So, last week I talked a lot about how Bills fans really stay positive throughout all of the hard times our team goes through. The more I’ve been thinking about it, that really is somewhat of an amazing feat when you consider what our team and we as fans have been through over the past decade or so. What got me thinking about this so much? Well, in the past two weeks, I’ve actually met a few other Bills fans down here who have not been able to remain as upbeat about the team as I have.
The first one was actually a guy that was interviewing me for a job down here. I noticed that on his desk was a Buffalo Bills calendar. I asked him about it, and he said that he was originally from Rochester, and has stayed a Bills fan to some degree, but so many consecutive losing seasons had sapped his desire to really follow the team. It didn’t help that he so rarely got to see the team play on television. After that, I think we ended up talking about the Bills for half an hour, and barely talked about the job I was interviewing for. I was fine with that, but I didn’t get the job. As much as I love talking about the Bills, at this point I think I’d prefer the paycheck this job would have provided.
The second fan I met is actually a cast member in a production of “Sight Unseen” that my girlfriend is doing. I met them after rehearsal the other day, and was wearing one of my Bills shirts. He immediately got a big smile on his face, and told me he was originally from the Buffalo area, and only recently moved to the city himself. Also a die hard Bills fan, he tries to follow the team as much as he can, but his work schedule doesn’t allow him to get online much and keep up with the goings on of the team.
Here’s the thing. In both of these cases, I asked “Are you a Bills fan?” And while they both responded “yes,” there was a very noticeable sigh before they responded. And let’s be honest here, it is not always easy to be a Bills fan.
The most frustrating thing in the world is seeing a player leave the Bills and then see him go to another team and be outstanding. The examples are all over the league: Jabari Greer, London Fletcher, Nate Clements, Takeo Spikes, even look at Willis McGahee (even if he is a total jerk), Marshawn Lynch, and, dare I say it, Aaron freaking Maybin. Now, granted, many of those players are not the superstars they once were, but all are still in the league, and playing at a fairly high level. The personnel decisions from previous coaching/GM regimes have left a lot of us Bills fans very skeptical and untrusting of any personnel changes, or even draft moves.
For example, when the decision was made to draft CJ Spiller, my immediate reaction was “ANOTHER RUNNING BACK?” I could not wrap my head around it, especially when we had two 1000 yard backs on the roster already. Then last year, when the news came out that Lee Evans was being traded, I was furious. Evans was my favorite receiver on the team (I loved Stevie too, but wasn’t ready to call him our best receiver after one year for high playing). And this year, when I heard about Florence being CUT, not even TRADED, I nearly lost it. However, all that being said, it really seems like in the Gailey/Nix era, these decisions are finally being made for the right reasons. While we don’t know how Florence is going to play out in Denver yet, the other decisions I mentioned make a lot of sense in hindsight.
It seems like we finally have a front office that gets it. It’s our jobs as fans to support our team no matter what, even if the decisions don’t immediately make sense to us. Really, it is hard not to get the feeling that we are about to witness something really and truly special at One Bills Drive. The pieces are in place to make a very serious statement this year. I’m not going to sit here and claim that we should be Super Bowl favorites, because that would be a premature and inaccurate statement. But winning our division, or making a wild card playoff spot is not out of the question. Those of us who have stayed faithful through the roller coaster that has been the last decade are poised to see the remarkable turnaround that we have been waiting for.
Good things come to those who wait, and In Buddy We Trust.
Until next time, Soundtrack out.