Tough Predictions, Zero Effect on Buffalo Bills

Photo from buffalobills.com.

Experience inures us to future trauma.  In other words, hope bad things happen to you.  I’m sorry that aching is so valuable.  The first breakup is the hardest, so thank the jerk in high school who crushed your heart for making the rest of life more bearable.  You can still ignore the Facebook friend request from the rejecter.

As for the team that ran to the bathroom crying during the prom, the Buffalo Bills have endured it all.  They’re dangerous because they’re unfazed by being jilted.  Lots of losses mean they have nothing to lose.  You can’t scare us with fears of only six wins, as coping with a season that crummy is routine.  Nobody who’s stuck through this many garbage fires is scared of matches.

Take how many football commenters tell us to brace in potential of a rough season.  Assuming crash positions wouldn’t be a novel experience.  The potential to underwhelm is possible for any team.  It’s just especially so around here.

Nobody checks prediction accuracy, right?  I may have to change identities if they do.  That’s presuming I already haven’t.  I forget what alias I used before Anthony Bialy, but that person has awful credit and an even worse record at beating point spreads.

Gamblers know everything, which is why they’re never wrong and bet as careers.  A six-win prediction is the most consistent thing about the Bills in awhile.

Guessing we’re in for another dang double-loss season is understandable.  A new coach often struggles with the changeover, especially when his predecessor traded talent for magic beans.  Sean McDermott has the potential to make a lot of progress if you’d like to look at it positively.

Photo of Sean McDermott and Terry Pegula from buffalonews.com.

It takes proficiency to dive in waters this shallow.  This club needs stellar performances from presently anonymous wide receivers and tight ends, which my research indicates are the two most common positions tasked with catching the ball.  Running backs can only do so much.

On the other side, questions at linebacker distract from questions at safety, which is not what we mean by a balanced defense.  Fears haunt us like that monster that still lives under the twin bed in our parents’ house.

It’s easy to feel scared of what could happen when the worst-case scenario seems to occur so commonly.  But noting all the times we weren’t devoured after getting a glass of water is how to defeat the mind’s irrational turns.  There are plenty of real things to inspire fright, so don’t worry.

Buffalo sports fans are used to projecting the worst because it’s reliable.  Anyone who’s tired of that 21st– century trend is counting on defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier to turn question marks into exclamations.  And tricky blocking could ease the rushing attack.  The proper respective zones could make unappreciated players rich in free agency.

As for those getting poorer, gamblers who’ve backed optimism on the Bills with cash have traditionally left bookie meetings with thinner wallets.  It’s well past time to surprise bettors.

True fans hope the Bills finally win five out of every eight games for the sake of it, not to cash in.  Sports books losing would be a nice byproduct.  As Mickey Rourke knew in Buffalo 66, it’s been safe to bet against our team.

Photo of (L to R) Mickey Rourke, Vincent Gallo and Anjelica Huston from the movie Buffalo 66. Photo from film-grab.com.

The previous record doesn’t affect this year’s, even if it always seems like it.  There’s even a fresh example of quick turnaround in the division:  Adam Gase got the evil Dolphins to 10-6 and a wild card berth, which, if anyone forgot, is a way of getting in the playoffs without winning a division.  The team he commandeered went 6-10 the year before, which didn’t stop him from doing Bizarro Aquaman’s evil bidding.

Dealing with success would be an unexpected challenge at this point.  That doesn’t mean trying to avoid it.  An exasperating commute beats being jobless.  Bills fans are used to their team not getting second interviews.

This season feels like both moving into sunlight and trying to outrun clouds.  As the guy who yelled at the flight attendant in the phone camera era learned when he applied for work, the past affects today.  The cumulative effect continues fractionally, as roster turnover takes awhile.  But that doesn’t justify waiting until there’s a Pro Bowler at every spot to make a push.

Getting over the last coach has been a regular habit.  It’s hard to reassemble what’s been so thoroughly crushed.  But Buffalo has made an addition by absence.  While the void is tough to fill, it beats stuffing it with newspaper and styrofoam.

The Bills have to prove it first.  They’re retained some of the bright spots from the last few unsuccessful seasons interspersed with promising new guys and an entirely different approach.  Will they finally outrush their past?  A warlock with the ability to presently know the answer wouldn’t even enjoy the season.

Short of obtaining a Grays Sports Almanac in a modified DeLorean, we have to wait to see if those making the lazy forecast about the Bills are wrong for a change.  Think of a potential postseason trip as a pleasant surprise.  It would shock most of those presently declaring what will happen by year’s end.  The confusion at exceeding expectations would be a fun accompaniment.

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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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