First Week Off Down, a Million More to Go

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It seems the playoffs left out the Buffalo Bills.  Was there some sort of minimum win requirement?  That seems elitist.  The franchise could’ve tried to sneak in taking the sort of doors Metropolitan’s Nick Smith had to use when people forgot to invite him to their parties.

Or maybe management was supposed to click “interested” on the playoffs Facebook Events page and never got the notification.  The Friendster franchise still tries to catch up socially.

The Bills will likely be better next year because it’d be hard to get worse.  It’s almost a neat trick to make improvement that easy.  The Subway sandwich I had for lunch was better than my bowl of breakfast dirt, as life’s all about relativity.  Eat fresh!

I’d like for my wildest dreams to come true, and desire’s all it takes.  Bills fans know this tremendous investment of optimism will pay off because… well, we really want it to work.  If you buy a dozen scratch-off tickets that lose, the next is guaranteed to fund retirement.  That’s just math.

But all-time schemer Walter White offers a cautionary tale about foolproof plans going astray.  The Bills are addictive like meth: after all, why do we stick with something that makes us so sick?  I suppose this team could get healthier, although that happens about as frequently as a tweaker aces a job interview.

We didn’t get to choose that we don’t get to choose. The only decision is how to cope with what’s out of our hands.  Instead of sharing a sad meme from Pinterest, we can dream of pleasant results this once.

Unpredictability is life’s whole point, even if many Bills seasons have been easy to augur.  There’s no vote when it comes to football fate.  All we can do is believe for the next eight months that plans approved without our feedback are installed deftly.  

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This dragged-out scene wasn’t a sudden death.  Bracing for the Bills to have their season end in disappointment is as much of a Western New York winter tradition as ordering Mighty Taco fajitas hot to take the chill off.

But we still miss the bonding experience of all cheering for the same club, or at least cursing at the same ineptitude.  The different preferred swear words used in each household make us unique, while the universal frustration unites neighbors.

The actuality is melancholy even if we’ve been bracing for playoff-free life ever since Nathan Peterman started the opener.  Remember?  If that was just a weird dream, we all had it.

The shock of no longer getting to participate in the game ritual feels unnatural even though this empty Sunday was scheduled.  Free time feels weird. What were we supposed to do: read a novel or pick up trash on the highway? 

I didn’t do either of those or anything else that might be classified as helpful last weekend, although I did watch a lot of football without caring who played if that’s productive.  I’m going to count it.

A bunch of lame non-Buffalo teams continue on in some sort of elimination tournament.  Our favorite team wasn’t included over some technicality. 

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Watching franchises like Indianapolis and Philadelphia advance feels like looking over Darien Lake’s fence at ticket purchasers having fun.

We have to invent interest.  Deciding if the Seahawks or Cowboys are more loathsome was the most entertaining part of last weekend.  At last we can cheer against perennial destroyers of joy in New England this Sunday. 

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It’s still weird to not cheer for a wild card participant.  I’m a Bills fan: I’m not used to not being in the playoffs every year like those who support pathetic franchises.

We kill time wondering if this horrid drought will end after one season. The hardest part of waiting for a response is not knowing if it’ll be pleasant.  There’s no way for fans to control results, to put it mildly.  And deserving happiness is a non-factor.  I didn’t say it was fair.

Could this finally not be a loser club?  Rooting for the Bills is like a Descendents song where Milo still hopes he’s the one,even though romantic prospects presently seem bleak.  We just want a happy ending after being punished so long for the crime of kindness.  Let the nice guy find love this once, please.

There’s no rule against moving on immediately: it just happens naturally. Life drags while trying to escape one’s past.  Buffalo had to spend a year training rookies who didn’t have much veteran help, what with the Dareuses and Watkinses of the world underperforming for other franchises. 

Dead salary was the most valuable player.

We’ve again received an unavoidable example of time’s uncaring cruelty.  Ownership brought in the current staff to push patience to its limit.  Fans have endured woeful performances for awhile.  Then, the solution involves waiting even longer. Irony demands lots of sitting still.

We may as well giggle at fate.  Mocking our own torment is the best way to cope.  That’s unless this plan actually works.  Indulge in crazy prospects to keep from going mad. 

That’s one game-free Sunday if you’re counting down the sentence.

Editor’s babble: Each of us in the #BillsMafia family have likely developed our own coping mechanisms for persistent failure to achieve playoff success. A collection of the stories around them might make a for a good book, or at least a lot of laughs. Thanks to Anthony Bialy for always giving us a case of the chuckles. 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.