Getting Better While Losing Is a Semi-Win for Buffalo Bills

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Beating the blasted Dolphins may be easier from now on.  Long term perspective is one way to cope with immediate pain.  I’m more upset at the Buffalo Bills losing twice as often as they’ve won than expected.  Yet there’s comfort in thinking games like this might matter as soon as this time next year.  Ambivalence is crucial in any semi-healthy relationship.

As with releasing Kelvin Benjamin, it’s possible to get better during a loss.  The devoted practitioner of insouciance is still making his way to the locker room, upon which he’ll drop his belongings.

Fans are hyped about thinking this team could be as good as its most prominent rookies are in glimpses.  I’m kind-of enjoying being ticked while excited.  The Germans call it Funenlöse.  Josh Allen manufactures excitement in defeat, which is the biggest stimulant we’re getting in flawed times.

Lurching forward is natural until learning how much pressure to apply.  Buffalo is full of whippersnappers with learner’s permits getting early realtime steering experience.  The youngest Bills are leaving the high school parking lot for the first time in driver’s ed.  Novice motorists try not to panic as they notice the instructor’s foot hovering over the passenger side brake.

Having the energy to fume about enemies is one of the joys of adolescence.  We need to loathe the Dolphins as part of our fandom’s identity.  It’s an obligation like puking on your 21st birthday.  Football won’t feel natural until we’re punching our couches thinking of how crummy the most loathsome team in America’s weirdest state is.

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The true rivalry days established Miami as a Bizarro Buffalo with teams that reflected the personalities of each hometown.  Is unbridled rage back in fashion?  Those dang kids who weren’t fortunate enough to live through the Super Bowl era gained healthy contempt during an outing that almost teetered into a brawl.  The mild buildup to last Sunday made mature backers fret that the Jaguars felt like a bigger rival.

But we’re back on course toward enjoying sadism within the division.

Some throwbacks inspire crummy memories.  Portions of this roster treat gaffes like bonuses.  That brutal muffed punt was comically inept enough to have been from 1984.  You could also tell me the Bills were penalized 73 times for one-quarter mile and I would nod without question.

Bad teams misbehave.  Underwhelming players are never so bereft of talent that they can’t be disciplined.  Horrid calls from refs who should be cut don’t excuse rampant sloppiness.  This year’s stand-ins can excuse their football crimes by claiming it’s tricky to compete.  Middling stopgap options have to foul superior players running laps around them.  But a false start with under two minutes left isn’t an acceptable response to a big kid bullying your lunch table.

As mirthful as it is to watch Flash Allen gallop, he wasn’t drafted to operate the wildcat.  Running for his life has led to fantastic yardage gains.  But his ballistic throws go even faster.  Tear off today’s page-a-day calendar and write a note on the back to get like three good receivers by next spring.

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Anticipation for tomorrow doesn’t mean success today.  Consecutive divisional brawls should feel like a four-game swing.  Instead, the majority of the AFC East is a triumvirate of ineptness as if New England needed assistance.  The race between the Bills, Dolphins, and Jets feels like vying for the XFL title: even if you’re the best, you have to remember who you beat.  Buffalo is not getting a wrestling-themed franchise, so we’ll have to hope for grownup football to be successful someday.

You know you’re in love when the other party disappoints you and you’re right back to drawing hearts around the person’s name.  This year is different because they don’t fail every time.  The comprehensive offense goes from A to Z.  Two touchdown passes from Allen to Zay Jones outweighed one tough miss.  We’ll just forget that final incompletion outright as a relic from the previous regime’s roster.  Rush didn’t take off until Neil Peart replaced John Rutsey.

This could really be fun in like a year.  Present wins take the form of looking for potential future thrills.  That’s another way to classify losses.  Still, nobody circles around moral victories like the Buffalo Bills.  For the first time in ages, suffering through infuriating results may not be pointless.  We’ve learned the lesson that life is insufferable enough times that we don’t need another example.  Please, universe?

The present slate was always going to feel like a show’s first season.  Even the most optimistic fans figured 2018 would be dedicated to learning the format, like those initial uneven yet still amusing Seinfeld episodes where George is a Woody Allen clone and Kramer is basically Christopher Lloyd on Taxi.  But the joy’s still evident even if primordial and irregular.

I still watch syndicated episodes where Jerry is working out portraying himself on TBS.  Similarly, I’m locked in every Sunday as if the broadcast of a team that at best could finish .500 will contain instructions on Powerball selection patterns.  The Bills are due to hit the lottery one of these decades.

A little tease means everything to the deprived.  By comparison to previous campaigns that were bereft of development, a year of learning while losing feels like a trip to Crystal Beach.  Bills fans have tricked themselves before into thinking there’s a reason to be optimistic. Football has often continued to be as wretched.  But did you see the territory Allen’s thrown footballs covered?

Editor’s babble: Nothing thrills me more than finding use for a word like “insouciance”. And who else but Anthony Bialy could find the perfect niche for using it? Now that the Bills and Sabres have found a way to get back to their losing ways (hopefully temporary), we can all take a deep breath and feel normal for a moment. Thanks, as always, to Anthony Bialy for his intriguing contributions to our blog. You can find 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.