Amateur Scouting Advice Surely Appreciated by Buffalo Bills

Photo/meme of Miss Cleo from

Fans shouldn’t be expected to know what moves to make.  If they did, they wouldn’t be fans.  A promotion to a staff job is a granted wish that would be a curse.  Getting hired to turn opinions into action would be fun were it not so frightening.  You mean someone would actually pay attention?

A chef is supposed to know dinner’s ingredients.  For one, pasta goes in mac and cheese, which makes sense if you think about it.  But spicy nuances make all the difference.  Getting paid to rattle off 40-yard dash times and the health of undergraduates’ knees is a regular part of an irregular job.

People yelling at you for supposedly doing it wrong is another part of football’s work description.  I’m sure general managers love our passion.  But tolerating feedback about results might grow tiresome.  They’re always doing it all wrong.  Send advice in all caps to ensure it’s heeded.

Well, did you suggest it?  Like expecting Josh Allen to play well without receivers or blockers, it’s unfair to think amateurs should know what moves would be best.  It’s not our job to establish a different potential timeline.

Offering an alternative may be nice.  But a different plan doesn’t necessarily have to accompany legitimate criticism.  I don’t have anywhere in mind for dinner, but I know Subway is a bad idea.

Photo of WR TJ Graham from

Criticizing the result is fine even if we didn’t condemn the initial decision.  Many would’ve argued for, say, choosing Russell Wilson over T.J. Graham even before the fact.  I will boldly announce that a questionable wideout shouldn’t have gone before a promising quarterback even if the latter had to stand on his toes to get in the photo holding up his jersey.  But even those who never made the case initially from the stands have the right to wonder why the Bills weren’t charmed by a potential unsung star you’d think they scouted.

The work may not be easy.  But that’s part of taking it.  There may be a fundamental difference between thriving in college and tearing up the business world.  Those of us who majored in kicking kegs found the transition to life after schooling tricky.

Similarly, a player thriving in a gimmicky university system may struggle when facing opponents who have little tolerance for silly maneuvers.

And competition level is always a concern. Prospects may only dominate against others who’ll use their degrees.  Can the potential draftee beat a pro athlete like he did an engineering major?

Fans presume front office employees know more.  At least, they better.  Those cheering may have justifiably felt more informed than Russ Brandon.  But even the Raiders general manager knows at least marginally more than those who pay for admission.  Yes, they get into games free on top of getting paid if you’re not already jealous.

Tickets, ale, and a jersey of a man who may not be wearing it in a year or two aren’t enough of an investment: volunteering time to advise favorite football clubs is a normal habit, depending on how one defines “normal.” 

Photo/meme from

The ingrates don’t even use our work.  Still, followers love football so much they try to perform front office jobs for free.  The temptation to assemble our own draft boards is obvious.  How many times has it seemed those watching could create a better roster?

Remember to record predictions beforehand, because it turns out the order is important.  It’s easier to guess heads or tails after the coin’s been flipped.  Hindsight is easy, which is why it’s so fun. Still, professionals should know more before the fact.

This world wide web phenomenon seems to be catching on.  Part of the appeal of these interconnected devices lies in the ability to learn about nearly any human who is good at chasing a ball.  Fanatical observers can research any players they dream of joining a preferred side.

A draft enthusiast knows more about first-round hopefuls than the average cousin.  Sit at home reviewing combine footage alternating between the notes and stopwatch functions on your iPhone if you don’t trust the league’s timing.

A Roman HARUSPEX examines the entrails of a sheep for any indications the gods may have left as to the future course of events. Photo from

It may seem like the typical general manager chooses players by reading sheep entrails. The draft offers a reminder that nobody knows anything.  Oh, there may be some informed choices.  But Buffalo Bills legend Matt Leinart would be wrapping up a Hall of Fame career if predictions equaled certainties.  Forget guarantees, except how that guarantees are always for suckers.

As with the athletes they select, front offices try shaping what’s next by reacting to circumstances.  General managers predict the future, or at least make an attempt.  If nothing else, they shape it.  That consequential power is not always used for good.  Ask Mike Milbury if the ability to affect what happens necessarily leads to wins if you can stand talking to him, which you cannot.

We inform ourselves as best as we can.  But the roulette wheel may not obey our projections.  Set aside money for the casino buffet just in case.  Educated guessing will always be challenging because of how time and humans work.  Expecting fans to know better is like demanding cinema patrons to direct if they don’t like what they saw.  Unless it’s the new Dumbo, we should expect professionals to do better.

Editor’s babble: Sheep entrails? LOL. This is why Anthony is the best in the business of acerbic commentary. 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.