How much brutal football and hockey can one FAMbase take? We’re worn to a nub. If I didn’t know better, I’d think we are all part of some grand experiment in assessing the effect of decades of mental torture on the human mind.
Sigh. Perhaps I should probably send United Airlines a thank you note for saving me from making the trip to Buffalo to see the Bills play the Saints on Sunday (and a couple of uninspiring games by the Sabres as well). Pretty sure most of BillsMafia woke up like I did with a gigantic sigh and that song playing “here we go again”.
After watching more than 100 combined seasons of frustration, WNY sports fans are rightfully apoplectic after a horrifying display of ineptitude resulted in the Bills getting annihilated by the Saints 47-10 in a stink-fest extraordinaire. I’ll spare you the autopsy report this week because it’s too bloody painful to go there.
So, where do we go from here?
After decades of futility, there are some “do” and “don’t” things we’ve learned in our quest for survival as WNY sports fans. It may be worth revisiting some of the more effective strategies to help us get through yet another painful experience.
- As hard as it may be, sometimes the best thing to do to get rid of a Bills hangover is to move your body. All sorts of great research shows exercise works as well to treat most types of depression as antidepressant medication. Do whatever works for you… walking, running, lifting, stretching… whatever. Just don’t sit still.
- Distract yourself. Every time you feel that Buffalo Bills dread start to wash over you, change whatever you’re doing at that moment… even if it’s just to reposition yourself. If you interrupt the process and force yourself to think about something else you’ll soon realize better mind control. Too many times people get stuck letting their thoughts control them instead of vice versa.
- Engage with friends/family/coworkers who are not Bills or Sabres fans. Connect with others on subjects that don’t involve discussing sports. Pick up that book/kindle you’re reading about history, traveling, anything but sports.
- The media outlets will hate me for this, but after a blowout loss, the last thing I do is listen to the radio or NFL sport shows on television. NOTHING good comes from listening to angry people calling in or hosts talking endlessly about how bad things are, or how stupid the fan base is. Why subject yourself to all the negativity?
- Along the same subject, I tried an experiment this season and it seems to be working. Used to watch all the pre-game hype shows before games. This season the only thing I listen to is the pregame show on WGR-550. Mark Kelso, Chris Brown and Co. do a solid analysis of what to look for in games. The broadcast shows on CBS, FOX, NFLN, ESPN, etc… I’ve stayed away from those this season and find it a lot easier to move in and out of getting stuck in a bad mindset.
- Most important… don’t forget to laugh. In the grand scheme of life, our story as miserable sports fans turns out to be a really strange tie that binds us. If we realize we are each other’s best support system, it would go a long way in reducing the pain and suffering. We can’t control what the Bills or Sabres do, but we can control how we treat each other as fellow fans. Do or say something nice to another Bills fan today. It will boomerang back tenfold.
Remember, it’s really easy to be a Patriots fan. Only the most ardent, stubborn, passionate fans are left loving the Buffalo Bills. It’s part of what sustains my fan-hood, getting to know all of you reading this slop I write every week. You are all my brothers and sisters in this twisted quest.
Editor’s babble: This particular post came from the heart. You can also find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO if you’re really a glutton for punishment.