It's been quiet here of late. The Scizz, typically dependable for frequent musings on the trashy side of sports and entertainment, was on vacation last week and into this one. He's truly blessed with good luck, as he'll get the chance to be hit by Irene twice as a result of these travels. Good job, buddy. Serves you right for your hiatus.
I, too, have been quiet, as I was forced into submission - finally - by the needs of my first trial this past week. I had the urge to write Tuesday night, inspired by the bizarre events of that afternoon... dramatically giving my closing argument only to feel the earth shake below us minutes later, leaving me with a lingering sense of wonder at how we, as people, choose to live our lives when confronted with a daily threat of diaster - both by acts of man and God (if you believe in that sort of thing...which I do sometimes, depening on the day). Without going into the entirety of those thoughts I was having after the quake while waiting for the jury to render its verdict, I do think it bears mentioning that it is truly something special that we so routinely choose to seek out shared moments of joy and hope through sport, even when a life of self-preservation above all else might be the smarter move. Smart we are not, but committed to seeking joy we always are.
In any event, the trial is now over and, victory in hand, I have opted to take today off and be productive with non-work-related things, including ending DGWU's lull in content. And, as New York City and the Atlantic Coast prepare for what may be one of the worst storms to hit this area in the past 50 years, Mother Nature provides a suitable theme to at least focus some of the thoughts going through my head as we enter the weekend.
Of course, I'll be talking about our Buffalo Bills.
“I feel like a No. 1 back, and I should be treated like one. As far as what’s going on, you would have to ask them. I’m going to come out here and compete. I feel like I have been competing. I feel like I have done everything I can. It’s been like that for two or three years, and nothing has changed.”
Freddie, you're right. Nothing has changed. Same old hapless Bills. Why would any of us excpect talent and productivity to be fairly and objectively evaluated? (Though, to be fair, Freddie's a #1 back on a shit football team. He's being treated like a #1 back on a shit football team, and that's part of the problem...but, I digress).
Listen, I get that CJ Spiller needs touches in preseason. In fact, I think it's completely appropriate that he gets most of the touches during preseason, because he needs some work. Everytime I see him run the ball, it's a disaster, and I figure it has to get better with work, right? But, with all that being the case, how is it that Chan hasn't made it abundantly clear to Freddie that he's the #1 RB? How is it that Tim Graham from the Buffalo News has heard that it's Spiller's job to lose? WTFFFFF. Even if CJ has a great preseason - which has already been shown not to be the case - the changing of the guard can't happen until he shows it during real games, and until that happens Freddie has to be your guy. He's been one of the only bright spots on this team over the past couple years, not to mention that he's a fan favorite and is one of the hardest working guys on the team. He has earned everything he's gotten in the league including the respect of everyone in that locker room - I mean, hell, I feel like I'm in crazy town that I even have to write this. Think back to those off-season, player-run workouts. Fredie was there, CJ was not. THAT MATTERS. If CJ is the future, fine, no argument. But why put the cart before the horse? Why not, at a mimimum, promise Freddie equal touches going into the season, as so many teams are successfully using multiple backs on individual Sundays these days?
This is turning into a serious morale issue, and it just shouldn't be. The only thing the Bills ever have to bank on is that they're underdogs who, despite being so overmatched in talent and skill, want it more than their opponent. With these reports coming out of camp, it looks like Chan might be losing that x-factor as well.
Contibuting to this is the fact that it comes on the heels of Lee Evans's trade to the Ravens. Honestly, I didn't mind this deal when it came down a couple weeks ago - Evans was barely productive last year and, while he was an asset in terms of drawing double coverage, I wanted to believe that this reason was not enough to keep him. However, after seeing the shit with Freddie this week, and after seeing Evans tear up the secondary in the Ravens' latest preseason game, my gut is telling me that Evans wasn't useless, he just wasn't being used. An under-utilized talent on the field, probably due in large part to the chemistry that Fitzpatrick and Stevie Johnson had developed in their second team roles on the practice squad, it may soon become apparent that the issue with Evans was not his waning effecitiveness on the field, but the Bills' waning effectiveness in getting him the goddamn ball. If Evans has a decent year - 10 touchdowns, say - it will prove what the rest of the league knows about Buffalo...that this Bills team is an embarassment. And, as soon as that happens, the players in the locker room will start to feel it, too. What we all want to be a two or three year project will get extended yet again, and we may not see a playoff team for five years or more.
Like many Bills fans, I was really looking forward to this season. I liked what Chan Gailey did last year, and I thought the team had a pretty good draft. Things were looking up. These days, though, I'm yearning for those days of locked out football when we didn't have to dread another season of embarassment for our team, our fanbase and our City.
Let's Go Buffalo?