It’s three in the morning on Wednesday night, and I’m wide awake because I haven’t heard peep about the whereabouts and activities of Mario Williams since he signed his deal. What am I going to do? For all I know, this silence could mean he’s got cold feet and is begging Roger Goodell to veto the contract. Maybe he’s boarded a plane to a remote island where he has the ability to launch a warhead directly into the desolate wasteland known as Orchard Park. What if he’s so distraught about possibly spending the next six years of his life in Buffalo that he’s contemplating an early retirement?
Or, what if he’s sleeping? What if, I mean – really, what if, it meant a total of jack and shit that he checked out of a hotel and smiled at someone asking an asinine question two nights ago?
(Wait, you mean someone really reported that as news?)
Yeah. That’s what I said.
The fact of the matter is that it really did mean nothing and Williams, the all-everything defensive end from Houston, has become the highest paid defensive player in league history after signing on with Buffalo following a three-day courtship by a team that no one with a head on their shoulders gave so much as a thought to him speaking with, much less making his first ever visit to and especially not signing with. What we knew as of two nights ago, though, was that he was still in town and planned to return to the stadium on Thursday morning with his fiancée whom had been flown up to be with him. That’s all. That information, and the lack of anything further, had caused the entire city of Buffalo to erupt to a disturbing obsession with every step of this guy’s day. People were so consumed with this whole ordeal that minute details about what he was doing, where he was going, what he was eating, and how tight his BVDs were had flooded social media pages and team message boards alike.
When Adam Schefter broke the news that Williams was making Buffalo the first stop on his free agent tour Tuesday, my first thought had nothing to do with the potential impact that the behemoth would have on our defensive line – nothing to do with how great it would be to have a name like that here – nothing to do with mental images of Tom Brady getting trucked repeatedly (okay, that one’s a lie). Instead, I immediately thought “Alright, Buffalo – this is the big stage, your time to shine. Don’t mess this up,” due to their propensity to make complete asses out of themselves in these situations and further secure a place amongst the most ludicrous, backwards franchises in professional sports. Even if the team killed it in playing this like a big boy, their fans and local media crept up on the point of mandatory suicide watch if this guy had hopped a plane to another NFL city.
Since Schefter’s announcement, I’ve seen pictures of him getting off of a plane, heard about who he’s eating dinner with (and where), been shown more photos of him at the airport picking up his wife-to-be, heard that he may or may not be at the Sabres game, and finally read the aforementioned gem about checking out of the hotel the team had put him up in and smirking at some jackass asking if this was ‘a good thing’ before the CEO posted a picture of him signing his contract. If you people were seriously clinging to this, I feel for your significant others. How many times a day do you need a quick update of every single detail of their goings-on since your last encounter fifteen minutes prior? Do you spend all day writing their name on the cover of your notebook with hearts around it because this is a love that will never die, only to lambaste them and attack them personally when they miss your fourth call of the afternoon?
Scoff, go ahead. Laugh about it, think I’m being ridiculous – just let me know before you do it. This way, the next time a guy people have actually heard of decides to skip out on beaucoup dollars that would make him the next Buffalo Bill, I’ll know who to avoid. It’s those same people who don’t want me to make this comparison that would’ve been out in droves letting everyone and their brother know how Mario Williams played the Bills, how he’s a piece of garbage who we didn’t really want anyway, and that whomever inks him is severely overpaying for an average player (similar to what Houston fans are actually doing at this point.) Don’t, not for a moment, act like you haven’t done that in the past if you took offense to my last paragraph. Far too many Buffalo fans are like that and it’s revolting.
I understand that the day’s technological fixations have made it easier than ever to gather useless information and overanalyze it with others like never before, but have some tact. I miss the good old days (at my age, I should never have to say that) where we’d hear if a player signed or if they didn’t and THAT’S IT. Insane concept for the sports fan of today, I know, but it was so much better than the alternative.
This incredible information overload had half of Buffalo’s fan base losing their minds tapping refresh and changing sites for better insight on the situation and I, for one, am glad it’s over. I was hoping that we’d have a conclusion to those shenanigans by the time I’d woken up yesterday because I was already sick of hearing about it after the first few hours. Luckily, it happened not soon after, because if I had to hear about what Jim Kelly cooked him for breakfast before he strung this along for another day I was going to burst at the seams.
Give me a little hope in the future, my fellow masochistic freaks. Remain calm until the season starts and just remember, if he had gone elsewhere we’d have been fine. After all, there are plenty of fish in the sea – and hell, we still have Chris Kelsay.
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