Sometimes it's really hard, inexplicably hard, to tell whether a moment in our lives really feels different than the ones that came before it, or whether we just want to believe it does for sanity's sake; whether it feels different because of objective facts available to us, or because our subjectivity refracts the available facts to such an extent that we can't help but believe; whether, right here right now, this past Sunday and the forthcoming autumn of 2015 was and is and will be actually, really, truly, objectively different than the morass of turd we've waded through this millennium, or whether we've simply begun yet another another revival of the one-act play we've written in the collective think tank of Bills fans incapable of not simply squeezing the most fun out of whatever it is we got.
We've been here before, surely, but the past informs our present and while it may be foolish to think too seriously about how this feels different than other teams and other hot starts to a season, here we are on a September Monday with a palpable sense that a change is gonna come. Indeed, it already has. - Me, September 15, 2014
Alas. I always go the other way when it's September.
Objectively, we have a lot of facts available to us that can't be dismissed. The team's ownership is now vested in a new family with vision and resources that haven't been available to the club, well, ever. Their ownership was enabled by one last redeeming act of the club's previous owner, a man so entrenched in days-gone-by that we could not escape the fact that our Bills were always going to be a dozen steps behind as the NFL modernized into its current form of capitalist, monolith juggernaut; a man whose last mic drop was to ensure the Bills stayed in Buffalo and the wealth gleaned from the team's sale would be charitable in its purpose.
Those facts aside, we remain in a place all-too-familiar: a place of hope without complete reassurance; with optimism based on small sample sizes; with the feeling of progress and the belief in enough rain to end the godforsaken drought we've had. All of it so fucking familiar and very possibly driven more by our persistent need for the sensation of belief than the team's actual capacity to sustain it.
Then again, maybe not.
Holy shit was that belief rewarded.
THINGS I LIKED:
2. TyGod. Serviceable is an understatement. The guy has played four games for the Bills and has yet to throw a pick. On a team with a dominant defense capable of creating multiple +1s in the takeaway/giveaway column of a stat sheet, having a QB capable of protecting the football and ensuring rare -1s in that column is massive. That he is capable of that while also creating beautiful moments of football clarity? Man. He may not be the Bills QB of the future, but I'm more than happy to watch him play as the QB of right fucking now.
3. Old friends. I had a fucking time on Sunday. Fucking hell. My parents moved twice after I graduated high school - once out of Buffalo to East Aurora and then, later, to the Boston area. Both of these moves made it a lot harder to keep in touch with high school friends and a lot harder for me to get to games in Orchard Park pretty much ever. To have the chance to get back to a game after 11 years and tailgate with a lot of friends I haven't seen much (if at all) since we graduated in 2000 was insanity. I've written a lot here over the last four years about being an expat and about the way Buffalo sports allow me to feel more at ease in unfamiliar places and about how being from Buffalo tends to create unmistakable ties with people you've never met but come from the region I left in 2000 yet I still call home. It was never more obvious than it was Sunday. Let's do it again real soon, friends.
THINGS I DID NOT LIKE:
2. The Bills offensive line on the run. I am told this was a problem. I dunno, it looked ok, but I guess people expect the running game to be the best part of the Bills offense and they're searching for ways to find that post-game comfort zone of complaining about this that or the other? Who knows. The running stats back this up so I will allow it, but really this line item is more about people that look a gift horse in the mouth, smack said mouth and ruin this good natural high I got going on.
3. St. Anthony. Saint of Finding Things MY ASS. Fuck that guy. Thinks he's so fucking great but (a) where are my house keys, asshole? (b) where is the lid to my pax, asshole? What a dick.