Rex Ryan Fades Away as Buffalo Bills Burn Out

Photo from buffalonews.com.

Photo from buffalonews.com.

Rex Ryan will have plenty to say about getting fired with nothing to back it up.  The Pegulas completed the easy part of a hard process.  The good news is they only have two franchises to fix.  That doesn’t seem like too many concurrent mutual letdowns.  But that’s only if you haven’t endured the games.

Take the heartbreak that only stings the most because it’s the most recent.  The pattern of pain is uncomfortably reliable.  The remedy will be tougher to acquire, especially considering the general manager who’s often served swill gets to pick the chef.

But Ryan’s final whimper showed he had to be sent packing no matter how hard he’ll be to replace.  His worst punishment is irrelevance, which he achieved in his embarrassing coda.  There couldn’t be a more 100 percent perfect Buffalo Bills moment than a series of heartbreaks during the final marginal shot to advance.  Not having to track preposterous playoff scenarios is Ryan’s final gift to you.

In Buffalo, sports are just another thing that can’t be enjoyed with the family.  The official death of hope was just something to endure before going to my aunt’s house.  I actually arrived after tuning in to the car radio for much of the fourth quarter due to Christmas Eve dinner timing.  Getting back to a television just in time to see them screw it up is not the most reassuring holiday tradition.  I contributed by shouting un-Christian things at players, play calls, referees, and scoreboards.  ‘Tis the season.

Beating Miami would’ve given fans reason to rejoice.  Instead, humiliation served as your holiday treat.  Expecting they’ll finally hire the right coach will be how this team will torment you in 2017.  Another dud against a traditional enemy was Ryan’s final straw.

It’s been so long since these teams truly hated each other that the rivalry must be explained to younger fans.  The Dolphins are quite mouthy for a team whose supporters who don’t like distracting their favorite players by showing up to home games.  Oh, and their mascot is a Dolphin.  Their aqua-clad team’s habit of employing unpleasant lunkheads doesn’t make losing at home in December to them any easier.  At least the owners are as fed up as you.

It must be bad if even diehards are reaching limits.  Preternaturally hearty fans don’t even think about quitting under normal crummy circumstances.  But the notion that agony will never end can try the patience of even Buffalonians.  Is losing Rex enough to change what seems to be an inescapable pattern?  Sisyphus wears a Kyle Williams jersey.

That’s enough, both in the sense of the last game and previous 17 years.  I’ve conditioned myself so the impulse to stop touching the boiling pan is unnatural.  I should have had the urge to not follow this heartbreaking team anymore.  But I had to remind myself I’m free to quit cheering.  There’s no point, as I know I’d be back.  I never said it was a healthy relationship.

As a Buffalo Christmas visitor, I got here just in time for misery up close.  May replacing Ryan partially alleviate our colossal burden, as there’s little relief on the ice.  I attended a crummy Sabres game as my annual Christmas present from my sister.  Apparently, I was extra-bad this year.  But I didn’t ponder their record or opponent because I’m a fan who’s stuck with my fate.  This is as cheery as I get.

Photo from marriottonthefalls.com.

Photo from marriottonthefalls.com.

The Pegulas discarding an unimpressive coach shows they’re not in the habit of exploiting automatic support.  As a sign of good faith, I’ll continue to appreciate their successes away from won-loss records.  It’s so nice to have activity in front of the game.  Sadly, the appalling lack of activity against Carolina stood in contrast to the skating and commerce along Canalside.  It turns out game results are pretty important.

The persistence of optimism will crush us all.  After the Bills’ latest embarrassing effort ended, I then checked the schedule for when the dang finale commences.  I’ll be back in New York City during the Jets game, and it’s not worth a trip to Jersey and thousands of potential fights with their angry drunken fans to support the new coach.

This will be a TV affair for me, most of which will be spent wondering if the Bills will finally be able to fill their Mount Rushmore of coaches.  Or will he fail to break the pattern, ensuring the drought will be able to vote?  EJ Manuel starting means a strange and baffling 2016 will officially end January 1.  New Year’s Day could be somewhat entertaining even if the Jets’ hopes have already been ruined.

Let’s spend months reading too much into what happens during a pointless clash between two outsiders.  We may have seen the last of the most promising post-Kelly quarterbacks on the last particular devastating game day.  An aversion to tackling paired with meek punting fittingly wasted Tyrod Taylor’s biggest yardage total.  Trying to determine if he can consistently thrive is tough when conditions not involving him have varied so wildly.  The fact his underwhelming moments can’t be pinned on him alone proves just how deeply this club’s problems descend.

Why should we care if they don’t?  Kim and Terry asked the same question fans did.  Pride is the latest sin dooming Buffalo’s biblical franchises.  Admitting they worshipped a false prophet is only the start.  Fans also become increasingly unimpressed with the general manager’s track record as losses accumulate.  Doug Whaley can’t complain the team’s going nowhere when he neglected to fill the tank.  The owners have to be humble enough to admit they screwed up everything.  If that seems like an ego blow, imagine more seasons like this.

Ryan added a chapter to the book where the Bills ensure the worst possible scenario always happens.  Those in position to change fate get another chance to affect destiny.   There was no sign the now-former coach was going to alter a comically horrific trajectory.  But will whoever’s next do so?

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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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