If you’ve read my trash for awhile, it should come as no surprise that Tyrod is the focus of my attention these days when it comes to all matters Buffalo Bills related. As you may have come to expect, while others focus on Tyrod Taylor’s QB ratings and poise in the pocket, I’m looking at how this dude presents himself to the rest of the world.
By now many of you Bills-o-philes have heard the report that after the delightful crushing of the Dolphins last Sunday, Mr. Taylor boarded the plane ride home sporting what can only be described as a ‘bitchin’ three piece suit. When asked about why he chose to do so, he said he was a starting QB and would dress like one. O_o my… there’s that swag I’ve been writing about.
The only person in control of the Tyrod narrative is Tyrod. The media cannot penetrate the first cell in his rarified space to get a flavor of his personality. He won’t let them in. He doesn’t let anyone in. The man screams ‘alpha male’ without opening his mouth.
Yet what’s most intriguing about the Bills young starting quarterback is that despite the command he has over everything around him, he leads with a quiet sense of confidence that is understated, and not often seen in professional athletes with newly found celebrity status.
What I find especially amusing about his public persona is to watch the media try to capture Mr. Taylor’s essence. It won’t happen, no matter how they try.
Tyrod Taylor is an introverted person living in an extroverted world. I can relate to this personally on many levels. Perhaps that we share the same birthday facilitates my finding common traits. Most of us like to identify similarities to people we admire. And I definitely admire Mr. Taylor.
However, one of the issues I have noticed with growing old is that people in my elderly age group tend to pigeon-hole young people. We think because we’ve lived longer that sometimes people much younger than we are cannot provide life lessons and wisdom. In my experience, nothing could be further from the truth.
Inspiring people come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. When we see a person that exemplifies a quality we admire, age is irrelevant.
The message I’d like to pass along to fellow Bills fans today is that there is a very important quality that Tyrod Taylor can teach us about our fanhood if we pay attention. Sometimes the best lessons in life are right in front of your face on a daily basis.
As I read, listened, and talked with Bills fans this week, I was struck by a common sense of trepidation about allowing ourselves to relax and enjoy the fact that the Bills are once again a team on the rise.
The blowout by the Patriots had one truly unfortunate consequence. It served as an instant buzzkill that almost all Bills fans have developed after a decade and a half of despair. It triggered a gigantic horn in our head that blows every time we think our team is on the rise only to be annihilated in one sad way or another.
We say we “Billieve”, but we do so fully expecting the other shoe to drop on our collective head at any given moment. I’m pretty sure most Bills fans did exactly the same thing going into the Patriots game that Rex and the team did by getting too juiced.
I know I did. Getting spanked was all the more painful because we’ve been down that road so many times.
So, is all of this drivel leading up to a point?
I’d like you to take a few moments and watch the three videos of Tyrod Taylor’s press conferences after each game so far this season. While you do so, be sure to note the tone and mannerisms he conveys as he speaks with the media.
Taylor’s mood remains within a certain range, win or lose. Never too high never too low. When the jackals start trying to close in on him, he simply controls them with wicked eye contact. No one is going to pierce that armor.
And that is exactly what I think we need to strive for as a collective. We love our team so passionately that we live and die each week with their performance.
We don’t have a casual relationship with our team. Bills fans define the term ‘fanatic’. The team is the glue that binds us and we are not ashamed to admit it.
Having grown up in the shadow of Gotham City, Western New Yorkers have a tendency to be a little defensive about being perceived as hillbillies by the more urbane downstaters. Just pick up any New York City rag this weekend and you’ll find plenty of arrogant writers implying Western New York is a wasteland. They do it every year.
Furthermore, all we want as a group of people is to be liked. We are the collective ‘Sally Field’ of communities .
That vulnerability, that need for the approval of others has driven us to the point of madness at times. Four Super Bowl losses in a row, will we EVER get past it?
One of the blessings that people like Tyrod Taylor bring into our lives is the example of how important it is to control your own narrative. For far too long, native Western New Yorkers let everyone else control our narrative.
For older readers that watched Michael Jordan play, remember the Gatorade commercials on television that blared out “Be Like Mike”?
This season most of all, Bills fans would benefit from taking a cue from our starting quarterback, and “Be Like Tyrod”. People sometimes say that fans should just act like fans and let their feelings hang out whatever way floats their boat.
There’s something to be said for that strategy, without a doubt. But, there is also something to be said for controlling our own narrative by ‘Billieving’ in ourselves first, and not waiting for the approval of the outside world to tell us we’re good.
No one exemplifies that characteristic more than our starting quarterback. We might all benefit from an approach involving less ‘hare’ and more ‘tortoise’. Go Bills.