Commentary

WYO’s Field Notes #7: Pundits Disrespecting Bills Should Make Fans Smile

Featured Photo Credit: © Jamie Germano/Rochester D&C / USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn.com, LLC.

And other assorted thoughts as we head into July…

“Act like you’ve been there before” is a motto fans of professional sports in Buffalo have heard for decades. We’re starving for a championship in Western New York, so whenever there is a decent team in town, we go off like a bunch of drunk sailors hitting ‘terra firma’ for the first time in ages.

We also become hypersensitive to criticism of any sort about the Bills and/or Sabres. However, we do LOVE our Buffalo Bandits of the National Lacrosse League, because they brought the hardware to a city starved for a championship. Kudos to the Bandits. We look forward to many more championships from them in the future.

So it should come as no surprise many national sports ‘talking heads’ have already written off the upcoming season for the Buffalo Bills. Diggs is gone so Buffalo will falter on offense. So many inexperienced young players, especially in the defensive backfield after the loss of Tre’Davious While, Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde. The incessant blabber is something we’ve grown accustomed to hearing over the years.

But let’s remember when Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills were underdogs to every team in the NFL that isn’t named the Dolphins. This team, for whatever reason, seems to perform better when they are disrespected by the media and/or fans. They seem to need a chip on their shoulder to perform their best, and I don’t expect this season will likely be any different.

So keep bringing on the dissenters. We’ve been down this road many times. In fact, some fans (like myself) feel a sense of comfort when there are low expectations for the Bills. Being an underdog also seems to be a role Josh Allen relishes. When he took his Wyoming Cowboys to Boise State, no one expected the lowly team from Laramie to beat the big dog of the Mountain West Conference. Of course Josh Allen put the team on his back and carried them straight into the winner’s circle.

Which brings me to my next topic.

Photo by © JAMIE GERMANO / USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn.com, LLC.

Matt Milano.

When Mr. Milano went down with what turned out to be a tibial plateau fracture last season, like many Bills fans, I was devastated. Milano has been the back bone of Buffalo’s defense for years. But we haven’t really had a good look at Matt since his return to Buffalo this spring. All I do know is a tibial plateau fracture can have serious long term consequences for a player in the NFL.

Please forgive my failing memory for not remembering where I read this, but somewhere on my Xwitter timeline I saw a snippet go by the other day that claimed the Bills could be be in talks with the Las Vegas Raiders about a trade involving Matt Milano.

Oh really?

If there is a whiff of truth about this, it suggests ‘Big Baller Beane’ may activate his tendency to trade a player a year before you expect their play will begin to falter. In terms of how Beane operates, it shouldn’t come as a great surprise, again, IF the whispers have any merit.

Furthermore, IF Buffalo is dangling Matt Milano around to see what/who they might get in return, that means Babich and McDermott have a plan for who would step up and take Matt’s place at the linebacker position. It would create a huge gaping hole on defense, and the loss of wisdom alone would be profound.

If the Bills do trade away Matt Milano… add that to the wisdom lost from White, Hyde and Poyer… the cumulative loss of veteran leadership is massive. THIS issue is what plagues my mind most about what we can expect from this defense, especially early in the season.

So all of these unknowns are enough to keep many Bills fans awake at night. It certainly provides substantive evidence for the national media to declare Buffalo’s season over before it starts.

Pretty sure I’m not the only one who sits with that Grinch smile after reading another set of declarations that the Bills will finish third in the AFC East this upcoming season. Bring on the disrespect. We’ll “act like we’ve been there before” … because we have.

Editor’s babble: Welcome to the ‘quiet time’ in the NFL. You can also find my blabber on Xwitter @RobynMundyWYO.

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