PUBLIC HEALTH ANNOUNCEMENT:
It might be best to watch the rest of this Buffalo Bills season with a bottle of Mylanta instead of a bottle of beer. After the Green Bay Packers slammed the Bills 22-0 on Sunday in what can only be kindly described as a football game, it’s clear Pinto Ron needs to start serving antacid in those bowling balls the rest of the way this season.
These so-called “bumps in the road” developing a football team are more like craters swallowing our fan-hood alive. Josh Allen did the best impression of Gary Marangi I’ve ever seen on Sunday, while the entire offense looked like a bunch of Keystone Cops on meth. The defense wasn’t much better.
The extreme vacillation in performance from one week to the next is giving Bills fans major vertigo trying to figure out what this Bills team is all about. After four games and a 1-3 record (which actually looks better than it does when you watch the tape), we’re left to sort through a pile of ugly statistics to try and make sense of this football team. Ugh.
Perhaps the best place to start this week is to unplug from all the social media noise by the click-bait hucksters just jonesing to make your day complete by insulting you on every level possible. We take the fate of our Bills so personally it makes us easy prey for those who get off on inciting hostility on social media. I’ve only survived as a Bills fan all these years by refusing to reward whiny people with attention.
So how does one successfully navigate a season of extremes?
I honestly don’t remember two Bills games more extreme in how they differed from one week to the next in terms of performance on the field – but age and the cumulative effect of despair may have impaired my memory.
However, what I do remember from past experience is when the Bills stink, we often let what others say or write get under our skin. Native Western New Yorkers have a chip on our shoulders because “New Yorker” is not who we socially identify with – and rightfully feel overwhelmed by on a regular basis.
Living the shadow of New York City and perceived by the outside world as not-quite-east-coast, not-quite-midwest kind of gave us something close to an inferiority complex of sorts, if that’s possible for a region of people. Pile that on top of our horrible misfortune as sports fans and you have a recipe for collective despair.
Green Bay and Buffalo are small cities blessed with big time sport franchises. And our fortunes are as different and as stark as the score of the game was on Sunday. Green Bay boasts “Title Town” and Buffalo boasts four Super Bowl losses in a row. Until we get that ‘monkey’ off our back that’s just the facts, Jack.
After decades of misery punctuated with fleeting moments of joy, I’ve learned the best way to cope with being a Buffalo sports fan is to appreciate the best part of the experience – and that’s each other. Who else would choose to have their passion live and die around a football team with nothing to show for championships in its entire existence?
Cubs fans, but even they got their itch scratched. Cleveland has LeBron and the Cavs. Check.
It’s tempting to fall into the trap thinking “we DESERVE to have a championship” because we’ve suffered for so long. Life has a funny way of throwing a curve ball at anyone thinking they DESERVE anything. Sometimes the only thing you get from any given relationship is pain, but even that can eventually serve to foster wisdom and even enlightenment through experience.
So my challenge to all of you is to make this week as great an experience as it would be if the Bills won 22-0 over the Packers on Sunday. Whatever anyone says or writes about one game has zero bearing on how you go about your business this week.
The Bills will lose again, and they will win again. But through it all we have each other, and that is pretty darn special when you think about it.
Pass the Mylanta.
Editor’s babble: On to the Titans. And to the Sabres! Take comfort in knowing only special people stick together when things aren’t easy. We bury ourselves in things that do matter – and we carry on. If that’s our legacy, let’s wear it with pride. You can find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.