Free afternoons are an upward trend. Enjoy full nights instead. Those of us who can’t remember the last time we went to sleep and woke up on different days got a 2022 Buffalo Bills schedule we could’ve created ourselves while brewing coffee at midnight. Nighttime brings excitement along with menace, as it’s where the meanest foes hide. The Bills are an insomniac franchise who hope to make others scared of the dark.
Venues turn the lights on, which are often situated on top of poles overlooking the field. It was only a few years ago that Bills fans wondered what it was like to cheer after sunset. Receivers don’t need to fret about the challenge of catching a football during moonlight. Vaguely remembering what Dallas looks like at night during a Sunday night affair has been replaced with a more direct vivid experience.
Outsiders wanting to see the Bills is relatively novel. This team has been historically obscure. We remember forgettable seasons where they’d play Sundays at 1 o’clock as regularly as, well, a clock. It was only a couple of iPhones ago when our routines were fixed so our beloved side could regularly disappoint. Starting among a crowd of other early contests created a blessing that minimized the scale of embarrassment.
There remain many early Sunday offerings for those craving the ritual. Buffalo is still playing during eight of the standard slots with two start times to be determined in order to keep us on our toes. At the same time, our favorite night owls will begin around half their games during the New York City dinner hour. Math’s a little trickier when the schedule is a prime number. Now, 17 is a primetime player.
Consistency is not a virtue if it involves missing the playoffs every year. Schedule gnomes had an easy time with the Bills as recently as the middle of last decade. We’ve grown accustomed to being unaccustomed.
Discussing the balance of pass/rush or the pass rush is now slightly more tangible. We know the days and times when it’ll be possible to see if dreams can be translated into reality, and not the sort where you’re building a go-kart with your ex-landlord.
There’s good news for voyeurs, as there is going to be plenty to see. You got something to look forward to that’s not in private tabs, you freaks. The Bills will be exposed regularly to the nation, which should be just how they like it. Thriving in any endeavor brings stress. Nobody cares how derelicts do, which is why the coverage map for their games ends at their city limits.
We want other fanbases sick of us. Casual viewers will ideally roll their eyes at watching the Bills once more despite being fantastic or perhaps because of it. Add our beloved quarterback to the second shift rotation.
Every recent evening outing has seemed to feature some Brady/Mahomes/Rodgers rotation, which replaced Manning/Brees/Favre. The NFL sticking with its favorites for national broadcasts is like Taco Bell coming up with endless menu items each comprised of the same handful of ingredients. Maybe they could offer something featuring cheese and ground beef wrapped in a tortilla.
But the Bills are not there yet. Avoiding cockiness is crucial to every team during a sport where they wait months to play weekly. The tendency to go through the schedule and predict every result is a natural offseason time-filler. The logical next step involves making a case for winning each. And I’m sure I’d use a gym membership daily. There’s a difference between being undefeated in May and December. Clubs succeed precisely by not presuming they’ve already done so.
We know when we’ll know when. Fans presently have zero information other than when the ball will first be kicked. But being aware of how soon results will be available means we can at least start an accurate countdown. As someone presently getting through idle moments until Better Call Saul’s bye weeks end, I can attest to how moments pass more quickly if you know when entertainment arrives. I’ve got a bad feeling this chicken restaurant may be concealing something deeper than frying.
This season’s Bills will go winless for awhile. It’s not to be pessimistic. Blame a thorough lack of chances. They’re not going to let us down for at least a few months, either, if you’re an insufferable optimist. It’s easy to get ahead of ourselves whether we enjoy the comfort of wallowing in misery or appreciate the chance for this universe to dash hopes. A fantastically hyped season now offers specific opportunities. I guess they should play them just to make sure.
The year 2022 truly begins September 8. A little bit of training isn’t just a good way for players to spend months until the season blessedly arrives. Buffalo fans are now used to the glory of nervousness. Knowing results carry meaning is infinitely better than dread at pending letdown.
Too many games over the decades have counted only technically. Stress is a small price for prominence. Accepting the tradeoff of apprehension is worth the opportunity to start early against the defending champions. You’ll never guess which league thinks the Bills will be good.
Editor’s babble: Anthony knows how to put the snark to good use at a time when we can all use a dose of humor. You can find Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.