Buffalo Bills Fans Hope to Someday Cheer for More Than a Loss

Photo from christianpost.com.

The Super Bowl offered a helpful reminder to those who forgot life is pain.  Like Bart Simpson found out about Hell, you don’t get used to it. Watching your greatest enemy triumph yet again should feel more indifferent once it’s this habitual.  Sure, Atlanta lost more than New England won.  But the agony isn’t any less searing.

A thumb ring on the hand of the Devil’s minion just offers more glistening.  Meanwhile, the Bills’ lack of shine stands out.  The Patriots have won almost 10 percent of all Super Bowls.  And every title has come during Buffalo’s drought, which is just one depressing way of noting there might not be a greater chasm between ostensible rivals in pro sports.

I looked up each respective team’s records since 2001 and have decided not to share them, as others don’t need to suffer as I do.  Everything goes right with a cold universe’s blessing while our epically cruel exile continues.  Torment wouldn’t be as severe without the contrast.

Cheering for Doctor Heimlich’s favorite team was one extra humiliation.  Declaring “Ich bin ein Atlanter” didn’t create enough unity to stop the Evil Empire from winning this cold war.  If you thought the Bills specialized in sabotaging their own efforts to topple New England, know that every failure now comes in second to the Falcons.

I’ve never been particularly interested in Atlanta teams.  That makes me like many Atlantans.  The Delta hub seems like it’s home to a rather languid fanbase, and an impossible collapse engineered into reality shows why.  Or were locals indifferent beforehand?  It’s a Chick-fil-A and egg dilemma.

The home of the Braves never seemed like an intense sports town, and not just because they lost two hockey teams to Canada.  Wondering why they’re so fond of bird nicknames isn’t presently the city’s biggest athletic concern.  Right now, Georgians have to figure out how they’re going to cope with a defeat that would’ve made Goliath wonder what happened.  We’re here to offer advice based on crushing life experience if they need help.  Losing in a blowout would’ve been preferable.

Photo from myajc.com.

An alliance of convenience with whoever’s willing to stand up to the bully fell apart.  Don’t get cocky after landing a few shots.  Teaming up with the Romulans against the Borg was a gamble that didn’t prevent assimilation.  Still, anyone who’s fought the Patriots is a friend of mine, if only because it’s nice to have other crushed fanbases with which to commiserate.  I respect the Giants despite no rooting interest for showing the impossible is obtainable.  I wish other franchises believed hard enough.

I miss when New England fans were melodramatic.  This century, they’ve just been insufferable, which is the one thing more irksome to us than consistent defeats.  Speaking of first-person plural, no fanbase uses “We” more in reference to the accomplishments of those they watch.  When one’s favorite team is that dominant, it’s easy to start thinking of their accomplishments as one’s own despite precisely zero contribution.  Thank the crummy Bills for forcing us to become more well-rounded humans.

Our side will never be able to satisfactorily answer why we’re fated to back the club Shakespeare couldn’t fictionalize.  But that’s how life is, and not just regarding this particular trial disguised as a football club.  Bills fans learn that life is unfair during the course of tracking game action.  See?  Sports build character.

So, that’s enough examples.  We’re exhausted by alternating between cheering against New England during the Super Bowl and indifference to the combatants.  The Bills are technically eligible to advance.  I had to remind myself during the game that nothing was stopping them but their propensity for collapse.  The Falcons set a new gold standard.

This tournament looked fun despite the jarring ending.  Is it asking too much to participate in it again?  Even focusing on dip spurs thoughts of the time elapsed since relevance.  Personally, I was shocked to learn beloved and shuttered Western New York bread foundry Montana Mills’ website still inexplicably works, which means the recipe for the seafood sourdough bread bowl I make every year remains accessible outside my memory.  I wanted to double-check and was glad I still made it right.  It’s a guaranteed winner even if the Bills are not.

I can only think of how many crabs I’ve consumed on Super Bowl Sundays since the Bills were a factor.  Our favorite team had already hit a rough patch the first time I made my now-annual snack, and that was before the manic culinary spell where people decided carbohydrates were murderous.  Try to think of how many food fads have clogged social media since Buffalo made the postseason.  Also, social media was invented.

A crazy dream can’t come true unless unreasonable optimists stick to it.  This is the daftest time to start conceiving of that team we like participating in the championship.  That means we may as well begin.  What’s the worst that could happen: we end up disappointed?  The Bills have been so marginalized that fans don’t even think about a Super Bowl appearance.  The preposterously modest goal of playing on wild card weekend is for dreamers, at least in Erie County.

Could anyone less deserving get everything?  The Patriots are Arnold Schwarzenegger in Twins while we’re Danny DeVito.  Still, it’s possible to reverse fortunes no matter how improbable.  These days, I’d much rather watch Frank act amusingly despicably in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia than the silly boardroom game with the replacement host.

For now, we’re relieved of the curse of thinking our world is just.  Patriots fans are left unprepared for disappointments.  If sports are supposed to prepare people for the real world, they’re in trouble.  It must get frustrating to remember which trophy is from what Super Bowl.

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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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