Variety can be overrated. I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas last week even though I knew the ending. But the same story is only fun if good prevails. By contrast, the New England Patriots chop down what they thought was a bad little tree.
The smallest hopes in defiance of expectations get punished. Don’t ask Santa for a current player jersey unless you want to be let down again. Getting crushed on schedule doesn’t make it easier, but it does explain life as a Buffalo sports fan.
It’s hard to get hyped up because of how these trials almost always go down. The Mafia needs a German word for baseless optimism mixed with dread. I was back to dead inside by the second half, which shouldn’t feel so comfortable.
Another Patriots matchup will be remembered as one we’d like to forget. It was in our benefit to distract ourselves from play. I got my Christmas shopping done while technically tuned in to a sporting event. As the sort of rabidly irrational person who won’t buy a donut associated with Boston on particular Sundays, all I want is a reason to care.
I was such an innocent kid back during that first drive. But it turned out to embody the Buffalo Bills. If anyone is unsure, that means it ended up sad. There couldn’t be a better example of how it never works out than a series that eerily went fantastically until the quarterback who never throws interceptions defied expectations.
Everything goes perfectly wrong after thinking it might finally possibly not. It turns out that feels not very nice. The Patriots have been finding open areas in the zone since phones were hung on walls. Meanwhile, I wish our beloved team skipped practice so they at least have an excuse.
Waiting this long to see an old enemy is particularly trying when results remain unchanged. Fans have been dreading this looming bout with futility since the previous embarrassment, which by sheer coincidence was the last time they played.
The only thing that drew attention was a cowardly outrage. Chief scumbag Rob Gronkowski’s charming caveman act is officially over. Officials aren’t as despicable as him for letting a felon stay on the field while penalizing Jerry Hughes’s yelling, but only by comparison.
It may be tough to completely stop head trauma during such a physical game. But they could easily eliminate deliberate attempts to injure from impulsive aggrieved goons well after the whistle. It would take serious penalties, so forget it. Remember after seeing a targeted post-play hit by a raging man-child to the back of a head that the NFL cares about concussions. A damaged brain is worth one game.
If you thought the lack of penalty was the problem or that the cheap shot was righteous, I’m sorry to report which team you follow. Winning is a test that New Englanders fail. The record of success hasn’t provoked as much joy as you’d think.
Bitching about a call not going the Patriots’ way, of all teams, in a win is almost as pathological as not realizing the ensuing assault is the newsworthy part. They think 31 fanbases hate them out of jealousy.
Patriots fans have been handed everything and complain the gift bag wasn’t fancy enough. Remember to not act like their toxically obnoxious true believers once Tom Brady retires and the Bills become competent. I’m not saying it’ll be soon, so write it down.
It’d be easier to envision success if this club established an identity. Are the Bills about speedy finesse or stocked with roughnecks? Would they prefer to be known as defensively aggressive or for resiliency when it counts? The lack of answers keeps us questioning.
The only thing we sadly know is this is not the sort of club that administers on-field justice. It would have been nice if someone had smashed the felon into the turf after their teammate got his brain rattled. Take a penalty. Heck: take a suspension. You’ll never buy beer in this town again.
Instead, the Cro-Magnon didn’t learn a deserved lesson. A Boston athlete never gets smacked for a craven attack on a defenseless Buffalo player: it sucked when Milan Lucic got away with it. The only benefit of a pathetically short suspension is that the dastard must face his assault victim. Watch your back, Gronk.
The biblical level of dejection tests faith. We were tired of recapping it in 2001. The Bills struggled to tackle like NFL officials do to understand how the lines on the field work. And I’m going to guess that wondering what a team will have to trade to draft a top quarterback means present play is below solid.
Your cleanest fantasy is also the most improbable. The Bills must at minimum beat Indianapolis and sweep the Dolphins to get to bonus football. Treating upcoming games as assumptions is the surest way to make them into letdowns. They’d never disappoint fans like that, right?
There’s one last chance to claw back. But they’re out of grips. December’s schedule is largely full of teams we loathe. Next is the Colts, about whom I am indifferent. At least pretend they’re a rival if it helps motivate Buffalo to recalibrate the defense against a team that’s begging to be stopped.
The Bills beating New England more often than they fire coaches would be nice. As it stands, they have five wins against the Patriots and eight non-interim coaches since 2000. Sean McDermott has not begun to catch up.
Buffalo has gained zero ground this century against the division’s bully. Matching the Death Star’s firepower has been a problem for every Rebel squadron. But the Bills have never been made into action figures.
I’m tired of remembering there are other things for which to feel grateful. Buffalonians want to enjoy competitive football along with health and shelter. This franchise must now maximize joy as a matter of percentages. They could lose maybe once more if improbable postseason dreams are to be sustained. Even winning three-quarters of remaining games might not be enough. It all starts because nothing’s changed.