It’s true… BillsMafia collectively turned into Sally Field the moment Sean McDermott’s extension as head coach of the Buffalo Bills was announced earlier this week. Tears of joy flowed from Wyoming and all around the world because McDermott really, really likes us enough to put down roots in Buffalo… and lead our beloved team out of the abyss. We finally have the right head coach who loves us.
If you listen to Sally’s little snippet (above), you’ll find some interesting parallels to life as a Bills fan. BillsMafia has been disliked, disrespected and tormented for decades. The scourge of losing four Super Bowls in a row has been burning in our brains long enough.
It’s time to rise out of the ashes of the 90s. It’s time to shine like a beacon of light radiating off Sean McDermott’s head. We watched and remained devoted to our team as the Bills went through head coach after head coach… as well as general managers and coordinators galore… until the merry-go-round finally stopped when McDermott arrived on the scene.
It wasn’t easy, but what choice did we have? It’s understandable why many Bills fans were skeptical after physically talented players were jettisoned because McDermott did not deem them “the right fit” for his football team. If we’ve learned anything about McDermott, we’ve learned that he will lead with authority. The man will not back away from any challenge he decides to take on.McDermott expressed several reasons he felt comfortable planting roots and providing stability for his family in Buffalo for six more years during his appearance on One Bills Live earlier this week.
There’s a deep bond forming between BillsMafia and Coach McDermott. If there’s any justice in this world, hoisting a Lombardi in Buffalo would catapult McDermott to the top of the list of most beloved members of the BillsMafia community. Not that achieving that status means a fig to him.
Our underdog mentality as a FAMbase is born from the blood, sweat and tears after decades of losing in the most heartbreaking ways imaginable as a sports fan. We understand what it means to be typecast as a bunch of losers from that place where the weather is horrible every single day of the year (not).
We gave up trying to convince those who disparage us that they are wrong a long time ago. Most of us rode on with our team, such as they were year after mind-numbing year. There was a reason ‘7-9 forever’ became a popular username among our fan base.
Looking back, I think the Rex Ryan era brought with it a sense of hopelessness the Bills would EVER find the right coach. Rex brought new meaning to the word “buffoon” for many of us. Like many ardent Bills fans, I can’t help but wonder what McDermott’s inner thoughts were about working with Russ Brandon. I can also only imagine what went through his mind when Brandon self-imploded.
The Bills were finally set free of the common denominators of failure that bred a losing culture and pervading the locker room like mold growing on the walls. It was like a turning point in my fan-hood when Rex got fired, because at least a small part of me resolved myself to the notion of living out the rest of my life in a state of football purgatory.
Then McDermott came along and preached about the importance of team chemistry and solid character traits on maintaining success in the NFL. Thought I died and went to heaven because I’ve babbled about this stuff for the last 20 years on the old Buffalo Bills Message Board.
Now we’ll get to see whether or not doing it “the right way” works or not, because everything that’s been done over the last three years is leading up to this very moment when we should see ‘the process’ bear fruit this fall. It’s time to start seeing some results from this amazing transformation happening at One Bills Drive.
Extending McDermott’s contract was a no-brainer. The same will hold true when Brandon Beane’s contract gets extended sooner or later as well. Knowing McDermott wanted to put his roots down in Buffalo was a big relief for this old fan and I’m not surprised he decided to do so.
BillsMafia fits Sean McDermott’s sensibilities. He’s a good ol’ Pennsylvania boy who understands the Rust Belt mentality that exists in Western New York. He’s also a master at mental training through his years of achieving great success in wrestling. He’s a savant when it comes to understanding how the mind works and relentlessly works toward self-improvement.
When players look at Sean McDermott, they see the kind of man they would like to become… a role model of love and integrity. He truly leads by example and we are finally blessed with a head coach for our team that gets what it means to love a team as much as we love the Buffalo Bills.
As difficult as life has been throughout this pandemic, we can find some joy from knowing when the time comes, our favorite football team is going to be ready to bring us their best each week. Smile, BillsMafia. The best is yet to come.
Editor’s babble: This is when the rubber meets the road for us, BillsMafia. Big Daddy’s in place for the foreseeable future, Josh is hopefully ready to roll and the defense is stacked. We’ve suffered long enough and 2020 has sucked in every way imaginable. It’s time for our fortunes to change. You can find me blabbing incessantly on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.