Success provokes anxiety. Is nervousness always part of the playoffs? If so, it’s no wonder the Buffalo Bills were so reluctant to make them.
But as the president who had to wear a tie realized, some problems are worth the aggravation. The Bills are one of those teams that now has to worry about sustaining a playoff streak. Even the shortest one possible counts.
Winning a wild card is the start of the hard work. While making triumph a hobby feels daunting, the alternative is slacking toward another meaningless December.
Fear of a regression season is such a Bills-style concern. Everything will always feel like it’s going to fall apart, as Buffalo fans notice patterns. Some habits may remain even as the newish guys try to discard the toxic notion that our favorite city is doomed by fate.
Unreasonable hope amidst dread is a slightly more positive trait endemic to this fanbase. Change is to be embraced if things sucked before. Our favorite team may need a dozen new starters, but everyone likes buying fresh jerseys. Fans of the NHL’s worst team fervently debate a number change if you think Buffalonians aren’t dedicated.
Even guessing is hard. It’s foolish to think we’ll know what kind of team is going to take the field under the best of circumstances. This particular edition is experiencing a high rate of personnel turnover even for NFL franchises. Fast food places are relieved that they don’t lose workers like the Bills have this offseason.
You can still live in Amherst, but you may be working in Cleveland. Discarding players who had the misfortune to join the Bills under an inferior previous staff is management’s favorite hobby. It turns out that the staff has to find replacements for the questionable hires made by previous staffers. Having enough players is important, so write it on a Post-it note and stick it on the computer screen.
Guys who were on this team way back in 2016 feel like grizzled veterans. They’re aren’t many others with whom they can reminisce. Roster churn is a crucial part of becoming self-sufficient. The Bills seek to avoid relying on Andy Dalton even as they propose he be canonized.
A focused coach is the best defense against setbacks. Sean McDermott seems like the type who wouldn’t panic if his pants were on fire, much less lie about it. I’m picturing him on the Titanic with his arms folded working on a lifeboat strategy. The Bills have been compared to the most famous sunken ship for decades, but it may be for the first time with hope of survivors.
McDermott’s rookie head coaching season was most impressive for his ability to work with outdated technology. It’s hard to browse quickly on a flip phone. But the coach has already shown he can overcome transitional talent issues.
Now, that’s enough proof he can succeed under challenging circumstances. If Brandon Beane thought he’s already seen thankful Bills fans, he should picture how big his statue will be if his personnel acquisition style pays off once fully implemented.
There’s no reason to take his time. For one, McDermott is eager to prove how well he can do without having to coach 3-4 defense holdovers. He’s already gotten some curious decisions out of his system. Learning how to react during a game is like Bill Murray realizing why repeating a day offers a chance for self-improvement.
As for a team that shares Mister Murray’s Christian name, the Bills finally determined how to break patterns that kept them locked in football’s dungeon. And they’re still learning. Realizing that improvement is an endless process seems exhausting at first. But life doesn’t just stay awesome. It’d be dull if things were that easy, so be glad for the chance to toil.
The only thing better than hard work is smart work. Smashing a car with a sledgehammer burns lots of calories, but it may not help you get around. The present Bills regime got inevitable first-year errors out of the way and still squeaked into the playoffs. Imagine when they’re not screwing up coffee orders like interns.
Knowing when fans will swear at you for punting is crucial for progress. The club has to replace its one-year replacements. Rex Ryan did bring a playoff appearance, albeit only by being fired.
Present staff is still cleaning the mess from upturned buffet tables. The fact they’re not making excuses bodes well for a team learning how to stay clean.
Editor’s babble: It’s always comforting to read Anthony’s tales of life as a Buffalo sports fan. Thanks to Anthony for his terrific contributions to our blog. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.
*Views expressed by authors may or many not represent the opinions of the owners of the BillsMafia.com website.