Every year I seem to be able to curb the exuberance a bit longer before a Bills season opener. After the perfunctory ritual of self-flagellation is complete, I move into the “damage control” phase of preparation for the first meaningful football game of the season. Arming myself for all the reasons the Bills will fail fully at my disposal, I seek to quell whatever “what if they really could be good this year” thought form out of my head. Let’s just say I’ve had to work at it a little more aggressively this off season.
When the media started picking the Bills to win over the JeSts, my sense of normalcy about ‘expected failure’ was thrown for a loop. Oh dear, what do I do now that media guys like Peter King are writing about how the Bills will “torment their opponent” into submission? What? Who? How?
The even keel strategy worked well for me this year, and lasted all the way until I woke up this morning. Friday before the opener. Now the excitement of a little kid has taken over my brain like a bad disease. I recognize the feeling. There’s this strange queasiness in my stomach. The thought (and smell) of pigskins begins dancing in my head. Yes, now is the moment Bills fans have been waiting for… for what seems like an eternity. We are about to begin the voyage of discovery about what this team will show this season.
All rational thinking begins to retreat into the background of that incessant clanging noise in my brain. It’s so loud it can no longer be ignored. Despite all my effort, all hope of maintaining rationality comes crashing down around me. I’ve shifted completely into high-test homer mode. There is no hope of ever regaining my composure at this point.
This one weekend every year has become a personal ritualistic sacrifice to the gods of the pigskin. I will capitulate sooner or later into an irrational blob. No matter where (or who) the Bills are playing, the next 50+ hours for me are like walking through the ‘Enchanted Forest’ for the first time as a kid. Mesmerized by all the glitter of possibility, I realize I am hopeless and surrender myself to the tsunami of my Bills fan-hood once again. Learning to cherish and accept these moments of irrationality have arguably helped me to become a better Bills fan. Well, at least until the ball is kicked off on Sunday morning @ 1 PM ET. Until then, the infinite “what if” scenario will remain the pervasive thought form.
Go Bills! Destroy the JeSts and lead Bills fans through a season to remember. Let the irrational become the rational expectation of success.
Stoked and ready to go. Bring it on!