Right now it’s hard to ignore the many times ‘friends’ bleated at me over the years that the Bills will win a championship only when hell freezes over. Although hell hasn’t frozen over at the moment, it does feel like COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down. We humans like to cling to a delusional belief that life is predictable and sane.
In this country, many of us reinforce that notion by revolving our lives around sports like NFL football.
And then there is the BillsMafia… our lives this time of year usually revolve around the latest free agent acquisition by the Bills… or whether or not a player will be ready in time for training camp… or whether or not another player will get arrested for stupid human behavior. These are the issues that usually unite and center us during any given off-season.
Not this year.
As we enter Josh Allen’s crucial third year in the NFL, instead of debating takes on Josh’s potential to break out this season, or whether or not he will prove to be yet another bust… we are focused on whether or not there will even BE a training camp for fans to attend… or fans in the stands at NFL arenas around the country when the season opens… if it opens.
How will season tickets be dispersed if a stadium can only operate at 25% capacity?
Will any fans be allowed at training camp this year? Or… will training camp be mostly private (maybe with a couple of night practices) so players have more time to bond privately since they missed doing OTAs in person?
How will the Bills’ performance be affected if they are forced to play games without fans in stadiums?
These are just a few of the questions haunting BillsMafia during this very weird 2020 off season.
What CAN we count on during these very strange times?
BillsMafia is blessed with a wagon full of “can-do” people who define what it means to be tough in the face of adversity. All we’ve ever known as Bills fans is adversity. We’ve endured agonizing defeat like no other fan base on the planet.
So it’s probably a good time to use some of that wisdom and toughness we’ve gained over the years to our advantage. Like Sean McDermott stated when the pandemic started, if you can figure out a way to turn misfortune into a competitive advantage, now would be a good time to do so.
BillsMafia might consider embracing McDermott’s latest theme “FIND A WAY” to identify unique and creative ways to support the Bills as they try to put forth a football season that will likely be anything but normal. We know how to persevere under difficult circumstances.
So instead of focusing our attention and anxiety on how this football season will roll out, maybe we should come up with some ideas to create unique ways to support our team and each other, assuming there is some sort of NFL season ahead.
No fans in the stands? No problem.
Let’s come up with a safe plan for tailgating before games outside the stadium. How about organizing watch parties around the stadium? We could create enough noise the guys will hear us loud and proud. You KNOW we are perfectly capable of finding a way to do this.
Let’s put together Zoom parties… maybe by way of organized BillsBacker groups. Perhaps they could be somehow connected by way of buffalobills.com so we can easily check out different groups while games are going on.
Maybe the Bills would incentivize ‘zoomed’ Billsbacker parties by offering cool prizes to the groups that have the most lit up Zoom parties?
You know this fan base can get creative when it comes to partying… like no other!
The point of all this ‘wyobabble’ is to move us out of the fear and anxiety mode of thinking around the upcoming (maybe) NFL football season and what it might look like from a fan perspective. It’s time to move forward and face whatever obstacles lie ahead while we wait and see what happens over the next month with the pandemic.
We do have some control over how we deal with the challenges the pandemic presents in finding ways to celebrate our annual tradition…err, obsession.
So BillsMafia… since there’s nothing but time on our hands regarding the status of NFL football at the moment… why not explore some options for creating new traditions in what might be the first totally digital season of professional football?
Creating some wild digital experiences will only add to our already illustrious reputation as the best fan base on earth :) Let’s show the rest of the world how it’s supposed to be done and adapt to this brave new world with a vengeance. Go Bills.
Editor’s babble: Consider my issuing this challenge to our BillsMafia family. How can we gain a competitive advantage for our team and find ways to support our beloved football team in the midst of COVID-19 hell? Let’s FIND A WAY to use our already-legendary creativity as a fan base and come up with some brilliant ways to light up our team and blow the world’s socks off. Hit me up with some ideas on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO. Time to get the wagon out of the barn.