Twelve hours ago I woke up to a world that was exactly the same as I had left it three hours before. The sky was clear, it was lukewarm outside. It was by all accounts a perfect day for football. In the span of twelve hours, it has rained and become sunny again. Twelve and a half football games have been played.
Everything was different.
I have never seen a perfect football game. Today was not a perfect football game, but only because it rained at times. The Bills went out and did everything right, and I simply did not expect this. A 34-10 win on opening day against the NFC West champs was never in the realm of possibilities when I considered outcomes today, and when you compile that with the other news around the league you immediately alter your expectations for this year.
Where was the moment it hit you? For me it was the first touchdown. Marshawn Lynch on a 3rd and 11 runs for a 21 yard score. It was a stunning play call, and one that I can’t remember seeing executed in some time. In fact, I haven’t seen things move so well in a very, very long time.
The defense was formidable, the offensive line performed well, the running backs hit their spots for the most part, and Trent Edwards played well when he was asked to. Roscoe made some fantastic moves on that punt return, and Moorman was spectacular even with the weather. That was the entire game in a nutshell. Everyone did their job, and they won by four scores as a result.
But there was more than that, wasn’t there? There was an energy in the building that I haven’t felt in a long time. We were a superior team today, and there was absolutely no question about that fact in anyone’s mind. That puts you in an interesting mood, and you can cheer that much louder when you know how good you can be.
After that Moorman touchdown pass and the fumble, I had a new feeling take hold of me. That “take on the world” feeling a big momentum swing can bring. But it was more than that. The Seahawks were talked about. Seattle is a “good team”, and I wanted to see that team get destroyed. Kill them. Hurt their pride, burn their 12th man flag, and send their bald, Chunky Soup eating quarterback back to the West Coast in plaster.
Screw your team. Screw your fans. Screw your queer little flag. This is our team and we are flat out better. Take your beating and get the hell out of our stadium. It may not have actually happened, but I felt like Tyler beating the blond kid in Fight Club. I wanted to breathe smoke.
And then there was that text message. The news that rumbled through the crowd. By halftime everyone was cheering when the highlights started because they knew it was coming. When Tom Brady got a helmet applied to his knee, the crowd absolutely exploded. It was mass schadenfreude hysteria, and it felt wonderful. Tom Brady is out for the year, and suddenly the AFC East is wide open.
It changes absolutely everything. It doesn’t even matter if they go on to win the Super Bowl this year or are just as good as ever. Tom Brady is never going to be the same, and that makes us all better people. Seriously.
For the rest of his life he will have that fear in the back of his mind. Every snap. Every play. For the rest of his life, he will have one singular truth we all now know: he is mortal. Tom Brady is officially human and he knows it. And that f#@king rules.
Now say it with me everyone. It’s just one week. Seattle was hit with injuries. Let’s see how well they play on the road. It’s probably just a fluke. Trust me, I’m with you. Still, the Buffalo Bills lived up to that insane preseason hype we attach to every season, and you can’t say that every year. I’m not saying they will make the playoffs, and I’m certainly not saying they will win the division; but I sure as hell know the New York Jets are NOT the best team in the AFC East.
In the tunnel end zone there is a sign that reads “Believe in Now”.
So far, I can’t see a reason not to.