Back Home With the Buffalo Bills

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I watched a Bills game in Buffalo.  Well, it’s novel for me.  I heard the place was exciting and had to check it out.  This town you have here sure is fun, what with all the land next to water and predawn closing time.  There are those sports teams, too.  Returning to my home and native land adjacent to Canada feels as natural as missing the playoffs.  But there’s also always something new to discover, like how adjusting during a game makes beating Denver possible.

Please tell me I’m not the only one excited by getting to walk to Tim Hortons before kickoff.  Living in a different city for awhile makes you appreciate normal joys upon returning.  As for something definitely not universal, what’s the yellowish sphere in the sky?  I thought I was going to need my mittens being this close to Mississauga.  Instead, Im working on my tan in Buffalo at September’s end.  Beating a team that previously whooped the Cowboys is relatively unsurprising.

As the astronaut whose cigar burned a hole in his spacesuit learned, atmosphere makes all the difference.

There’s a palpable energy when people around you care about the same thing.  In this case, it’s all about this infuriating and beloved football franchise.  Seeing 11 other people wear Bills shirts while running Sunday errands is a sign of having found one’s tribe.

A few straight decades of losing aren’t going to deter us.  The Bills are going to put together wins like Sunday’s win over the Broncos at some point.  From a purely practical level, why bail now after investing so much energy?

Buffalo’s sports teams serve a biblical role.  Our favorite NFL club exists to inspire hope that things will get better.  Trials aren’t just part of existence: they’re the point.  We must learn to manage natural instincts to flee, most recently after the previous touchdown-free outing in Carolina.  Nervous stomachs heal with time.  The passing game actually functioning does help.

It’s going to be a long season, we remind ourselves during each of them.  The only relief is provided by how clocks work.  As our mantra goes, it will get better soon.  Even if it takes awhile, we’re closer than we were in 2000.

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Love is unconditional if you believe in something.  For backers of a lamentably consistent franchise, that means hoping for a broken pattern.  No wretched play or misguided strategy would make fans think of removing gear.  That said, it’s fair to hope that relatively complete efforts like against the Broncos become commonplace.  It’s nice to irk those who create betting lines for once.

Bills fans know you don’t abandon someone who’s struggling.  One tough week doesn’t mean they’ll never rebound.  A three-touchdown effort is encouraging even if this club hasn’t excelled at maintaining momentum.  Expecting perfection means never enjoying anything.  Cheering despite the past is all we can do.

A little noise helps distract visitors.  Denver was deafened into committing four false starts, so the Mafia can take partial credit for 20 yards.  I guess the players had something to do with it, too.

Knowing what the quarterback does well helps even more.  Play-action plays to Tyrod Taylor’s best actions.  The pointless wait for coaches to maximize his talents doesn’t retreive frittered time.  But those two games where they had a chef bussing tables are in the past.  Let him cook dinner from now on.

Even a win has to induce anxiety, which is part of the One Buffalo Code.  If Sean McDermott knew anything about this franchise, he’d avoid continuing the precedent of meek play calls.  It’s also frustrating that Taylor and Jay Zones have more potential going unrealized than The Drew Carey Show.  Short of a perfect world, humans can learn from imperfection.

Photo of CB Tre’Davious White interception vs. Broncos from

Every day is a chance to get better, or, in Tre White’s case, every play.  A ruthlessly quick athletic event requires training on the job, which is as painful as it is necessary.  Watching him adjust in real time was a delight that showed progress is possible.  Someone learned his lesson from Groundhog Day.  White went from struggling rookie to cagey veteran in a matter of quarters.

Nobody would be surprised if the Bills alternated results again.  Then again, most people thought Denver’s defensive line would make highlight shows for sacks, not being too slick to shake.

Now, Buffalo faces someone also notorious for losing to New England, albeit in an entirely different fashion.  The Falcons are presumably already building the replacement for whatever cybernetic barn replaced the Georgia Dome.  Atlanta’s about to implode a stadium which was new when it hosted a Bills Super Bowl, which wasn’t that long ago no matter how it feels.

A surprise second win featured the pleasant yet uncertain feeling of exploiting another team’s errors.  It’s not to be pessimistic, at least not more than my baseline level.  There will be tough patches ahead.  Historically, it’s guaranteed with this franchise.  But the opportunity for a pleasant surprise encourages devotion.

Football teaches focus, as when there’s nothing else in the world but the game going on.  There could be volcanoes erupting in the distance, and I just hope the lava doesn’t burn cable wires.  Block out every bit of distracting background noise for true appreciation.  With fewer goofy penalties, they can postpone redemption stories for at least another week.  Please let taking success for granted be our next problem.

Editor’s babble: We’re delighted Anthony Bialy is back in the homeland and especially for his contributions to our blog. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy. 

About Anthony Bialy

Anthony Bialy recently moved back to Buffalo from New York City and acts like he never left. He thinks "Buffalo 66" is biographical and considers it a crime against mankind that Steve Tasker is not in the Hall of Fame. He likes getting Tim Hortons on the way to get Labatt Blue. Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyBialy.

One Reply to “Back Home With the Buffalo Bills”

  1. Good morning…

    Anthony I’ve been out of Buffalo since 89 and I truly enjoy going back once a year (not always possible) . I normally try to go back in the fall as I love that time of year and when going to a Bills game it just has that smell in the air. Over the last 10+ years I marvel how Buffalo the city is going through a renaissance… It is a happening place with so much to do and it is definitely cleaning up..

    The Bills and Sabres fans are so loyal and devoted an deserve so much better than what has been brought to the table. But as usual I’m being optimistic that both could reach the playoffs and be perennial contenders again. It can happen and will happen again!!

    A fan since the early 60’s and I will continue to brave the disappointment until they reach the ultimate goal of a championship. BTW–my daughters are Bills & Sabre fans and now the next generation my 5 year old grandson Dino is a Bills fan (has a Shady McCoy Jersey) and Sabres fan!!