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Leap again with another Buffalo Bills season

Dec 27, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 27, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Seeing if faith will be rewarded this one time is why we got into sports. It’s too bad we didn’t know at the start. Our childhood versions may not have realized how much woe was ahead the first time we were drawn to the men in different-colored shirts shoving each other around.

Innocent kindergarteners discovering the fun of watching others chase a ball have grown into weary fans unfamiliar with the sensation of having wishes granted. At least there will be no more speculation either way once the stupid hours pass and the season commences.

Waiting is the greatest challenge. Well, that’s aside from losing. But fearing it’ll happen is a close second.

Bills fans may struggle to remember what a successful season is like. But that will make eventual success seem even more pleasant. How’s that for idealism? Look even more on the upside and dream it will happen this year.

Photo from www.cbssports.com.

Photo from www.cbssports.com.

The area’s two major franchises having one owner should make it easier to remember last time either team was good. On the positive side, resetting the double counter will be even more joyous when and if it occurs.

It’s hard to rebound from dark times when you’re hitting concrete. But there’s no reason the Bills are doomed to wondering what a wild card slot is like as long as someone competent is in charge. Well, we’ll see what happens.

Just knowing there’s a precedent assuages present woe-tinged anxiousness. I’m old enough to know this team was once good. I guess it could happen again.

He may not be the savior, but he could do the most saving. This year’s candidate Tyrod Taylor is in position to achieve the most even if he can’t do it all on his own. This is the week for committing to one budding star despite so many who’ve fallen short before.

Closets packed with jerseys of players who couldn’t sustain success are skipped on home memorabilia tours. Mafia members just want garments that aren’t going to be ghastly at this time next year.

That other Pegula team had to commit to a potential star without much proof he’d actualize. Buffalo fans also tormented by hockey may remember the dicey moment in the early 2000s when the front office was forced to pick a goaltender they thought would literally save games.

The Sabres, adrift at the time had to decide between designated Hasek heir apparent Martin Biron, highly-drafted yet enigmatic Mika Noronen, and brooding malnourished Hobey Baker winner Ryan Miller. The story’s ending is familiar, but the outcome wasn’t obvious at the time.

Photo of Ryan Miller from bleacherreport.com.

Photo of Ryan Miller from bleacherreport.com.

Management took a risk on a glimpse. Those who operate on faith may be jealous of the ability to affect the future, but general managers are guessing with paychecks on the line.

Will the formerly obscure player’s stock continue to rise, or was that a temporary spike?  Agonizing over what hasn’t happened is the lot of every sports fan, not to mention every human.

Perhaps a parallel example would help while we pace before kickoff. Fifth-round pick  Ryan Miller wasn’t considered a likely savior for the Sabres at his career’s start any more than sixth-rounder Taylor. If he’s continued developing, now would be a nice time to show it.

The sample’s too small to demonstrate consistency. But like the awesome Rogue One preview, stopping the Death Star could be the thrill ride we expect. With only 415 pro attempts, there’s a chance for many more completions.

Unlike, say, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Taylor hasn’t crested.  Focus on the incumbent’s intriguing upside every time a crummy bit of news from this off-season comes to mind.

Bills fans hope that Tyrod Taylor's fate in Buffalo turns out better than Ryan Fitzpatrick's did. Photo from www.buffalobills.com.

Bills fans hope that Tyrod Taylor’s fate in Buffalo turns out better than Ryan Fitzpatrick’s did. Photo from www.buffalobills.com.

The possibility of improving on a propitious first season as starter may lead to irrational anticipation. So go for it. Nudge your brain toward belief that Taylor will continue putting passes where only his teammates can field them.

It’s way more fun to dream a continuing upward trajectory than to presume he’s a one-hit wonder whose entry wasn’t even that good. Ignore tone-deaf grumps who claim he’s the league’s Vanilla Ice.

It’s about time to swear at the television. Doing so is a symptom of having a reason to care. It’s been too long since fans were actually watching instead of merely having the game on and occasionally looking at it.

Being engaged in games follows having a team that keeps it interesting. We would just like to care through year’s end instead of tuning in out of habit while running out the calendar. Tweets shouldn’t be more interesting than the game to which they refer.

Embrace the time for unreasonable expectations. What happens if the Bills stay true to form and don’t meet them? Then you’re miserable about sports. But you’re already that way.

If this season is the break in form, then it’ll be that much more invigorating to have believed in the possibility despite past trends. What happened in years past doesn’t have to weigh down 2016. Wait long enough and anything can change. Now, all it takes is the team doing their part and curing our psychic damage.

That’s the easy part, right?


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Anthony Bialy

About Anthony Bialy

Anthony Bialy lives in New York City and acts like he's still in Buffalo. He thinks "Buffalo 66" is biographical and considers it a crime against mankind that Steve Tasker is not in the Hall of Fame. He knows every bodega in Manhattan which sells Labatt Blue. Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyBialy.

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