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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Brady, Belichick, Balls and Bills Fans

Thank you, New England Patriots.
That’s right, a Bills fan is thanking the team we hate.
For two reasons.
One, they’ve inspired me to get back to this blog, for the first time in a very very long time.  I’ve missed it….I’ve thought about it a lot…but nothing got me inspired enough.
Thank you, New England Patriots for that.
The second reason is much more important.   
Thank you Patriots for making what is usually THE WORST WEEK OF THE YEAR for Bills fans actually bearable.  At times, even enjoyable.
That’s right, Super Bowl week.  That’s right, there’s a game Sunday.  A really important game.  But who cares, other than the Patriots, the Seahawks, their fans, gamblers, advertisers, network executives, and Roger Goodell.
Nope, America cares about Tom Brady’s balls.  How soft are they?  How did they get that way?  (Does anyone else see the irony in someone married to a supermodel liking his balls deflated?)
Here we are, one day away from the game, and Deflategate is still being talked about as much as, if not more than, the game itself.
Did the Patriots cheat?  What will the NFL do about it?
The polls.
The pundits.
The panic.
It’s like an election, except no one is saying anything as stupid as Rick Perry.
Actually, lots of people are.   
Especially Patriots fans.  Have you been on any of their forums?  There are so many conspiracy theories coming out of New England, the only thing missing is Oliver Stone.
Patriots fans are acting all outraged and saying it’s an NFL conspiracy to discredit their team and fans of every other team are just jealous of the Pats and they wouldn’t cheat, they’ve never done anything wrong.    
Oh, wait a minute.
Everyone has an opinion.  Everyone is sharing their opinion.  Everyone is talking about it, even if they’re saying they’re sick of talking about it.
So why is this so good for Bills fans?
Because ordinarily, Super Bowl week is our week of hell.  You can’t turn on a sports network or go to a website without seeing stories about the greatest Super Bowls ever, which means seeing Wide Right every 22.7 minutes.  Or the biggest Super Bowl goats of all time, which means seeing Wide Right every 22.7 minutes.  Or the biggest Super Bowl disappointments of all time, which means seeing Wide Right every 22.7 minutes.
Okay, you get the idea.  This is also the week we see Leon Lett, Thurman’s helmet, and of course Jimmy Johnson’s hair being mussed up.
Usually it’s a week-long trip down a memory lane loaded with heartache and heartburn.
An annual reminder of our four straight losses.
Although, 20 years later, the accomplishment of getting there four straight years, bouncing back after every disappointment, does get as much if not more recognition than the four straight losses.
Every year, this week is a constant barrage of bad memories.
But not this year.   Maybe I’ve missed it, but I haven’t seen as much as usual.
And that’s because all this hot air about air in footballs has taken up so much of the airwaves.
So thank you Patriots.
And speaking of the game…..could anyone be less excited?  Other than Patriots and Seahawks fans, does anyone in America like either of these teams?
Usually we have a team to root for, or one to root against.
But as a Bills fan, what are our options?
We know we can’t root for the Patriots.  It’s against every fiber of our being.
Which leaves Seattle.  The lesser of two evils.  Evil being the key word.
Pete Carroll.  Slimy, arrogant, obnoxious Pete Carroll. 
And then there’s Marshawn Lynch.   He may be playing at a Hall of Fame level right now, but when he was here, he was in our Hall of Shame.  The hit and run.  The gun in the trunk.  The restaurant incident.
When he was traded, did anyone really think he wouldn’t end up suspended again or worse?
Instead, he’s a bigger punk on a bigger stage.  And he could get his second Super Bowl ring…assuming he hasn’t lost the first one fleeing the scene of a crime.  That would give him as many as Elway.  One more than Peyton Manning, or Walter Payton.
Personally, I don’t want either team to win.  My best-case scenario is a giant sinkhole opening up at the stadium and swallowing both teams.  (Of course it’s far more likely that a sinkhole would only open up on the Seahawks side, and the Patriots’ ballboy will be seen running from the stadium with a shovel and Tom Brady will admit that he likes soft dirt)
But however the game turns out, we all owe the Patriots a big thank you.
It’s actually been a fun week.   
For a change.