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Unanswered Questions Getting Fans Through Buffalo Bills Training Camp

Photo of Buffalo Bills Training Camp at St. John Fisher College, 2017, from buffalobills.com.

Thank the Buffalo Bills for making us versatile humans.  We’re more well-rounded than we’d like.  Getting back to other hobbies in January isn’t the gift of time we seek.  Training camp is about hoping the fun lasts through 2017.

That’s not the usual habit.  Past Augusts have been spent dreading what the future holds.  Ambitious planners already started to look at other ways to use that time after the annual November loss dropping them to the bottom of the “in the hunt” bunch.  Getting a head start on reading is nice.  But the Amazon piles can wait.

It’s too soon to think about being disappointed in the new year.  That hasn’t stopped me.  We’re conditioned to dread what will happen if this year hurts our feelings like all the others.  Still, it’s good to watch the step in front first to avoid making tripping a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Pass routes against invisible foes are more exciting than they should be.  Welcome to life as a Bills fan.   Feeling unnaturally excited is natural.  Tracking camp by the minute is not just as a byproduct of fanaticism: it’s based in hope that this year will break the pattern.

We’ve gotten this far, so another month or so of trepidation will pass as quickly as a hiccup.  Still, it’s hard to wait when past daydreaming has been so futile.

At least there are numerous areas of concern to address.  Can you imagine a boring camp where we felt confident at every position?  I shudder at such depth.  We get to track battles at wide receiver, tight end, linebacker, cornerback, and safety, which is a rather high percentage of players who take the field.

Even then, we can only learn so much from intramural highlight packages and a possible session attendance.  Sean McDermott’s active leadership style is hopefully allowing him to track battle progress, even though I of course know much more than him.  Why don’t the Bills take my roster advice?

Photo of Bills head coach Sean McDermott at training camp from newyorkupstate.com.

The usual football pattern encourage us to develop other interests.  I wish there was a way to appreciate other hobbies other than going 272 regular-season games in a row with no playoffs in between.  I double-checked my multiplication to confirm depression.

Steadily woeful results remind us it’s important to care about other things than this sport we treat as a faith.  It may sound like blasphemy to note there’s more to life then football.  I suppose we should be able to carry on a conversation about something other than sports.  It doesn’t have to be long.

Say it together by rote: it’d be nice if this one finally paid off.  Each season is an investment, and it’s tough to earn interest.  Free time shouldn’t be so stressful.  If we gardened this long without anything emerging from the dirt, we would’ve salted the ground out of bitterness.

The rest of the summer is to be spent begging fate.  That’s normal.  This year’s specific request is for a player upon which the last regime bet its reputation to finally be used to his utmost.  Sammy Watkins staying healthy and being targeted consistently are the two most important branches of his route tree.

This offense is planning on passing less than the freshman squad.  But running up the gut should open up opportunities on the extremities.  I know just the guy to exploit a packed line.

Nobody’s more excited than Watkins about an appropriate defense.  You try winning games on your own.  A conventional alignment and a formidable pass rush could provide relief to beleaguered counterparts.

Photo of WR Sammy Watkins from sportingnews.com.

The unit’s strength could also compensate for weaknesses.  Great pass rushers are why Deion Sanders got into the Hall of Fame despite his aversion to tackling.  Dominating at the front end can do wonders to conceal inexperience elsewhere.  The front four are finally getting back to invading the backfield instead of holding up blockers. A suitably aggressive philosophy would make this pastime satisfying.

Bills fans are instinctively fretting if these are the plans that will finally work.  Training camp would feel weird without such anxiety.  Saint John Fisher dispatches keep us from having to fill free time with inferior non-football activities.  These anticipatory moments are spent alternating between convincing ourselves this season is the different one and wondering if the new year remains an okay time for a ski vacation.

Despite past trauma, I’m up for devoting more time to tracking these guys running around.  This is another of those rotten non-football game days, of which there are 349 this year.  At least it beats 2016 with its silly February 29.  I blame the cosmos.

As for earthly matters, inveterate fandom always looms even as we feign interest in other topics.  The beach is fine as long as we can read tweets from those at camp.  The Rochester summer is about seeking possible justification for getting wound up, so speculate like your future enjoyment banks on it.

Editor’s babble: As always, thanks so much to Anthony Bialy for his wonderful contributions to our blog. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy. 


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.

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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