Do fan expectations exacerbate Buffalo Bills’ playoff drought?

Photo of Bills GM Brandon Beane and HC Sean McDermott from

It hangs over us like a permanent shroud of fog coming off of Lake Erie. The playoff drought in Buffalo for both the Bills and Sabres is like a never-ending nightmare. Just when you think it could never get worse than losing four Super Bowls in a row, along comes a playoff drought whose age alone is almost ready to go to college.

It’s understandable why our fan base is seen by others as irrational, exasperated and downright crazy at times. What fan base has ever endured a worse fate than Bills fans?

While we huddle together trying to figure out if the latest iteration of coaching staffs is going to massively fail once again, for the first time in decades¬†this staff is busy trying to implement the most difficult of all organizational tasks… bringing about a massive culture change necessary to steer the team out of the gutter once and for all.

Only winning and success should satisfy us as fans. I get that. This fan base has endured a level of suffering unprecedented in modern sports history. Regardless of how short changed we’ve been as fans of Buffalo sports, the universe does not owe us anything.

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A big buzz word in marketing is “deserve”. Listen to how corporations use the word in advertising. You “deserve” this new car, you “deserve” a vacation, etc. Wut?

It’s probably tempting to think we¬†deserve a winning team because we’ve endured more suffering than any other fan base in history, right? Um, nope. In this great big world, nothing is guaranteed despite our best effort to seek certainty. We buy insurance to protect ourselves from negative outcomes, only to find it doesn’t cover the suffering associated with any given catastrophic situation.

So what is the point of this post?

It’s to illustrate that although we may feel “our time has come” and “we deserve to experience a Bills championship”, there is no guarantee if you suffer enough, somehow you will magically be bestowed the outcome of your desire. Unfortunately, that’s not how things work in this world we live in.

But… here’s where I do get stuck with the self-fulfilling prophecy thing…

If, as a fan, I focus my energy on being critical of every move being made by the front office or the coaching staff… will this reverberate through the fan base back to the team? If so, does that influence ownership to change coaching/front office staffs because the fan base is fed up for the umpteenth time?

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My real question is whether or not we as fans contribute to this playoff drought by jumping ship on a coaching/front office staff the minute we disagree with some move they made. As I’ve written too many times, the road out of Buffalo is littered with the carcasses of coaching staffs and general managers left for dead over the last 20 years.

It’s ludicrous to suggest the Bills fan base be patient. Patience ran out over a decade ago. But can we at least get to a place where we recognize that to start barking about the moves McDermott or Beane are making at this point in their tenure is probably not a good strategy?

Editor’s babble: Thanks for reading my trash. If you can’t seem to get enough of it (why?), you can follow me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.

About Robyn Mundy

Robyn Mundy is Editor-in-Chief of the BillsMafia blog at She's a retired oncology nurse & psychotherapist who loves to write about her life-long passion for the Buffalo Bills, and occasionally something of clinical or social relevance. Robyn lives with her husband Gary and their dogs in the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming. Robyn is also a proud founding sponsor. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynMundyWYO.