Motivation is like a zombie evacuation route: you better already have it. The desire to excel should come as naturally for professional athletes as escaping the undead does for comic nerds. Just look at the check’s digits and recall that playing a game beats, say, bussing dishes as a career. Footballers are paid to be intense and should be excited, even if they’re interns.
But a snub can spur aggression. Hit someone even harder because the journalist said it was unlikely. The Buffalo Bills are free to fume fume about what those commenting on the team say if it helps performance. Participants ought to be competitive in sports no matter what, as seen by what a jerk I am when I play Chexx hockey. Still, external prodding may help certain personality types, so check the handbook you were issued at birth to see if you qualify.
Reading national coverage reminds us why we ignore it. Listening to what an out-of-town sports yapper says about your team is like asking a tourist for a restaurant recommendation. You’re going to end up at Applebee’s. The same people who follow as many clubs as possible explain why the Bills are fated to put their uniform pants on backward.
Searching for every bit of disrespect is a normal way to pass the time when there are only 16 games per year. The outrageous tweet of the hour will pop up right on schedule to condemn, so don’t worry about forgetting lunchtime’s mockable take.
I suppose the Bills could lose frequently. It has happened before if I remember correctly. Last season was the exception if anyone has grown too accustomed to winning. Expecting a regression is an understandable assessment even for those who disagree.
The chance to possibly mock those who got it wrong is what sports are all about, which means we should thank anyone going on record.
How dare any insolent fool suggests the Bills are only going to finish with 13 wins? Meanwhile, enthusiastic fans seize upon praise as if it could be redeemed for a division win. An August projection is worth as much as a Rex Ryan guarantee.
Opinions are flying like a rocket-propelled football about the most divisive player who hasn’t played. Josh Allen is going to burn up the league and flame out according to simultaneously confident sources.
Buffalo fans endured a different oscillation as they’ve gone from hoping Brandon Beane drafted any other quarterback to slamming anyone who dares suggest the rookie might have to learn to aim for a receiver’s hands. The reaction offers proof that the Bills are family, as we criticize our own while eviscerating outsiders who dare mock those at our picnic. Here’s hoping the adopted quarterback feels like he belongs.
Sure, neither side has any in-game evidence. We should maybe let him throw an NFL pass. But we might have to wait until 2019 for that and I want to sound alarms now. National journalists who concluded he’s a bust because he tried to make a play during his first preseason game after rushers burst past blockers should tell us who’s winning the Super Bowl in 2033.
It’s amazing how much affiliation can change perspective. Also, amazing is a word to used to distract from pure partisanship. Going from feeling bad for whatever team obtained him to defending him before his first paid snap is part of being a fan. Allen shouldn’t need doubts to get fiery, but they’re around if it helps. Any pre-draft concerns about him from his present backers have been granted asylum.
Making up reasons to be angry is fine if it helps you succeed at work. Take Kelvin Benjamin loathing his last employer. The desire to humiliate those who rejected you is as natural to humans as being entertained by watching others chase around a ball. I want to shake the hand that wouldn’t shake Cam Newton’s.
Still, you may think it would be easy to get jazzed up without extra enticement. It is their job, after all. Nobody should need reverse psychology while getting compensated handsomely to play a game. That’ll never work!
But our nature means it takes effort to reach and maintain frenzies. Ordinary life can get dreary through repetition, so a little resentment at skepticism could very well key a stellar performance. A national commentator’s ignorance or lame snark will do the trick if listening to Andrew W.K. somehow hasn’t gotten you pumped enough.
Buffalo against the world is the usual matchup. With an endless armada of foes, it’s no wonder making the playoffs is such a challenge. Those still angry about Johnny Carson’s blizzard jokes seek reasons to seethe. The perverse need to be condemned is reminiscent of Michael Jordan making up slights in order to loathe his foes. It offers the only bigger high than gambling, allegedly.
A professional is theoretically already performing at the utmost for every snap. Pressure from within ought to do the trick. But if thinking everyone hates you functions as fuel, get burning. Let panelists and social media vultures denigrate Buffalo’s chances. For one, they’re free to guess about a season that technically hasn’t happened. Even more importantly, it’s better to prove doubters wrong than praisers. Let low expectations make you fume.
Editor’s babble: O.M.G. … Anthony Bialy NAILS the mood of the moment about Josh Allen on social media. Thank you, Anthony, for bringing that stinging perspective that somehow makes us all wonder if you’re “talking about each of us” as we read your weekly column. You can find Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.