Common People

by Ryan

There was a mist hovering above the stadium tonight that had nothing to do with Mother Nature. From outside it was pretty cool to see, and as the night went on it only intensified. Yet at the game’s close I looked up at it and thought to myself:

There is no God.

This game wasn’t just about Rian Lindell, but that field goal is going to forever stick in my mind. That football drifting to the right was a true punch to the stomach, and after over three hours of screaming and yelling and making jokes about Antowain Smith, all I could do is slump into my seat and sit there. I wanted to just lay there for a while and feel better, but that moment never came.

The mist I mentioned earlier, that was from the heat of over 72,000 people doing everything they could to keep their season alive. For a while there it looked shaky, but it sure did look like it was going to happen in the end. We had them. Twice. But in the back of your mind you knew something had to give, and right on que Rian kicked it all to hell.

There are a lot of people to blame for tonight. Trent Edwards probably had the worst game of his career, while Marshawn Lynch probably had the best. The defense didn’t do much, and I can’t even address how open Lee Evans was at times tonight without wanting to burn churches. However, I’ll save these points for a time when all that bile in my body recedes to where it should be.

Last year’s Monday Night Football game had a similar ending, but for me the two games felt completely different. There was nothing but pride on the line against Dallas, and while that loss was shocking, having that shock factor softened the blow in a way. This year, however, Buffalo took everything on the field and fell short in a spectacular matter.

But, because it was right there, tonight felt so much worse. I’ve never witnessed a moment in sports that made me want to curl up on a freezing metal bench and just forget about the world. Tonight my sports fandom knocked me off my own feet, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. You’re not supposed to take things that seriously, right? It’s not supposed to mean that much. But it does, and that’s what keeps you coming back.

After games like this you have to look at what brought you here and ask if it was worth it. What is it worth to sit this close and feel this much and hurt so badly?

I can’t really answer any of those questions, but I know it’s not going to end anytime soon. The Bills are 5-5 and the their quarterback can’t see past ten yards. All that playoff talk a few weeks ago has become just another cloud of mist hovering over us. So maybe there is a God, or maybe not. The one thing I do know is that I’ll be back on Sunday. If there is a religion in this town it is sports, even when the pastor can’t preach and the collection is corrupt. Into the fog we go, once again.

Because there’s nothing else to do.

4 Comments

  1. Zach

    Can we stop having primetime games again. The Bills have not won a primetime game, Saturday night, Sunday night, or Monday night, in a decade. Yes thats right a DECADE. We have lost to really good teams and really bad teams under the lights.

    I’m glad to see that we cannot do anything.

  2. Matty Dubs

    Ryan, you echo a lot of what I was feeling when I went to bed last night, what I felt waking up 6 hours later, and what I feel now when I should be doing work.

    I mentioned to my wife this morning that being a Bills fan is always like this, that I’m sick of this shit year after year. She is much less interested in the topic – surprise – and she mentioned that maybe I would want to start following some of the NY City teams. We’re committed to living down here for a few more years, she said, and it would probably make football a little more fun. Part of me wants to take her advice and pack it in.

    But, this is what we do. We stick it out for years not because we have any realistic hope that it will happen this year, but only that it has to happen someday. It just has to. And when it does, we don’t want to look back and wish we still felt connected to the Bills, wish we had toughed it out with our buddies in a way that makes us feel like we earned it. Because that’s all we can do from the stands, from our couch. We pray like it makes a difference, we yell at coaches and take credit when they take our advice, and we wait.

    This morning feels awful. But, it doesn’t feel as bad as a championship would feel if I let myself sell out to a new team.

  3. firsttimelongtime

    Aren’t you a little bit young to be making “Pulp” allusions?

  4. Jael

    Word.

    Word word word.

    Sometimes I really, REALLY wish my parents had never moved to Buffalo when I was eleven. I would be a fan of the Yankees/Red Sox, Giants/Patriots, and Bruins/Rangers/Islanders. ….Sigh.