What a day. I don’t really know where to begin so I’m just gonna start writing and see what happens.
What is #BillsMafia? Well, I defined it as “More than a hashtag. It’s a mindset. A way of life.” back in August when this whole thing took off. But that’s kind of ambiguous.
It’s about keeping things positive. Actually, it’s about keeping three key things, in my opinion.
Keep your faith.
Yes, our pass rush is non-existent. Yes, we are still struggling with tight ends across the middle. YES, Fitz’s accuracy left a lot to be desired today.
But guess what, this team has direction now. And it is the right direction. September and October showed us what this team is capable of. We’ve suffered some pretty tough injuries and Chan has to figure out what the next wrinkle is for the offense as it appears it’s starting to get figured out, but it’s become apparent that this team has more talent than any team that’s been fielded since at least 2004.
Keep your perspective.
Buddy Nix was tasked with picking up the pieces from the Donahoe/Levy/Jauron era(s) and building a contender. And let’s be honest — the roster, as it stood in December 2009 — didn’t even have enough of a core group of talent that would allow him to sign a few big ticket free agents to put a first round playoff exit pretender together. So he’s doing it the long (correct) way, building a foundation through the draft and making hard, unpopular decisions like trading fan favorite Lee Evans and cutting underperformer Aaron Maybin.
It’s not all going to happen in two off-seasons, but it’s coming together. The fast start this year has got us jazzed, but we’re not there yet. We need at least one more draft and a few key free agents to build out our depth. The injuries we’ve experienced thus far illustrated that the team we rolled out in week one was playing without a safety net.
That’s OK. Like I’ve said many times before, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Keep your cool.
Listen, the past 11 years have sucked… Suuuuuuuucked. But we, the fans, keep coming back. We ride with this team and we die with this team. The Bills are more than just a three hour diversion on Sundays in the fall. They’re a member of each of our respective families. Very few of us would ever disown a brother or sister, no matter what they did. And with the NFL’s Buffalo franchise, it’s the same way.
However, sometimes you get frustrated with those you love. It’s understandable. We are sick of losing games like today’s vs. Dallas; and when we do, especially in today’s fashion, it bring up lots of old feelings. We all deal with these kinds of feelings differently. Some choose to bottle it up, some blow it off and ignore it, and some just wear their anger on their sleeve. Enter: Twitter.
Here’s the deal: We all want this team to succeed… Desperately. But now that we’ve hit some bumps in the road that is the 2011 season, let’s not start turning on each other — or the players. We’ve all got opinions, which we’re all entitled to, but let’s be respectful. I mean, come on, we’ve been through hell together the past decade. Let’s do our best to convey our thoughts without whining and falling into the “same old Bills” attitude that was on display by some today. We’re better than that. But when we see others doing that, let’s not start a flamewar but instead try to remind them that being a Bills fan is something to be proud of, win or lose and that these kinds of frustrating losses will soon be fewer and farther between.
Anyways, my favorite thing about this whole movement has been how we all band together and support each other. Let’s not lose that.
It’s always been my inclination to think that the reason we have bonded like we have is BECAUSE of the hard times we’ve been through. THAT’S what makes #BillsMafia so unique. Like I said earlier this week, we’re not unlike Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride. We keep getting stabbed, but we move forward relentlessly with one goal in mind. Eventually, we are gonna get that six-fingered man.
This is a young team with a bright future. To say “same old Bills” is the farthest thing from the truth.
I don’t really have any cute little statement to tie this all to a close but I want to say I love the #BillsMafia family and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. You guys rock…
Now let’s go squish those fish.