The Pegulas would have released themselves by now. But the owners get a bit of leeway in obtaining experience. Buffalo’s first family is still learning how to run their teams. A playoff cameo is a promising first credit.
Buffalo’s years are measured in Anno Pegula. Seven years after picking up the Sabres, it’s hard to remember the royals not reigning. This benevolent clan is sharing its inheritance with us.
The checks are bound to clear soon. The family’s growing accustomed to what happens after dreams come true. Proving a wild card isn’t an exception would be a good first step. The first playoff advancement is forthcoming. Man: I hope.
Finish a Paula’s Donut and swear you’d be happy to never eat again. But your appetite will return in a day or two. Successful owners know the only win that counts is the next one. The unwillingness to be satisfied has driven Robert Kraft to hang banners in Hell all century, although hopefully the Philly Special means the fine print of his deal with the Bible’s villain is finally coming into play.
Warren Zevon urged us to enjoy every sandwich if the franchise is looking for an appropriate musician to play during commercial breaks. Like the man who documented Werewolves of London, Bills fans know to delight in the everyday. We’re almost appreciative to a fault, as seen in how we’re presently sustained by a three-point playoff appearance.
If you’re as genuine as you are skeptical, you’ve reached Buffalo sports zen. I’m not quite cynical enough to think lowered expectations were the goal. But if they were, it worked.
The owners could generate even more goodwill by remembering what it was like to get ripped off for concessions. A slightly cheaper game day ripoff would help. Concession stand beer gets pricier by the quarter. If the Pegulas want us to believe they’re as sincere, they’ll at least add more taps. Modern fans want to enjoy watching the Erhardt-Perkins system with a range of IPAs.
Half of the two biggest teams in the Pegula portfolio have made progress, which is great unless you’re also a Sabres fan. I’ve got bad news for those looking to hockey for relief from the eternal football offseason. Jason Botterill may think there’s another trade deadline.
Adding Vontae Davis offers some relief to Buffalo fans who hoped the Sabres would subtract from their struggling culture. The hockey division’s general manager lamented the lack of a market without realizing it’s his job to sucker others into falling for his weak hand. Instead, he showed everyone at the table his cards and asked if they were any good. Nobody was expecting the Bills to the be consolation prize for Buffalo’s fans, but 2018 is full of surprises.
The Pegulas are still trying to prove they know how win consistently. They wasted a few years learning football fun comes during games, not at press conferences in between. Unlike the underwhelming gasbag he replaced, Sean McDermott seems to realize nothing he say can replace what his players achieve.
Cold gruel provides energy, so why do you need energy from something that tastes good? I suppose it’s okay to enjoy a decadent treat every now and then like spice. Fans have the right to be demanding, as simply existing is insufficient. There’s nothing ungrateful about expecting a team to do more than be here.
Gratitude should be stirred into the sauce. But we can still complain that we need more Scoville units for flavor. We’ll be back to calling for the owners to drive Russ Brandon to the county line with a bindle while telling him to hit the road after the next three-game losing streak.
The arrangement feels so natural that it’s easy to forget how odd and wonderful this 10-figure transaction was. The Pegulas pocketed the Bills over three years ago, and it feels like both yesterday and decades ago. It’s now normal to have owners who are committed to improving both teams and the town even if it still feels odd.
Now, there are people south of Chippewa Street and empty seats at the KeyBank Center. It’s easier to remake downtown than rosters. One Buffalo teams haven’t won Buffalo much yet. They’ve sometimes failed to match the fervor of those cheering. But nobody appreciates a nine-win season like fans who thought Trent Edwards could be the answer.
Enjoy the tranquility, especially because fearful screaming has ceased. Both the Bills and Sabres endured scares that went beyond Donte Whitner or Mikhail Grigorenko failing to serve as worthwhile draft rewards. There were once questions about whether we’d even have teams to boo back in those ancient days when our favorites had separate owners.
Buffalo’s fans should never take stability for granted. We used to fret that the Bills would flee to some foreign city like Toronto or Los Angeles. And may be one of the worst seasons in Sabres history, but at least there’s no chance they’ll be sold and relocated thanks to a felonious owner. Some of life’s happiest moments come in avoiding disasters. It’s both tricky and crucial to be thankful for what didn’t happen.
Conspiracies are appealing because they provide a reason for failure. Incompetence is an unsatisfying explanation. But lunatic theories presume there are explanations in this stupid universe. The Pegulas want to win as much as us, angry WGR callers notwithstanding. They’re below .500 because trainees can only improve performance by learning from errors.
Aloofness is often a problem with corporate tyrants who haven’t been inside a supermarket or Walmart in decades. The Bills are overcoming the opposite problem, namely owners who are so invested that they haven’t always made clear decisions. Terry and Kim have made as many mistakes as a fan would.
Enthusiasm is a good problem to have. Learning to be calm in ruthlessness will bring about consistent achievement. Those who own your beloved teams have to learn from errors. Problems don’t disappear with wealth if that offers comfort.
Editor’s babble: Thanks to Anthony Bialy, as always, for his contributions to our blog. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.
*Views expressed are the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the owners of the billsmafia.com website.