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Philosophical Angst and Football: Life As a Buffalo Bills Fan

Photo from buffalobills.com.

World peace would be nice.  But we crave what’s truly important, namely a wild card game.  I’m unsure which is more likely.  More than anything, Buffalo Bills fans want to cheer.  We just need a reason.  It turns out that’s the tough part.

Some teams’ fans fret about buying divisional winner apparel in case they get the chance to buy Super Bowl shirts in a few weeks.  Bills backers can spend their wardrobe budget elsewhere.  Instead, we get to worry about the hopelessness of it all.  You can’t solve the universe’s mysteries without being forced to ponder them.

Sailing is tough when the captain is untrustworthy.  We pray the staff knows how to change course while knowing the iceberg is getting closer.  The sinking trend is historical at this point.  Based on the regrettable fashion in which this season went and the fact nobody is sure who’s supposed to hire the coach, this drought could merely be off to its start.  But don’t let that keep you from buying merchandise.

This is the time to be thankful for a full life, as football dreams are stranded on Tatooine, Hoth, or whatever the desolate planet was named in Rogue One.  Bills fans are accustomed to empty months just to see if we’ll then be dreading results.  Repetition doesn’t make the struggle any easier.

All we can do is make the case that any new worker could be successful despite previous troubling employment situations.  Miners have been digging for optimism for almost two decades and unearthing nothing but pyrite.  The hope that management will get personnel and coaching right even though we just saw it go wrong again is why there’s an offseason.

Photo of Doug Whaley from buffalobills.com.

There’s as much time to review as we need, lamentably.  The longest possible break every time isn’t exactly restful.  There is excessive time to rally around hires that seem dubious.  This team can’t seem to offer contracts to anyone proficient.  So, enjoy the extra time to invent absurd scenarios.  Prisoners fantasize about what they’d do if they were granted parole once they get bored counting the bars.

Sports interest us because they embody what we’ve been handed.  Sure, we enjoy the tackling and such.  But we got into these games before we knew the arduousness of trying to be happy while watching them.

It’d be easier to cope with Bills fandom if we chose it.  Instead, karma picked our rooting interest.  There aren’t many fans who started following when they were old enough to realize the daunting enrollment responsibilities.  I admire the fortitude of those rare backers who started cheering in adulthood.

Would picking a team that can’t determine who’s supposed to hire a coach make it easier?  For comparison, I measure how my college team treats me.  I’m a Syracuse fan spurred by vague memories of having been on campus for a couple semesters.

Outlandish rumors hold that I may have not only been enrolled but also granted a diploma.  My most important area of study was free will’s nature, an issue I explored during undergraduate days by testing the human capacity for Milwaukee’s Best.  The occasional championship has tasted the exact opposite.

Still, cheering for any side includes a fair amount of heartbreak.  Even Alabama fans now know at least a little sadness.  What city’s athletic disappointments are more significant?  I chose my college, factoring in the luck of getting an unusually lax application reviewer.  Backing Buffalo was a fate in which I had less input on account of it being my birthplace.  Newborns don’t get a vote.

The value of what’s assigned versus what’s chosen is a debate over allegiance I’ve pondered for years.  You can pass the time during excruciating late-season Bills games in your own way.

Time seems irrelevant when triumph skipped a generation.  Maybe that’s why the Bills seem capable of defying physical laws.  The playoffs somehow get more distant in the rearview mirror even as we sit still.  There’s quite a bit of nausea for being parked.

But at least we’re not quitters even if our team sometimes seems to be.  It’s clear we’re not going anywhere, as lightweights blew away a decade ago.  We’re stuck with cheering, which is only depressing while resisting.  So, accept crummy circumstances may stay the same even as employees change again.

There’s a certain contentment involved with knowing fate is inescapable.  I just wish the Pegulas weren’t aware that fans are in this until the grave.  It’ll remain true even if an arbitrator clears Cyborg Tom Brady to play in 2023.

Photo from theherdreport.com.

Owners know they have a monopoly on our interests.  At least they’re fans, too.  It’d be nice to cheer along with them, and not just because their own rooting holds them accountable.  The remaining diehards would wear a Jarvis Landry jersey before quitting.

True believers know the high recidivism rate for those who claim to be fed up with poor play.  Strong feelings prompt forgiveness even after being wronged again.  It’s not like getting sick of a restaurant: we’re going to be dining on whatever slop the Bills ladle onto our trays.

Identifying ourselves as a Mafia is truer than you know.  Omerta means we don’t provide outsiders with secrets to enduring for so long.  Membership isn’t precisely casual.  The commitment is what’s sustained us through those million or so tough moments since Doug Flutie got benched.

We technically could walk away.  No: really.  It’s important to remember that, even if we’ve been Bills fans since birth, we’re free to stop.  The right to quit is the one thing keeping us from doing 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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