Annnnnnnnnnd, we're here. Yet another proctologist's appointment appearing before our eyes despite our firm belief that, no, this can't be right, we actually scheduled a pleasant $45 Chinatown rubdown, what the fuck happened?.
As if it was ever going to be different.
We Bills fans love storybook scenarios. Of course they always end up falling apart in a fiery blaze before our increasingly weary eyes, but we love them all the same. We love wins, but we won't be buying those wins dinner and some over-priced gelato unless the wins follow a pre-selected script and satisfy our need for that story at the same time they toss another game in the W column. Sometimes I wonder whether the win is secondary to the story; whether we like the story because we can live it out for a full week before kickoff and we can enjoy that week without remorse, regardless of outcome. Whether we like it most because it's more within our control; because we can live five or six days with the agency that we so lack when it actually comes time for Sunday afternoon.
Last week was one of those weeks - a week where fans were so convinced that the corner has been turned and is firmly in our rear view, where fans got the national media on board and some jamoke that even the #BillsMafia couldn't stand raised eight grand and got Guinness in the house because we weren't just convinced of our team's forthcoming success, but also of our own unflappable superiority as a gathered mass of frantic noise and endless, unceasing devotion.
And, of course, yesterday was one of those games - a game that stuck to the script for only a few fleeting minutes, that cultivated hope only briefly, and that left us to watch with bloodshot eyes that familiar dance of fire and metal and anger and fat, drunk men passing out at their seats as the Hindenburg of our hubris came crashing down, exploding the narrative for all the world to see.
The fact that we haven't realized that the only plausible story when this team of ours plays a Belichick-coached, Brady-quarterbacked Patriots team is a story of death and destruction is a curious bit of trivia destined to be the topic of a short segment in the History Channel's series Sports: The Lower Dose Opiate of the People, which is reportedly set for production in 2025.
Anything good we can take from the game gets snatched up and re-purposed for this week's story. Anything good we can take from the game had little utility to the game itself, so we recycle and reuse and manufacture hope that our Bills can reduce their unshakable, ongoing propensity for moments of moral victories and little else.
So, shall we?
Things I did not like:
2. The defensive line. Yet another game against the Pats with a defensive line purported to be elite. Top 10, Top 5, Top 3. I think Dareus said on Instagram they expect to be the best in football. However ambitiously we choose to define it, the implicit suggestion in all this we're-still-talkin-bout-them-Bills grandstanding- particularly after dominant performances against Aaron Rodgers last year and Andrew Luck last week - is that this is a front four that gets to the QB and fucks. shit. up. Fucking hell, though, if this supposed-to-be-dominant defensive line can be schemed around by a team you play twice a year with the same coach and quarterback that you've been seeing for my entire adult life, I got no choice but to be perplexed. At a certain point, the failure of this club to figure out Brady becomes inescapably embarrassing, and we passed that point years ago. We're in an endless loop that is equal parts the unfunny bits of Groundhog Day, the bloody bits of Edge of Tomorrow, the Brad Pitt bits of 12 Monkeys, and all the awkward bits of The Fappening. Whether it was coaching or whether it was the most well-paid unit that's never won shit playing like it, I'll leave the cogent, certain analysis for people that know things. Me? I saw a front four still incapable of solving the only Rubik's Cube that matters, but I like the players and hope they make billions of dollars just to get Jerry Sullivan angry with a burning flame of white fear, so I'll blame the guys on the sideline. How's that for a storyline?
3. Aaron Williams getting taken off the field in ambulance. Football is so fucking dangerous and we are so fucking dumb for liking it. That he seems to be ok - whether able to play football soon or not, who cares, he's alive and has movement in his extremities - is basically the best thing about yesterday's game. Hope he's ok and hope he gets to take the field real soon so that he can redeem himself for the wretched personal fouls he committed and then immediately retire and stay safe for the rest of his life.
Things I liked:
1. This guy:
The only issue is that he needs to go all in. Nothing more indecisive than a guy who doesn't know he needs a power nap when millions of people watching on TV know he does. I can only assume that this guy was down for the count when Buffalo mounted its 4th quarter comeback and deserves our thanks for giving us the late, too little burst of superstition and excitement. Stay home next home game, Big Guy. Better yet, sleep. Forever.
2. That comeback. TyGOD seemed to get it together late and did some good things to get the team back in it. Enough good play to drive our hope train to Miami next week ... not enough good bits to get the game to OT.
Same as it ever was.
Also, related: CATCH. THE. BALL. SAMMY. It's the only reason you're here and the only reason someone thought you were worth two first-rounders.
3. Everything that happened after 5pm.
Red Bulls won, putting them in the driver seat for the Supporters Shield and home field advantage throughout the MLS Cup Playoffs that they will surely not have success in. This goal, man:
Madden16 is rad AF and I am awful at it. Still can't stop laughing at the high frequency of offensive line holding, defensive holding, offensive pass interference and defensive pass interference penalties for our Buffalo Bills. Spot on AI, true to life.
The Emmys were pretty fun and some shows I like and some shows I want to watch because I think I'll like won some awards. Andy Samberg had some hilarious moments, Gaby Hoffman looked on the verge of a seizure for the entire night (in a good way, I guess?), Peter Dinklage's man bun should win some award for man buns, a lot of people threw well-deserved shade at Donald Trump, and a couple award-winners spoke to trans rights issues that continue to plague the landscape of equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. Incidentally, the Fourteenth, written and ratified in the wake of the Civil War despite massive opposition from the South, is now under attack by wide swaths of the GOP (including the aforementioned Donald) while we're also being told that the ongoing popularity of the Confederate Battle Flag, the emblem of those states that lost the war and the argument, is about "heritage not hate."
This shit is not an accident.
Beer of the Week:
️Scizz gets a cocktail, I get a calorie-filled brew. He's a skinny dude who doesn't have any kids, I'm a fat dad who doesn't get enough sleep and is fragile around hard liquor.
/looks in fridge
/clicks on "drunk," "beer," "hungover" and "podcasts" tags on right column.
Barrister's Graphic Novel Reading List:
In the spirit of Scizz's burgeoning preview and its myriad subsections, I'm branching out, too. Our public library carries a bunch of rad graphic novels and after re-reading my first entry into this series of recommendations, I am determined to re-acquaint myself with the genre I've barely touched since college.
Barrister's Fuck! this Isn't a Picture Book! Reading List:
American Psycho. Another book that had a less-than-stellar movie adaptation that may have turned people off to giving the book a go. Another book that contemplates humanity's many faults. This is a theme with me, if you didn't know. Yachtsman calls it my "white shame," I call it "paying attention."
If you haven't read, you should. Right away. It's what I imagine Christian conservatives think Fifty Shades of Grey is about, which means it's incredibly disturbing and violent and makes the disturbed individuals among us (Hi!) laugh as we contemplate the absurdity of life's journey and how much we hate everyone. It's a love letter to the vanity we outwardly show, signed by the malice we inwardly, quietly crave.
The best fucking book for the week after a Pats game.
Music to Settle Your Mind After a Bills Loss:
Crosby Stills & Nash. They don't need my advocacy, not by a mile, but let this serve as a reminder that CSN holds up, especially if you're self-medicating on a Sunday evening and/or Monday morning. Which you were, I hope.
If you have time, their full MTV unplugged is on YouTube and it's amazing, but in the meantime here are some feelings, briefly.
Helplessly hope all you want, Bills fans. It makes for a good story however it ends up.