Why we need sports… now more than ever

Bills offensive players FIND A WAY to practice in Miami. H/T photo by Joe Croom @croomphotos.

Joe Croom really came through for us this week. Thanks to Joe, in the midst of a pandemic, rioting, chaos… he went to Miami on a mission. Joe not only completed the mission but his photos and tweets were a beacon of light in an otherwise bleak week for BillsMafia as well as all Americans.

We’re grateful for people like Joe, who kindly shared his pictures and videos of (most) of the Bills offense in South Florida practicing together this past week.

If there was a time we needed sports more than right now, I can’t think of it. Maybe 9-11. As we enter this summer of discontent, 2020 is shaping up to be a year for the record books in terms of crises.

So we really thought this year would be defined by JUST a pandemic?

Ah, hell no. The Universe just looked at us… laughed… and said… “hold my beer”.

Exactly how are we supposed to simultaneously heal through a racial divide that has existed since the formation of our nation AND an ongoing pandemic?

Most of us are emotionally exhausted already… and just when we need to lean on each other the most … we are reminded to do it from six feet apart with no end in sight. Our poor little psyches are collectively worn out.

Then slowly… or not so slowly according to some… we are told we can start to engage and begin to reintroduce ourselves to one other.

So what does Bills QB Josh Allen do? He (and others on offense) organize an unofficial team practice in South Florida.

Photo of QB Josh Allen giving (I think) LT Dion Dawkins a big hug at an unofficial practice week for the Bills offense.. Photo credit Joe Croom @croomphotos!

Now that’s leadership. According to Matt Parrino’s article, QB Davis Webb put together and organized how the workouts would roll out for the offense. Seems like it was a massive success too.

We’re blessed to have devoted fans like Joe Croom and media professionals like Matt Parrino (and his great sidekick Ryan Talbot) to bring us hope… and a badly needed distraction from the heart-wrenching videos of our nation being ripped apart right at the seams.

Leaders emerge from all sorts of places in life, but sports provides unique examples of players who demonstrate leadership over the years. Colin Kaepernick took a lot of heat for demonstrating about social injustice against people of color in America. [side babble: how typical of us to create a fecal storm about whether or not Kaepernick should have kneeled during the national anthem instead of addressing the reason why he chose to do it in the first place].

Sports like anything in life can divide or unite us. Seems like competing against one another in some sort of organized fashion is an innate part of human behavior. When all else seems uncertain, reaching out for something familiar that allows us to engage with one another is not only needed, it is respite for the soul.

BillsMafia should take great comfort in knowing Josh Allen is not only ready to prove himself on the field as he steps into his third year, but he has taken the bull by the horns and created a terrific opportunity to bond with teammates that will go a long way to enhance team chemistry at the start of the regular season.

While we try to sift through what is left of our burned out souls at the moment, it’s good to know our team is in capable hands and finding a way to do everything they can to be one step ahead of the competition. Thankfully, these guys are serious about what they expect from themselves.

But they also seem to realize how much BillsMafia needs something to be joyful about right now. It seems like they feel our pain and know how helpful it is to bring a smile to our faces.

As we move through these stomach-churning times, maybe we ought to give sports more credit than being simply defined as “just a game”. The role of sports during crises shouldn’t be underestimated in terms of importance to our overall well being and emotional survival.

Thanks, guys. We needed that dose of something good. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

Editor’s babble: Like many people in our country, I’m struggling to deal with the tragedies we are witnessing every day. How about sharing our best practices about surviving these times and how we can help one another? Let’s also strive to be kinder with one another. Thanks for your support over the years for our BIllsMafia blog. You can also find me on Twitter, probably running my mouth @RobynMundyWYO.

About Robyn Mundy

Robyn Mundy is Editor-in-Chief of the BillsMafia blog at BillsMafia.com. She's a retired oncology nurse & psychotherapist who loves to write about her life-long passion for the Buffalo Bills, and occasionally something of clinical or social relevance. Robyn lives with her husband Gary and their dogs in the foothills of the glorious Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Robyn is also a proud founding sponsor. Follow her on Twitter at @robynmundyWYO.