Buffalo Bills fans have been through allot of ups and downs, there is hope for optimism
“We’re closing today,” I said to my wife on the phone.
“I’m sorry? We’re what now?”
“We’re closing on the house in 4 hours.”
“You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t believe you until we’re sitting at the table with a deed in our hands.”
This was the exchange I had earlier this week which would bring about the end of a torturous process of buying our first house. I didn’t blame her for the response. Buying a home is stressful and we’d had more than our share of false starts in this process.
To save you the aggravation of all the details, suffice to say that our experience will be used as a case study in how many ways buying a home can go wrong. Previous to the conversation with my wife as detailed above was 10 months of frustration, anger, tears, fights and all other manner of annoyance. There were extreme ups (when we finally got the Short Sale agreement), and there were exceptional rage filled lows (being set to close but then having the whole deal blow up at the last minute). We always believed it would happen but never wanted to get our hopes up.
The house is old. It’s over one hundred years old in fact and it shows it in some ways. The floors are wavy on the second floor having finished settling years ago, the basement ceiling [dropcap][/dropcap]height was obviously made for a turn of the 20th centuryindividual who would never dream of growing taller than 5’5”, and the chimney is pulling away from the house a little bit. It looks rough, but we did what they always tell you to do: buy the worst house in a great neighborhood. In the end, we are the proud owners of a house with on a gorgeous lot that has a lot of character and potential.
And the whole thing reminded me of being a fan of the Buffalo Bills.
The journey of a Bills fan is eerily similar. We were excited during the Super Bowl years, a few bright and shiny spots where we get a Doug Flutie only to be followed up by the rage of supplying the NFL with quality running backs for the past decade, A Music City Miracle, Losing to a roster of 3rd string Steelers and missing the playoffs, losing to Denver with 13 seconds left on a running clock where they rushed a field goal unit onto the field and got the snap off in time, Stevie’s Overtime Stone Hands, losing 6-3 to the Browns…… THE BROWNS! AARON MAYBIN! And of course most recently, Picks-patrick throwing game ending interceptions on nearly every single loss in the past two seasons.
That’s not the worst though. The worst part of being a Bills fan is the concept of Billeving. The Bills sell hope to their fan base better than any other franchise in professional sports. No matter what happens to the Bills in an offseason this is the year we’re going to turn it around.
We’re going to draft well and get the defense right!
We’re going to sign free agents and they’ll turn it around!
We know we haven’t finished above 4th in the division since 2007, but this year will be better!
That last one hurts. Despite the absolute circus filled sh** show that the NY Jets have become, the Bills have finished behind everyone in the East since 2007.
There are many a Bills fan who don’t buy into #Billeve anymore. At least not blindly. We don’t buy it because we’ve been burned too many times. It’s taken a while, but we have learned that the red hot stove top is going to hurt when we place our palms on it with all our weight. Instead, let’s volunteer a new Buffalo Bills hashtag:
You want us to #billeve? #ProveIt
The AFCE is a beautiful piece of real estate with some great history. Broadway Joe’s Guarantee, The Bills and the K-Gun offense, the Perfect Season, and a Decade of Dominance. While all the teams around the Bills have improved through additions, guts, landscaping changes, and owners… the Bills seem remain constant. Never good enough to be good, never bad enough to be atrocious. Just like my house, they are slowly falling into disrepair and looking a little rough around the edges through some mismanagement and neglect. Just waiting for someone to come along and clean it up, and restore it to its former glory.
We’re only two games into a long season and thus far, it seems like the Bills have a new pep in their step. The defense seems to be making strides. The offense is no where near the machine of a Brady run offense when fully equipped, but it’s still managing to keep mistakes down and convert when it counts. There is a genuine excitement surrounding the Bills right now. They’ve never been too far away from success in recent years. They play teams hard. They’re usually close. They’ve been missing the killer instinct to finish.
This week is the chance to prove they’ve developed it against a divisional opponent. A loss this weekend will deal a gigantic blow to the Bills season. It’s too early to say must win, but from a psychological perspective this Sunday could be one of the most important games in the Marrone/Manuel Bills era.
It’s time to #ProveIt.