Buffalo Bills: why this ‘reboot’ might actually work

Photo from bostondrunks.com.

With our hearts nearly fossilized from the “Dynasty of Despair”, we once again find ourselves hoping the ninth reboot for the Buffalo Bills since 2000 will save us from eternal damnation as an NFL fan base. It’s a constant battle for us as we try to navigate our emotions by daring to hope this is “the one”… this time will be different…

So scarred by nearly a generation of total failure by this team has left most of us “BILLieving” the Buffalo Bills will find a new way to break our hearts no matter what evidence there may be that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Our fan base has been beaten down so badly most of us sleep with one eye open waiting for the next catastrophic injury, arrest, or coach quitting on our team.

We are long past the hollow words that “this time it will be different”. Marketing slogans instinctively trigger a ‘rolling eyes’ emoji of utter despair as we soak up another dose of blarney from the front office. No longer taking the bait, we’ve hardened our hearts and prepare for another season of disappointment.

Photo from sportige.com.

Many of us of a certain age ponder the possibility of death before playoffs, let alone consider the possibility of winning a championship in Buffalo before we die. 1-4-5-B-4-I-DIE is more than a clever license plate number, it’s the battle cry of an entire generation of elders who spent most of their adult life “BILLieving”.

That kind of investment is hard to walk away from. In fact, it’s what keeps most of us still going strong because being a Bills fan is woven into the very foundation of our identity. In fact, I’m not sure what to think about the fact that I’ve become an object of pity by my friends and neighbors in Wyoming.

Oh, that Robyn Mundy… she’s a crazy Buffalo Bills fan. Can you imagine? I don’t know how or why she does it. 

Loving the Bills has become the investment in a business you kept pouring money into despite the fact that the business model is a disaster and the company is in debt up to its neck. After awhile you stop investing more capital, but you never sell the stock because you know deep in your heart the moment you do the company will suddenly explode and become the next big thing.

So we soldier on… mostly in autopilot because we simply can’t let ourselves “BILLieve” we aren’t going to get Lucy pulling that football out from us one more time…

Photo from slate.com.

… and then just when you think you’re comfortably ensconced in the protective cocoon of mediocrity, the universe throws us a curve ball when the Pegulas bought the Bills.

There was pure joy that the Bills would be staying in Buffalo. But I also hoped it might finally result in the fumigation elegantly described by Tim Graham of the Buffalo News after Rex Ryan vamoosed. Graham expressed what many Bills fans felt about cleaning out the front office, something not completely done since the 1990s in some cases.

Then it happened. Having been left with only a shred of hope it would ever get done, imagine my surprise when one by one there was a gutting of the front office, scouting staff, general manager and the old way of doing business. The old way of doing business would have meant signing Anthony Lynn as the next Bills head coach and he would have been challenged to find a way to work with Doug Whaley.

So when the buzz started happening when Sean McDermott entered the picture, I felt that familiar struggle to “BILLieve” he would be the next savior of the franchise. Then he opened his mouth and started talking about the importance of the intangible aspects of the game… the characteristics he preferred in players he wanted to come together as a team.

Photo from buffalobills.com.

McDermott started speaking ‘wyobabble’ about how much character and behavior mattered to him. When I watched the draft and how he moved up and down the board seeking out players with the exact attributes he described… color me SHOCKED.

Now we have Brandon Beane as a general manager, a guy cut from the same cloth and road tested working with McDermott. When has that type of relationship EVER happened in Bills history? Color me SHOCKED again.

This is either the universe’s cruelest joke or the beginning of the end of an unimaginably long dynasty of despair. Either way, I “BILLieve” because I’m still breathing.

The views and opinions expressed on this website blog are soley those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Buffalo FAMbase, Inc., and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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.

6 thoughts on “Buffalo Bills: why this ‘reboot’ might actually work

  1. I’m still not buying…I’ll just have to be pleasantly surprised if these guys are the ones to finally pull it off. Ultimately I think it all comes down to the QB, but so far they don’t seem to be taking the best approach to answering that issue by electing to go full steam ahead for that .500-ish record. I think it’s going to eventually have to come down to luck and pulling a QB out of their backside or finally doing an official rebuild…and unfortunately the Bills seem rather light in the luck dept. Maybe they could eventually make the playoffs doing it their way, but if that’s the whole goal, that’s exactly why the Bills will never win it all…

  2. it’s only a matter of time because it is only going into year (3) of the new era.
    nothing against Mr. Wilson and if it weren’t for him and his generosity the Bills would have been gone a long time ago.
    but the atomosphere at OBD had been toxic and uncertain for quite some time and the Bills were a team that no prideful coach or GM wanted any part of. as such they have been scraping the barrel IMHO right up until recently.
    no need to name names, but since the year 2000 (coincidentally?) the Bills have employed some dreadful coaches.
    this is not the situation any longer and it’s only a matter of time before they are successful once again, and once successful the team could stay that way for a long time- success attracts success- and the vast majority of NFL teams ain’t than great.

