What are the hundred worst Buffalo sports moments? And what does it say that we could actually make a list that extensive? It wouldn’t even take too long: compile it during a lunch break and there’d still be time to finish your Ted’s onion rings.
I only look at scars for the catharsis. From obvious misses and referee jobs to horrid personnel decisions and a secretary telling Jim Kelly the Houston Gamblers were calling, the pain has provided character. The truly ghastly failures are like R, S, T, L, N, and E on Wheel of Fortune: those are given to you. Hardcore fans still fume about Ronnie Harmon’s hands and curse Brad Park’s name.
We have a surfeit of agony, so we may as well put it to use. I only let myself wonder what would’ve happened if the Sabres had just one more healthy defenseman in the 2006 Conference Finals a few times per week.
Misery is bound to define any fandom, aside from that one in New England which traded souls for tainted rings. But ours seems to get the intense version where dingoes bite us after we’ve fallen in the lava pit. The NFL already shares a single championship among 32 teams, and often doesn’t share it well. The payoff compared to investment makes slot machines seem like a wise retirement plan. But who’s going to stop pulling the handle?
You’re still here. Just your presence is impressive, and not just because you’re as charming as you are comely. The demonstrated loyalty of everyone connected to this star-crossed franchise is as impressive a display of humanity as anything in a Danny Boyle movie.
Last year’s triumph of a playoff loss was a reward for the impossibly dedicated. I don’t think it attracted many bandwagon fans. Any rewards that follow are cherished even if they’re as delayed as Amtrak.
Now, we’re supposed to return to scheduled devastation. Paying numerous guys to not be here is usually a bad sign. The Bills are on the verge of a season we’re told will make us yearn to accelerate until it’s 2019. Why even bother playing it? Well, I suppose they’re not doomed to perform as direly as predictions. After all, that was last year’s lesson.
Sure, we could review how many seasons this century have crushed our dreams. But this is in large part the roster that finally inverted the standard, including some personnel upgrades. Life may not necessarily get worse. Put that inspirational mantra on a mug.
The only way to be happy is to discard the past. Remember all that stuff that happened? Well, try to forget it unless you prefer being driven to depressing levels of insanity. I’m almost sure the next Bills season will be unlike most of the previous ones. Man, this team really does resemble life.
As one of the dearest things in your life, this franchise may have hurt you before. In fact, it’s a guarantee you’ve endured pain as a byproduct of choosing to be born. What were you thinking? But you can’t enjoy occasional bliss without certain disappointment. All those failures make us appreciate nice instances even more.
Love means making yourself vulnerable. Feeling closer to a football team than humans we know is way more normal than it should be. But that’s not about to change and we’re already accustomed to being fond of an inanimate entity. The only important moment is now, and we can be excited despite the statistical unlikelihood of enjoying what’s next.
Successful predictions ruin the fun, so guess wildly. Be glad we don’t know what happens next, as it would have discouraged us from following for this long. If a 2000 you had a list of the pain that would be endured for the next decade or so, you’d be more upset about that than all the computers melting down.
We won’t know what we’ll endure until we learn how to warp spacetime. Occasionally, the faithful are rewarded as with last year’s precedent of surprising everyone. That includes some poor Baltimore franchise that thought Buffalo would never grip a wild card. The Ravens will be out for revenge, sort of.
Life is about broken hearts and failed opportunities. I’m sorry to crush your hopes. But Bills fans are prepared for the next flaming anvil life drops on us. Pain isn’t so bad once you’re accustomed to it. I knew endless suffering was good for something.
The present future is even less certain than usual, so we may as well enjoy it. Gambling’s fun as long as you’re not dipping into rent. Outsiders assure us our bets won’t pay off this year, and we’re used to those kinds of stakes.
Why not hope to be pleasantly surprised? Nathan Peterman gets the chance to show he can be as efficient as he was during preseason. And an exciting rookie quarterback with the capacity to either flame out or make our most exciting dreams a reality is going to start one of these days, so let your heart race now.
It’s also nice having a general manager and coach who each seem to know what American football is and even how to make it work. Both are aware they’re employed by a historically underperforming franchise. And they’re prepared to cope with a wholly imperfect world.
Life sometimes surprises participants by being pleasant, so cherish best-case scenarios and believe they may actually occur. What’s the worst that could happen: you end up disappointed? That’s what all the practice was for.
Editor’s babble: My survival strategy for decades has been to refuse making expectations or predictions about the Buffalo Bills. Having zero expectations has worked well for me, but I understand the obsession all the Miss Cleos out there have about this team. Thanks once again to Anthony Bialy for keeping it real. You can find Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.