I want to stick around the spring of hope that we suddenly stumbled upon these last couple weeks. I really do. There’s nothing I want more than to wait out this short week between games, watch the Bills play the Dolphins and hold onto this rare, stubborn feeling for another week or two. Our Bills are not mathematically eliminated. The task is not impossible. Maybe the current state-of-things-and-numbers should be enough to keep us all around the water cooler with more than a little bit of optimism. The Bills are still in the mix! It’s November! Any Given Sunday!
We’ve seen this movie before, and no matter how many times you tell yourself that things can’t go down like this every fucking time, it just doesn’t matter. There's always one thing or another that creeps into frame and ensures that success will remain just out of reach.
We knew this was coming, I suppose, but it hurts just as much.
Others will break down what went wrong yesterday, and you can go read them. I’m just too fucking sad today and can’t find much energy to make jokes while telling you what you already know about the Chiefs win in Orchard Park.
Watching Bills football has been fun this year, despite where we’re at right now. And it will probably be fun over the course of the next few weeks, and the team may even tease a little more optimism out of our eager tweeting fingers and blogging hands. This is a team that is incredibly enjoyable to watch, regardless of the persisting faults in areas here (the offensive line) and there (the other side of the offensive line). It’s a team built on immense talent, a top tier defense, and a real apparent desire of players to win in and for Buffalo.
Even so, watching Bills football has been fucking maddening this year. And it will most assuredly be maddening right through Week 17. Set against a roster with overflowing talent and skill and desire and sheer likeability, the broader Buffalo Bills franchise has been all-too-willing to forfeit that abundance of quality through a persistent lack of quality amongst the men really in charge. Compounding the unavoidable mistakes inherent in sport and the physics of its execution are the unacceptable decisions of a Head Coach deserving nothing more or less than the label of “coward.”
We have at our disposal, as consumers of this particular entertainment product, honest-to-God sports heroes playing for our Buffalo Bills. Heroes because of their persisting desire to succeed for us despite the significant bodily risks attendant that endeavor, but even more so for what they have been able to accomplish in spite of the cowardice of their Head Coach.
Catching a football is not always an easy task. Throwing a ball on a dime 30 yards down the field is hard. Blocking and running and tackling and working on a football field, all the while trying to keep your body intact for fear of pain and financial heartbreak and the scorn of fans quick to label you weak should you get hurt too often … all of this is hard.
Which isn’t to say that the demands of being a Head Coach in the NFL are not hard. But let’s not fucking kid ourselves.
Doug Marrone owes his players – these men who have risked everything while Marrone stands on the sidelines adorned in shitty khakis and a vacant face – far more than the cowardice he has displayed.
It’s about time we stop pretending that there’s all that much grey area in terms of assessing the quality of decisions being made by the Head Coach of the Buffalo Bills. Our guys are out there killing themselves to win for us, playing the most dangerous professional sport on earth. The least we can do as we start the long process of giving up whatever hope we allowed ourselves is stand up and start demanding a Head Coach that honors these players in some discernible way. Doug Marrone simply hasn't.