  3. Some coaches may not have been that great, but the lack of coaching wasn’t THE problem…it was the lack of QB. Any number of coaches would have likely been fine if they had an above average QB. Mr Greatest Coach of All Time was rather Billsy before Brady fell on his lap.

  4. Thanks another article Robyn! While I like the Pegula’s for buying both teams and investing a lot of money into both franchises, so far, I feel are a step below Jimmy Haslam and Dan Snyder. While the Pegula’s don’t abruptly fire people after one season like Haslam and Snyder, they do it after two (sometimes, not even two full seasons). They have proven to be meddling owners like Haslam and Snyder.

    I appreciate everything Mr. Wilson did for Buffalo and keeping the Bills in town, but after John Butler did not resign in Buffalo and bolted for San Diego, Wilson hired Donahoe and became an absent owner and the team has been suffering ever since. Donahoe hired two “yes sir, Mr. Donahoe” type in Gregggg Williams and Mike Mukarkey as Donahoe did not want a coach that would challenge his authority. Greggggggg wanted to draft Drew Brees when he was available, but Dumbahoe said “no.” The Bills fortunes would have definitely turned around after it took Brees a few years to develop. Once Ralph saw how bad the Bills were and how morale was at an all-time low, Ralph canned Dumbahoe and brought in a familiar face to be GM, Marv Levy. While we all love Marv from the Glory Days of the Bills, he was a terrible GM. Between hiring Dick Jauron, his terrible draft picks, not resigning key players such as Spikes and Fletcher, Levy’s tenure set the team back many years. After Levy, it was Russ Brandon’s turn and he did even further damage to the Bills. As Ralph grew older, he entrusted Brandon to run the Bills and it turned out to be a huge mistake. Brandon eventually relinquished GM duties to Boss Hogg [Buddy Nix] who hired Cooter [Chan Gailey] as his coach. Boss Hogg’s draft were abysmal to say the least. Cooter, while a good offensive coach let his DC’s focus on the defense and they were equally as abysmal as Boss Hogg’s draft picks.

    It seems like the new Bills leadership has been purging the old regime and IMO, is a good thing. I’ve read stories where the “old regime” did “business as they always did” ever since the Superbowl years and when you’re in business “Business as we’ve always done it” is a killer as there are always new businesses popping up trying to do bigger, better and newer (such as Wal-Mart). Businesses that continue keep up with the times, looking for new opportunities on how to do business and how to improve themselves are the one’s that thrive. Maybe by getting rid of the old regime that did business as usual will be a great start to turning this franchise around. But, after 17 years, I’m like Cuba Gooding Jr. in Jerry McGuire, “SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!”

  5. joma,
    don’t you view the bills as having a great shot at a QB next year? an extra first round pick is a valuable chip to throw onto the table.

  6. Nells, if the teams in the top spots need a QB and the available prospects are studs, why would they trade the pick? The Bills are certainly in better position with an extra pick than without, but let’s say there are two blue-chip QB prospects on the board. #1 needs a QB…they take one. Let’s just pretend #2 is willing to trade because they think they’re set at QB…okay, well #3 needs one. What’s more appealing to #2, pick 3 & 35 or pick 10 & 24? The best non-QB in the draft is also going to be rather enticing bargaining chip! I think the Bills are in decent shape to DRAFT a QB…I just don’t think they’re in good shape to get their pick of the litter or in position to grab a stud prospect the draft-knobs are foaming at the mouth over…so it’s probably going to end up being one of the dudes with question marks and require some luck on the Bills part, and we know how their luck goes. And for what purpose? So the Bills can win 6 games instead of 2…big yay.

    Hearing the Bills brass talk the past couple days, though, it’s clear they don’t believe in Tyrod…so WTF didn’t they cut him and just let the ‘rebuild’ season happen instead of going after their typical Billsy season is beyond me.