This time is different. It’s undetermined whether that’s a statement or question. Buffalo Bills fans are participating in the annual ritual of convincing themselves the upcoming season will be the pleasant anomaly. Cheering for an exception is like watching a Three Stooges short guest-starring a classy pearl-clad lady. Will this be the time there won’t be a thrown pie hitting her in the mug? There’s been enough slapstick since 2000.
Spot who’s unfamiliar with success by how mundane their dreams are. Bills followers have quite minimal ‘wildest hopes’. It’s understandably hard to remember that we’re supposed to picture winning a championship.
Aim a bit higher for municipal pride’s sake. The city’s not holding a parade if our beloved side gets a wild card berth. At least, I don’t think they would. That said, we are part of the fanbase that tore down goalposts after the season opener, so who knows what sort of party is in store? No matter how much fun a fairly good season would be, aspire to more than nine wins and a few tiebreakers.
Here’s to the new hire. Loyal citizens always try to make the best case for a regime even if it’s usually overthrown. One of these professed strongmen should be able to wrest control from the AFC East autocrats.
Those who believe in mercy think the Bills should eventually have a good coach. Statistically, it should happen if for nothing else than standard deviation. But consistently bad human input affects data. Like the Chicago Cubs going 108 years between championships, poor management can make the superstitious perceive that a drought is actually a curse.
Restless backers naturally make the case for whatever style the latest coach prefers. Don’t judge desperate zealots harshly in retrospect. Hoping the no-nonsense collegian style of Doug Marrone would go pro helped us overcome the Chan Gailey Experiment. But it turns out he should’ve pursued another degree.
By contrast and yet similarly, Rex Ryan’s mouthiness would’ve been fine if backed up by actions, which is the important part here in reality. He dared others to stop him, and they did.
The style of head coach I like is the one who wins games. Yell at players or don’t bother setting a curfew: just do whatever will lead to scoring more points. Still, it’s been nice so far having a coach who’s loud in his quiet way.
Sean McDermott seems driven when he’s noticed at all. The lack of need to to draw attention to himself like certain immediate predecessors is enjoyable just by comparison. He’s more interested in running stringent practices than defining himself publicly. The lack of shtick itself defines personality.
Proficient application of mentality is what would make this time different than the last 800 or so failures. Specifically, using the proper defense means the rookie coach has already scored points. McDermott has the right personnel for the task, if you can imagine. Sure, putting the wrong guys where they shouldn’t be over the last two years was surprising. But there can be a downside to doing what opponents don’t expect.
Get excited about two sort-of bonus draft picks if you need more hope that improvement’s in store. Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland will ideally both be playing in their first opener short of even tougher breaks. But that never happens with this club, right?
Regardless, a thin defense got a partial season from their top two picks thanks to sloppy vetting and bad luck, respectively. Those have been two Bills trademarks. But they don’t always have to be. It’s true! Buffalo making the playoffs isn’t even technically illegal.
It felt like this time was going to be the one for success. I could’ve pasted that sentence because I usually have it copied. Disappointment has been ready to go. Yet Bills fans think fortune simply must change even though there’s nothing to ensure the lull could last a couple centuries. Nobody has more practice at being human.
It’s natural to think optimistically, even just as relief. Casual gamblers buy a Powerball ticket not expecting to win but because two dollars buys a few minutes of fantasizing about gold-plated counters and robot butlers. Despite probability, some dare dream about their numbers getting picked.
Think about it going well. Getting crushed again doesn’t scare us, as we’ve had endless hours of practice. Our personal preseason only feels endless. How else would we keep going? A reversal is bound to happen one of these eras. All it takes is competence by those in charge. Well, at least it’s easy to temper expectations.