As it does every year, Deadspin published its “Why Your Team Sucks” series over the past couple of weeks. If I’m being honest, the Buffalo Bills edition had me in stitches. Between the “Amarillo Slim” line and Buffalo being a place where QB’s go for their lives to end, the satirical humor was right up my alley. Being a Bills fans and furthermore, fans of Buffalo sports in general, most of us have learned to laugh at ourselves (it beats crying anyways.) As funny as this year’s edition may have been, Drew Magary and the folks over at Deadspin got it wrong. You see to truly understand the Buffalo Bills and their fans you have to be one of them. Don’t worry Deadspin I got you.
Your team: Buffalo Bills
Your 2012 record: While we did indeed finish 6-10 after going 2-1, us Bills fans gets excited about a win regardless of the whether we’re 1-0, or 3-13. As Bills fans it is virtually impossible for us to hope for a loss. As the playoffs become less and less of a reality on a yearly basis, we all begin to debate with one another on whether the team should tank for a higher pick, or continue to play hard to salvage some sort of faux-dignity. We don’t need to be “suckered in” because we’re already onboard for next season, before the current season even ends. That’s what missing the playoffs for 14 straight years will do to you. “Lab rats getting shocked by electrified cheese?” Naw, more like Seabiscuit of the NFL (at least in our own minds.) Plus everyone knows if you’re going to equate on of the guys over in Bristol to the 716, it has got to be Boomer: “No one circles the wagon like the Buffalo Bills!”
Your coach: Doug Marrone is… average? Ha! Listen Deadspin, you have to remember the guys we’ve had coaching our beloved Bills of late. Between Gregg Williams, Mike Mularkey, Dick Jauron & Chan Gailey, Doug Marrone is a godsend. Sure he may only have four years of coaching at a college where basketball is far and away the most popular sport, but it doesn’t matter. He’s an upstate NY kind of guy and he has a bright future, got it? Plus if we can get a tenth of the magic that Sean Payton and Drew Brees have manufactured over in NOLA, I don't care if he was their water boy. O and a less impressive Greg Schiano? Because Rutgers is certainly a shining example of collegiate athletics… right Mike Rice?
Your quarterback: Ok, so maybe Deadspin kind of had a point on this one, but I’m not going to concede just yet. Sure we were ransacked by injuries, but if you rewind a couple months things were looking pretty damn good after years and years of uncertainty at the Quarterback position. I mean we finally booted the nimble-armed Fitzpatrick in favor of a tandem of a talented veteran Free Agent with something to prove and the first-round, “franchise savior” that many of us thought may never come. Fast-forward to today and obviously things worked out a little differently, but very few teams are successful without being flexible… Right?
Even if we did “reach” on EJ, what matters is he’s here now. I’d take EJ Manuel & Jeff Tuel, or whomever else is behind number 3, over Ryan Fitzpatrick & Tyler Thigpen any day of the week. Progress my friends, progress. PS: There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Labbat Blue. Drink responsibly.
Your fantasy player everyone will hate: I tend not to draft Bills players in fantasy because I can’t take any more pain during football season. I did however select CJ Spiller in the first round this year. Yeah I know that’s not really a stretch, but outside of CJ, SJ, EJ & maybe FJ in the later rounds, not sure who else will really get much consideration. That’s fine though. Two words, team game.
Why your team sucks:
This is the part of the article that had most people crying tears of laughter. I agree that the “Chan Gailey era” isn’t something most of us are very found of, but guess what, IT’S OVER. As for the ancient Buddy Nix, who doesn’t love a southern gentleman? I understand he doesn’t have the best numbers from the point-of-view of being successful at the job at which he was hired for, but you can’t tell me whenever you’d hear that warm & fuzzy southern drawl, you weren’t immediately comforted and reminded or some lovable TV character from your childhood.
Doug Whaley may be Colonel Sanders’ “hand-picked successor,” but he’s younger so that’s a great start. While Whaley had some technology issues himself back in Pittsburgh, chances are he won’t wind up having his phone conversations recorded and exposed around the trade-deadline, which is another huge plus.
While WNY may not be NYC, or LA the latter doesn’t even have an NFL franchise, so there. Folks here are proud of the place they call home despite how little sense it may make to outsiders. “Buffalove” is as real as it gets and the #BillsMafia is perfect proof of that. Sure they may get a bit carried away at times, but that’s just overwhelming passion mixed with years and years and years of disappointment. Maybe 2013 isn’t the year the Bills are going to turn the corner, in fact it probably isn’t, but I’d rather be apart of a fan base that is partly delusional yet relentless, than a team that has won a title or two, but is only relevant in town when it’s time to hop aboard the Bandwagon Express. Say what you want about our team and our fans, but we may be one of the only franchises that has guys live tweeting about OTA’s and training camp scrimmages for fun…
As Thurman Thomas talked about this week on ESPN, the Buffalo Bills have the best fans around. When asked what the party would be like in Buffalo if the Bills finally brought home the Vince Lombardi trophy, he started giggling like a schoolgirl. That reaction, from a HOF guy, who use to eat pain and toughness for breakfast, pretty much sums up what it means to be a fan of the Buffalo Bills.
Why your team doesn't suck: Aside from all the points I just made, there’s one large factor that prevents the Bills from totally sucking… The NY Jets. Now while it is certainly possible to have more than one sucky team in the same division, with just how much of a god-awful train wreck the Gang Green are destined to be this year, I can’t image anyone truly sucking when they have to play them twice. Thanks Mr. Butt-Fumble.
In Conclusion: No I am not one of the people who takes the annual “Why Your Team Sucks” series seriously, but someone had to try to defend our fans and more importantly Amarillo Slim himself. By the way, New York state ranks 5th in terms of the Amish population based on the 2012 census, so the chances of finding an Amish cave in these parts is actually rather high. So thank you Deadspin, I’ll take that one-liner as a compliment.
Perhaps I’m just one of the delusional fans that Deadspin attempted to highlight, but if that’s the case I’m proud of it. Bring on the 2013 season. Bring on another year of likely heartbreak. Being a Bills fan isn’t easy, but as Thurman’s giggle showed, someday, it’ll all be worth it.
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