As frequent flyers on this ‘ride out the season’ mode, Bills fans have developed many techniques for surviving large chunks of seasons when the Bills are already eliminated from playoff contention. It comes with experience, and one cannot overestimate the importance of employing the right tools to survive yet another horror show of a football season.
First and foremost, if you didn’t read the chapter on Strategies for Preventing Heartbreak & Disappointment, you might want to start by doing so before launching into this one. It will save you the possibility of reaching this state of hopelessness before it happens. Remember the old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? If you find that you are already too far gone after reading the prevention chapter, then this chapter should provide some assistance.
You can now safely begin by bringing back all your fragile objects into your man or woman cave. The temptation to break something should now be long gone. You can at least ride out the rest of the season with all your stuff put back out in place for you to enjoy!
Once you’ve got your cave properly restored, it would normally be time to turn your attention to the Buffalo Sabres. However, as this is now the second time in eight years that there is no hockey season, I feel I must address this crisis as well. This is why you always need a “Plan B”.
Whatever interests you at this point is the key here. This is where Bills fans diverge from one another. Some of us only have being a Bills fan in common, and are as diverse as any population of football fans. So this is the time to seek out whatever other interests you have going on in your life.
Furthermore, what I believe to be the most important strategy to employ in this situation is what is often referred to as “compartmentalization”. You put your fanhood back into that Jack in the Box for the annual hibernation period.
The hibernation period goes on until usually around mid-March when mock drafts are starting to show up everywhere in the national media. When ‘friends’ or co-workers start taunting you about being a fan of a team that stinks, the best response is to agree with them.
Then proceed to blame whatever relative you hated the most as a kid for turning you into Bills fan as a child. Remark that you think that there ought to be a jail sentence for such abusive behavior. That will bore them instantly and they will go away.
Finally, just remember that your best weapon is your sense of humor. Only a tried and true Bills fan is guaranteed to have a sense of humor. It must be developed in order to put up with this most twisted of all football teams! The greatest of all accomplishments made by this franchise is their uncanny ability to continuously stink with such consistency.
That, in and of itself has kept me pondering in hibernation for the better part of the last 20 years. Carry on, Bills fans. No one does meaningless seasons better than the Buffalo Bills!