The mood emanating from BillsMafia’s been very interesting to watch across social media this week. Seems the national media might be more enthused about the Bills’ chances to make the postseason for the first time in 17 years than the local media, social media and/or the general vibe around the FAMbase.
We’re right in the middle of the holiday season, the weather outside is frightful, yet we don’t seem to be revved up very much. It took me awhile to think about my own sense of apathy about the Bills’ playoff chances being alive for the last game of the season.
Like I suspect many fans, the Benjamin non-TD reversal in the Patriots game came at a point of total exasperation as a fan – with the NFL and the inconsistency of calls made during games. Fortunately after years of experience, I flipped off the switch and entered Christmas Eve and the holidays without batting an eyelash.
Fast forward a few days and a lot of Christmas joy later, we now focus on the upcoming Bills/Dolphins matchup. Fortunately the players will be able to enjoy warm weather and sunshine playing in Florida. Their muscles and joints will appreciate being away from the bitter cold around the northern US and Canada these days.
So what’s it going to take to get a big dose of enthusiasm going among the FAMbase for the Bills to secure a playoff bid on Sunday?
Steve Tasker spoke on Wednesday’s John Murphy Show about why he thinks fans might be a little reluctant to “get their hopes up” after 17 years of futility. Considering how many ways the Bills managed to screw up in the past, it’s not unreasonable for fans to be reticent to jump in the deep end all at once.
However, that stated, it’s also reasonable to dust off our tutus and get ready to dance in the streets should the Bills be able to beat the Dolphins in Miami. Some think they will pack it in and hand Buffalo an easy win because they have nothing to play for.
I’m not one of those who subscribes to that belief because I lived through that decade of losses to the Dolphins during the the 1970s. Never count them out until they’re not breathing. They might just have enough distaste for our invading bison that they decide to end our silly playoff hopes this season once and for all.
So – it doesn’t matter what happened over last 17 years, we still have a chance to be delusional right up to the end of the regular season! That should be enough to celebrate, especially given the generally accepted low expectations most of us had for the Bills at the start of this season.
While I agree with John Murphy when he suggested fans should be celebrating instead of feeling pensive about the Bills’ playoff chances, I also understand why a muted response might seem to be the safer approach.
Also wondering if there isn’t a general malaise beginning to set in that has more to do with fan dissatisfaction with the NFL in general.
The inconsistent application of discipline by the NFL along with inconsistent calls made by referees has dampened even the most passionate fans’ interest in the game. The NFL has a huge image problem blooming – like the green algae on Lake Erie in the summertime.
The truth is when the game is rife with inconsistency, from the way the administration of the NFL handles discipline to referees at “headquarters” completely overstepping their bounds with ridiculous calls, people lose interest in the game. If the owners in the NFL aren’t worried about fans losing interest, they should be.
Fans all over are getting tired of being ripped off for large sums of money for a lousy product. Forget attending games, league attendance is down not only because of political strife, but because it’s already cost prohibitive for middle class families to attend games. A day of reckoning is coming for the NFL, probably sooner than later.
Despite all of this, Bills fans still love their team like no other fan base in sports. And though we might not show it on the outside, we have every single superstition covered for Buffalo’s upcoming bid to make the playoffs on Sunday. Just don’t ask us to be public about it. Squish the Fish.
Editor’s babble: Thanks to everyone for making 2017 a terrific year to be a part of the BillsMafia FAMbase. You can find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO. Happy 2018 & here’s hoping the Bills will still be playing!