo’s nemesis doesn’t even have the charm of a wrestling villain. Also, unlike the late Roddy Piper, this foe actually gets away with it over time. The Patriots offer a cautionary tale on a biblical level about how not to cope with getting everything you want. Many of their backers should heed the warning. Misery in triumph is almost as unappealing as tired barbs cowardly framed as lame humor. I miss when New England fans were melodramatic in defeat as opposed to being insufferable in victory. Anyone that wrapped up in a team’s identity has to be healthy.
We didn’t need another reminder that Buffalo still must prove they can topple the enemy no matter how favorable the contest previews seem. That’s just about enough of the all-talk format. A roughed-up squad can’t do anything to improve their standing until game time. The time off is much more frustrating with an even record.
The unpleasantness of empty brashness stems from the natural aversion to those not able to back it up. Clyde Frazier’s impeccably flamboyant style is memorable because he also happened to be one of the best ever at handling a basketball. Yes, it’s finally been worth listening to press conferences in Orchard Park, and personality-driven antics can be entertaining. But it’s far easier to like a strong character if the boasts are accompanied by proficiency.
The tormenter’s offenses are well-documented in the permanent record. Whether through air pressure, surveillance, or obstruction, they’re either in denial about getting away with it or reveling in it. You’d think a team the league vainly attempted to punish would get fewer breaks. Nobody deserves the benefit of the doubt less.
Aside from unimpressive play in many phases which doomed them following the first drive, the Bills may as well have stapled flags to themselves. Only about 95 percent of the calls against them were justified. But it’s known that life is unfair. One can start doing something about how crummy things are upon accepting unfair advantages for the least deserving as a given. I could’ve done without one more confirmation that worthwhile intentions aren’t good enough.
Now, the Bills must play catch-up along with football. You’ll never guess who’s already ahead of them by a game with a head-to-head win in hand. The psychological advantage remains even wider. Rex Ryan’s team faced chaos rather than imposing it. The unsurprising result of that effort will hang over them for weeks, with the only chance for redemption two months away in Foxborough during prime time. The rational-minded would think the thorough dominance has to end at some point. But the relationship between these two clubs can drive the frequent victims mad.
The feeling this counted as more than one loss stems from knowing Buffalo still hasn’t cleared the obstacle. Pursuing their plans more rationally against another hated divisional foe could offer some comfort, although the rivalry with Miami hasn’t been as fun since the teams began competing for second. I do still loathe the tropical softies as much as their squeaky mascot.
The season’s not to be written off now any more than the Bills were Super Bowl-bound at this point last week. But the old demon continues to haunt. They won’t get to prove for awhile how they’re finally capable of calmly attacking the franchise that provokes widespread rabid contempt. Even if the Bills emotionally recalibrate, the mere chance is a monolith on the horizon. After already waiting this long, there’s no way to accelerate. All they can do is keep heading forward. Not learning from excessive exuberance is the one thing that will empty the tanks.