OK, now I have some meat to work with after watching the press conference, as well as Chris Brown’s interview with new Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone yesterday. People say first impressions are often misleading, and they can be if you don’t know how to move past the facade that we all project toward others.
While spending years ‘in the chair’ listening to people try to BS me in therapy, I became curious about watching their facial expressions when I knew they were lying to themselves. I found it fascinating. Everyone has certain proclivities under stress, and when you watch for those clues, you can learn a lot about people.
I use this skill in all aspects of life and it has served me well. So I watched Marrone yesterday, and I found him to be an interesting character. He was obviously nervous and excited, and I’m sure the last week has been an incredible experience for him with all the twists and turns. Making the right decision for him is as vital as it is in the interest of the future of the Buffalo Bills franchise.
What I see in Doug Marrone beyond the normal jitters anyone has when the biggest moment of their lives are literally unfolding before them is a man who is different in one way than any other head coach for the Buffalo Bills. I’ve been trying to put my finger on “it” since yesterday, and per usual I woke up with the answer.
This man came from the Bronx, but he possesses the ethos and pride of being a New Yorker in the sense of the REGION. He has a Buffalo heart. You can sense that in him, just as you can Russ Brandon, our East Syracuse ‘boy’ who grew up to become one of the most important people in New York State on many levels.
Think about that little tidbit. The Buffalo Bills are now being run by a upstate NY guy in Russ Brandon whose father worked for New York Telephone. He’s proud of his middle class heritage. It is a great source of pride to be a native WNYer, and only OTHER native WNYers can understand what I mean when I write that statement. No one knows our collective spirit as a community of people who have been constantly and unfairly castigated as the armpit of the eastern US.
Never before has the Buffalo Bills organization been more pro-WNY than it is right at this moment. Doug Marrone knows what this job as the Bills head coach means to the people of WNY. He feels it, and it’s obvious that his passion is right in line with ours. He knows our pain as sports fans.
Chan Gailey used to talk about how much he understood the fans of WNY. To be honest for a guy who grew up in a completely different type of culture, he “got it” more than most “outsiders”. Doug Marrone is not an outsider. Doug Marrone is one of us.
I have no idea whether Doug Marrone’s future with the Bills will be successful, or whether there will be another head coach search starting again in three years. However, what I have no doubt about whatsoever is that this is a guy who is living out his childhood dream. I doubt passion for his work will be a problem.
Welcome home, Dougie!