The Bills make me want to … ah, who cares?

28 11 2009

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a true-blue, die-hard, “Jeepers Crimey that was a FORWARD PASS” fan of the Buffalo Bills.
But for the first time in my life, I’ll be heading to 1 Bills Drive this Sunday not caring if they win or lose. And I think I’m a happier person because of it.
I haven’t missed going to at least one Bills home game a year in Orchard Park since 1992, culminating in 2005 when I went to six of the team’s eight home games.
Even in the two years that I lived in North Carolina, I managed to make it back north of Mason-Dixon line to be among the Buffalo faithful.
Over the years, I’ve stuck with this team through the years when they went 2-14, 2-14 and 4-12 over a three-year stretch. Hey, at least in 1986 they doubled their win total from the previous year.
I stuck by them when Ronnie Harmon dropped an easy touchdown in 1989, enabling the Cleveland Freaking Browns to win that playoff game.
I stuck by them after wide right in their first Super Bowl. Thurman Thomas misplacing his helment in the second. Being completely pimp-slapped in the third. Falling apart one play at a time in the second half of their fourth-straight Super Bowl after they actually had the lead at halftime.
Watching the team in turmoil during the whole Doug Flutie-Rob Johnson controversy, capped off by the Immaculate Deception (aka The Music City Miracle (barf)). Starting a season with a 31-0 win over the Patriots, only to lose to the Patriots in the last game of the season, 31-0. Making Dallas commit six turnovers, only to lose the game in front of a national audience. Losing to the Cleveland Freaking Browns the next year on Monday Night Football.
Fourth and stupid. J.P. Losman. Trent Edwards, Gregg Williams. Dick Jauron.
Losing 6-3 to the Cleveland Freaking Browns. At home. When their starting quarterback went 2 for 17 for 23 yards and a pick. For the entire game.
Where’s Jim Jones and a pitcher of Kool-Aid when you need him?
Still, up to this point, for each Bills game I’ve attended or watched on TV, I’ve gone in with a glimmer of hope that says “this is where we turn things around.” I’ve gone in completely convinced that MY team will be the superior one on the field.
Not this time. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll be there clad in my Brian Moorman jersey (that’s right, the punter) whooping it up with the rest of them.
But win or lose? Who cares?
Not me.
This time, it’s all about the game day experience. It’s about the tailgate in the parking lot. It’s about simply going to see an NFL game, hoping that a good football game breaks out, but not caring if it’s a dud at the same time.
It’s about the kids walking along the rows in the lot selling overpriced candy bars so their tinymight hockey team can get sweaters that don’t look like they were made by 6-year-old Honduran kids after a hard night of drinking. It’s about the scalpers who walk behind them trying to convince you to pay $100 for a 50-yard, field-level seat while brandishing a ticket that looks like it was made of construction paper or for some reason looks like a decorated graham cracker.
It’s about the long-haired Canadian wearing nothing but Daisy Dukes and a hard hat drinking beer funnels from the top of a converted school bus (a short bus, by the way, and believe me, the irony of that isn’t lost on me) while shaking his (Canadian) bacon to CC & the Music Factory.
It’s about the random Bills fan jumping in your face screaming “Let’s Go Buffalo,” and me screaming back “Hopefully not to Los Angeles.”
It’s about the smells of the various linked meats cooking over grills. Vendors selling programs. A 65-year-old man accidentally peeing on your shoe and then yelling at you for not moving your foot.
It’s about Horseballs. It’s about Washers. It’s about parking lot bowling, complete with bumpers (we actually did that one year, and I don’t want to know how my cousin obtained them).
It’s all about being there. If the Bills lose, who cares? No one expects them to anyway, nor should they.
I still wouldn’t miss it for the world.

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