Josh Allen is better than Dennis Shaw. And even Gary Marangi’s family wouldn’t make a case for their relative. Your present favorite quarterback is maybe also your top choice ever. Discussing his all-time spot as a Buffalo Bill while there remains much work to do exposes us to excessive expectations. But the fact he’s in the discussion reflects his singular abilities as much as it does the history of a franchise that gave Kelly Holcomb eight of his career starts.
This quarterback’s status as one of the best to ever do it for this club is itself a sign he’s established uniqueness. The ranking is lamentably easier thanks to the small number of candidates much like how Sean McDermott is at worst the fourth-best franchise coach. But both incumbents are thriving on their own terms despite the franchise’s checkered past.
The urge to move him near the very top is something we do when time feels static. What else is there to do until there’s football to talk about? I’m not about to venture outside where I could be exposed to bugs and hiking. It’s much better to burn through July thinking about leaves falling on football fields hosting games.
They should bring back the print edition of Tiger Beat just so there could be a quarterbacks edition. I wish I had a locker so I could tape photos of him to the door’s interior. It’s tough to stop talking about my BFF. Bills fans detailing Allen’s ominous capabilities sound like children discussing dinosaurs. Our awesome obsession is in no danger of extinction soon at age 26. Football’s light schedule compared to the number of days in a year means spending ample time daydreaming about our favorites. We innately recap the case for our idol during idle time.
Potential counts for a great deal if you’ve seen much of it in action. Would you take Allen after four seasons or Jim Kelly knowing how his career ended up progressing? The question isn’t sacrilegious in a sign of just how quickly Allen has made the extraordinary normal. Recency bias makes us lean toward choosing today’s player. But the ability to get what’s needed makes the Wyoming whippersnapper legendary despite a relatively small amount of snaps.
You may hear whispers wondering if he’s already superior, which is not as ridiculous as thinking the best meal ever was whatever you had for dinner tonight. Allen obviously trails in completions and wins due to the curse of being born recently. Still, his unreal impact is not just evident in suddenly regular playoff appearances.
There shouldn’t be new ways to advance the ball in a league that’s over a century old. Yet Allen invents solutions that appear novel. Just when you think Sonic came up with every drink imaginable, they add Sour Patch Kids and sharks.
Like how it’s almost comforting to get behind on DVR options, quarterbacks are better now than ever before. Looking at old passing statistics resembles navigating the barren four-channel television wasteland in 1980. Much like how the issue these days is finding time to watch everything good, modern quarterbacks struggle with ensuring every receiver gets enough touches.
The coolest kid on your block was the only one with MTV. Now, we’ve spent an era lamenting the lack of videos even as we can program any individual ones we like at any moment. As with today’s unlimited media landscape where everyone is a programmer, it’s unfair to compare statistics from the rock-throwing past to the contemporary era where it’s essentially illegal to play defense. But the quarterback we pray about and maybe to has accumulated unbelievable numbers without the qualification of the years in which they’ve happened.
Allen also unassumingly displays a modern personality on top of defining how quarterbacks should play. Past passers were typically alpha male-style cocky smirkers who would’ve lived with the Alpha Betas in Revenge of the Nerds. Teams craved aggressive Wall Street bros who happened to be skilled at football. By contrast, today’s best don’t need to spend time reminding others how super they are. Allen is a nice bank customer the teller would forget about as soon as he got his roll of quarters.
It’s remarkable how much calmer things feel in Buffalo. Frenzy is now typically reserved for the aftermath of touchdowns. Other teams trying to improve do not make us shiver in the same way. Even an AFC West full of ominous signal-callers doesn’t provoke twitching. Derek Carr is Teddy Roosevelt on the division’s Mount Rushmore.
Let’s argue over whether quarterback or hockey goalie is the most important position in sports to pass the desolate summer. Fuming replies will consume the hours until training camp. Throwing a ball and stopping a puck each qualify as the most basic job description. Either choice illustrates how the simplest thing is not necessarily easy.
Finding someone who can do something worthwhile with snaps is like discovering gold that leaks plutonium. And holding the rights to a quarterback who can complete the deceptively basic task can only be more enriching if he’s relatively young. A player you can potentially trust for a decade creates a sensation as close to an eternity in football as possible. It feels like they’ll have a shot for as long as he’s around, and a reasonable shot at success is something new to fear.
At the same time, the Bills have to jump now. Allen gets a $23,400,000 raise starting next year, which only sounds made up. We can debate the premise that artificial rookie payment restrictions only spur inflated salaries once they’re removed. Either way, Buffalo must strike before the amount he consumes by percentage approaches his worth.
But the Bills aren’t doomed to be poor when Allen gets even richer. Brandon Beane will just have to be more clever with accounting. Whatever his hourly rate, the comfort of knowing the quarterback is contracted to work through 2028 is thrilling itself even with a potential out after the next four seasons.
Not presuming victories will be unlimited a crucial challenge to face. Ryan Miller signing an extension through 2014 once seemed like it would cause us to be irked by trophies clogging Buffalo sidewalks. Yet maximizing talent under contract is a nice issue about which to fret. It’s like Allen trying to figure out how to spend as fast as he earns.
Editor’s babble: Our star who found his way to the NFL via Laramie, Wyoming already cemented his spot as my all time favorite quarterback. I still wake up pinching myself to see if it’s real or just a dream. We are so grateful to Anthony Bialy for his unique perspective and many contributions to our blog. You can find Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.