The Buffalo Bills got three extra hours to accept fate. A bye is viewed through each franchise’s identity, in this case with that doomed way this particular outfit has of inspiring their fans. That uniquely agonizing reflection of existence is why we got into sports. We didn’t realize how much aching was ahead when we started. This totally didn’t turn out sinisterly. Lessons may be far darker than anticipated when we first wandered past a television with Joe Cribbs dashing from the backfield.
A week off means a chance to reflect on how this razed roster looks like it got promoted to its level of incompetence. The Peter principle applies to sports, too. All that free time to ponder is the real punishment of being imprisoned. Bills fans are serving a sentence. This is a bad season by design even if there’s not a disclaimer printed on tickets.
Please keep the news of how horrid they’ve been secret. Like the formula to turn mustard into clean-burning gasoline, the outside world can’t learn. Of course the Bills are going to say they’re competing just like Saturday Night Live claims it’s trying to be funny. The laughable result is what’s important, which means our beloved squad has been waiting for next year since last year. The talent pool is just too shallow for now. Arm cops with licorice pistols and look shocked when criminals escape.
Ten games in, a big question about receivers and blockers remains, namely whether they have enough of each to qualify as professionals more than technically. Rotten football is the natural result of a roster that stretches the definition of patchwork. Watching this year’s Bills is like eating eggs for dinner while waiting for a paycheck. Someone else had a blast spending cash. And this team hasn’t even really partied in decades.
I’m starting to suspect they may not have the resources to make a run at the division this year. You can call me negative if it’s cathartic. Ladies were asking hairdressers for Jennifer Aniston’s haircut the last time it happened in 1995, so what’s one more year waiting for the shag to come back into fashion? The lack of present style remains humiliating.
They didn’t order pestilence, I think. This rudimentary season features horrible conditions that allow coaches to test recruits. Survival is the only goal. Any Bills who make it through this season deserve a medal, even the Wookiees.
Drill instructors make basic training unpleasant for a reason. Ineptness isn’t purposeful. But you cope with challenges using available resources. Healing Josh Allen may as well be wearing a weighted vest as he tries to succeed despite Powerball odds.
There’s no need to imagine how the potential franchise quarterback will perform when circumstances dictate he’s doomed, as that’s what’s happening now. Allen is going to fail this year no matter what while taking the Kobayashi Maru, but at least we can see what kind of decisions he makes when winning isn’t an option.
Short of being added to a well-stocked roster, Allen may as well experience real-world scenarios where there’s nobody to throw to and no time to do it. Such trauma will make playing with receivers who don’t keep getting waived feel even easier. You didn’t even realize how fun this season is.
Isn’t the absence of hope a relief? There’s no letdown at this team’s ability to sustain anything resembling competence. You never know how a season is going to turn out, except when you know. The uncanny power to predict the future only applies for teams that are due to be horrendous. It’s easier to smash than build if your only tools are a bowling ball and slingshot.
The Bills lug an anchor they’re mercifully allowed to drop soon. My favorite player this year is cap space. I wouldn’t commit to getting a jersey in the hope dead money will be gone next season. Waiting for economic freedom is like checking your watch to see if a savings bond has matured. Like me, it has not yet.
This game-free week was chance to focus on other hobbies, such as waiting for sports to come back. Fans of dreadful teams learn to be well-rounded. I wish I could chalk up making football less of a priority to finally entering adulthood. But it’s more out of self-preservation than gaining wisdom with age.
The common frustrations and relative injustices that come with cheering are too much like real life to invest endless energy. Not being consumed by poor results is a coping mechanism. Think of those poor Boston fans who fret about buying shirts that list all a team’s championships because they might be obsolete in a year.
Our side is accustomed to waiting, which is an understatement along the lines of noting we’re tired of Tom Brady. A break from following an overmatched team may as well be treated as a mental reset. I personally used the game-free weekend as a chance to flee the country; unlike backing the Bills, seeing the Menzingers live in Toronto with someone special meant a guaranteed win. The stupid and evil day off came during a season off.
Someday, Bills fans are going to view an empty Sunday as a chance for anticipation. For now, it’s a respite. Things only seem easier without having to fear success. A scheduled break shouldn’t feel like dodging responsibility.
Editor’s babble: As we enter the eve of giving thanks, I’ll start off by thanking our good fortune for Anthony Bialy’s contributions to our blog. His articles keep us going from week to week in a what can only be described as a classic crazy football season for Bills fans. You can find Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.