Waking up for the third day of the 2017 NFL Draft was more than just a literal eye-opening experience for me this morning. Once the caffeine started hitting my brain I panicked slightly after realizing I wasn’t still tucked in a nice warm bed and dreaming.
There even seems to be more than the usual amount of delirium floating around after the Bills made yet another coaching change… and I convince myself for the ninth time since 2000 this is “the one”.
The minds of many of us as Bills fans are a tortured mess of scar tissue (thank you Steve Tasker). It makes us unable to refrain from immediately leaping to the worst case scenario for every permutation of possible disaster at every draft, every game, every day of the offseason. That’s how we roll after nearly 20 years of relentless failure.
So when this generation’s version of Opie showed up on Buffalo’s doorstep (Ron Howard’s character as a child in the Andy Griffith Show)… saying all the right stuff as the newest flavor of head coach… my brain did what it was trained to do; drink the kool-aid and hope for the best.
Really… would you have signed up for this odyssey from hell if you knew 20 years ago the Bills were going to own the biggest ‘Dynasty of Disaster’ in the history of the NFL? OK, then. It’s understandable why we react like a cornered snake being poked at with a stick every three years for the last couple decades.
Then Sean McDermott came along and started doing things we haven’t seen in what seems an eternity. The Bills front office gets cleaned out, something past coaches like Marrone complained about incessantly but couldn’t get done.
Now we’re halfway through a draft that’s been nothing short of startling in terms of tactical maneuvering. We’ve not seen this kind of masterful manipulating of the draft board since Polian & Co. ran the show. We are so programmed to sniff out failure at every turn we might not recognize the signs of hope right in front of our eyes.
Make no mistake, this draft is clearly the Sean McDermott Show. And what a show it’s been already. While Rex Ryan wears his latest favorite hockey jersey and watches a playoff hockey game in Nashville, McDermott is busy undoing the nightmare Ryan left behind.
It’s so painfully obvious to see what the Bills lacked in terms of leadership after watching this draft start to unfold. This is how a draft works when the homework is done and you can relax and let the board fall to you.
Don’t miss the signposts of hope for the future because you’ve been duped for 20 years and don’t dare open your heart to the possibility that we may finally emerge from decades of despair. Opie looks like’s he’s having a good time, so maybe we should relax and let ourselves “BILLIEVE”.