The Intangibles: Lack of mental discipline destroying Bills playoff chances

Photo from pinterest.com.

Photo from pinterest.com.

Just when you think you’ve seen every permutation of failure possible, the Bills find yet another way to sabotage themselves and rip out the heart of the fan base. Staring down the likelihood of 17 years of missing the playoffs is bad enough, but when the team lets a 21 point lead go down the drain, that kind of pain sucks the life out of a fan base.

Many of you are probably sick of reading my ‘wyobabble’ about intangibles, but let’s face it; this team has suffered from a chronic lack of mental discipline for years. Year after year, coaching staff after coaching staff and it’s still the same old Bills.

It’s one thing when your team is rebuilding like the Browns. We’ve been down that road many times as well. For years we could blame it on the fact that the Bills organization wouldn’t spend the money necessary to build a champion.

However, that theory has been disproven the last couple of years since the Pegulas bought the team and spent a fortune retooling it. It seems like the Bills just find new and different ways to lose, and break our hearts in the end.

More than ever I’m convinced this team lacks what all the money, coaches and talent cannot provide. And that’s what makes this infuriating string of playoff-less years all the more frustrating. Money, physical skill and talented coaches cannot replace the mental mindset necessary to become a winning football organization.

We can blame Tom Brady and the Patriots all we want for our seemingly endless years of losing football, but the truth of the matter is that the Bills have yet to put a mentally strong football team together since the ‘glory days’ of the 1990s.

At times like these, I still wonder if free agency hasn’t somehow created a mindset in professional players that they become less invested in their teams because they know if it doesn’t work out, eventually they can move to another team they would rather play for.

Teams change so much from year to year (especially the bad ones) that you have to wonder how emotionally invested players really are in making the mental sacrifice necessary to change the negative narrative. As a fan base, we are sick of hearing players, coaches, and even our new owner toss aside our agony because they haven’t been on this 17-year odyssey from hell along with us.

Fans aren’t asking players to accept blame for this seemingly endless perpetual nightmare. What we do ask is that every single player, coach and staff member pay more than lip service to what we have been through as a fan base.

For decades we didn’t know if the team would stay in Buffalo. Despite that constant fear, we supported the Bills through thick and thin. Rex Ryan gets it. The players get it. The owners get it.

However, what they failed to do to this point is put that monkey ON their backs and do what the Bills did in the mid-1980’s after decades of fail. I remember Thurman Thomas once explaining how they decided enough was enough and they REFUSED to continue to accept failure as an option.

Times have changed, but the fact that mental discipline is what separates good teams from bad ones has not. If it was easy as flipping a toggle switch, it would have happened a long time ago.

From my vantage point, here’s what we want from the Bills the rest of the season. We want them to win every game regardless of whether they are “in the hunt” or not. We want them to dig down deep and play 60 minutes of solid football. We want to see relentless commitment and mental focus the rest of the way regardless of the outcome.

Please give us something to look forward to during the long off season. We’ve already proven our undying loyalty to this franchise. It’s way past time for our loyalty be rewarded.

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Robyn Mundy

About Robyn Mundy

Robyn Mundy is a retired oncology nurse and psychotherapist who loves to write about her life-long passion for the Buffalo Bills, and occasionally something of clinical or social relevance. She lives with her husband Gary and their dogs in the shadow of the glorious Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Robyn is also a proud founding sponsor. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynMundyWYO.

One thought on “The Intangibles: Lack of mental discipline destroying Bills playoff chances

  1. Good article, Wyo. Wish you were still on the Bills Board but can understand why your not. Sadly I don’t think your wish will be granted this year. All we ever get is lip service. The Bills are “All in”. Dareus sure hasn’t been all in, Gilmore either. They always talk about executing better and reducing penalties and they never do it. However, you’ll never see a coach disciplining a player. Oh yeah, Rex has them do push ups or run laps during training camp but has he ever taken a starter and sat him down because he made one too may mistakes? Is there anyone, coaches or players who went up to Schmidt and said we’re trying to win game we know you can perform better…no, you have to perform better. Has Rex ever told Tyrod, you do a lot of great things but you’re missing a lot of wide open receivers. You need to improve. You are right. They lack mental toughness and discipline. Maybe they need a hard ass like Tom Coughlin to be the coach. I hope they never hire another “player’s coach”.