What goes around, comes around, but sometimes it takes decades to complete a full circle. It’s been 30 years since the Buffalo Bills were on the precipice of something big.
A season record of 6-10 in 2018 certainly wouldn’t seem like a prelude to success, but there are some solid reasons for ‘BILLieving’ this team may finally be ready to break out of what’s seemingly been perpetual futility.
The last time I felt this giddy after an NFL season ended was the same year I got married;1987. I quit my job, moved 1,000 miles away and eloped.
My life was turned completely upside down. I recall feeling like the first few years of marriage were almost as surreal as watching the Bills make four straight appearances in the Super Bowl.
I remember that feeling of impending success like it was yesterday. The ‘Bickering Bills’ were just finding their footing and we were just starting to realize the team was loaded with talent… and egos.
While no one quit and retired at halftime there was still plenty of drama to go around. Like today, one sage mind was around to guide the forces of nature into a team of like-minded champions.
How Marv Levy managed to pull together that group of colorful personalities and mold them into a team still astounds me to this day. Guess it shouldn’t be surprising it took decades to find another guy who can inspire players to the same extent.
Anyone (twisted enough) who read my drivel over the years knows how I pined for a coach like Sean McDermott. I railed that it would take a coach who would dare to place the importance of character over comparable talent to bring the Bills back to greatness.
A person would have to be completely oblivious not to see what kind of characters trotted themselves out on the field on Sunday and sent Kyle Williams off with a bang. McDermott showed exactly what kind of player he exults by giving Williams the kind of send-off deserving of a true sports hero.
McDermott took a rag tag bunch of undrafted free agents, retired players and ‘rejects’ and showed how like minds can accomplish a significant challenge if properly motivated. Imagine what kind of team we will see when the holes are filled with players whose talent level is more congruent with the rest of the league.
Arguably the only other team we witnessed since 2000 who played hard with minimal talent was Gregg Williams first year as head coach when the Bills went 3-13 with a team full of ‘lesser’ talent in 2001. That team fought hard in every game.
‘Buhlee THIS’… the lessons learned in 2018 by players like Josh Allen, Tremaine Edmunds and Taron Johnson will bear fruit in 2019. Get this team a functional offensive line (may also need a new OL coach), some wide receivers and a special teams coach and they will be poised for success in the years ahead.
So here we are – thirty years later – I’m now elderly, still married to the same guy and grateful to have lived long enough to see our team finally come full circle. Getcha popcorn ready. Good times are coming, BillsMafia. Can you feel it?
Editor’s babble: Happy New Year to all who read our BillsMafia blog. Thank you so much for sharing your time and love for our Buffalo Bills. I’ll be counting on all of you to contribute your fan stories as we move into the most exciting off-season in decades . You can find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.