According to the sheet of weekly football picks handed to me at work today, the Buffalo Bills are getting nine points at home against the New England Patriots. The only other home team coming even close to being that large of an underdog are the Indianapolis Colts getting eleven points at home while hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers.
I know nothing of gambling, but I take these numbers to show an indicator of present stature within the National Football League of the teams involved. The Bills, for all of their injuries to the wide receiver position, are doing okay. 2-0, right? Plus a quarterback who is slinging it all over the place. With all of this, most people still think they will lose by two possessions at home. I’m trying to decide if this is due to the Bills having earned little respect for their wins so far or if this is due to New England, and more specifically Tom Brady, looking like Luke Skywalker in an X-Wing. I’m currently inclined to think its the later. Darth Vader is getting all sorts of vibes while trailing this guy, Obi Wan all up in his head set telling him to let go. Not easy to be manning the trench turrets with him rolling in. But this isn’t Notre Dame, and you don’t get to cherry pick who you play. The Bills are stuck with Rouge Squadron and have to figure a way out of this mess.
Predicting the specific outcomes of NFL games is a fool’s errand, so I will not venture to guess on how this one will go, but it is entirely within the realm of possibility that Brady will throw for 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is playing very well. Ryan Fitzpatrick is as well, however, and when your quarterback is feeling it you have a fighting chance on any day. Fitzpatrick will be the key player on Sunday, as the Bills offense flows through him. The consequences of Sunday on his career, this Bills team, and the sports mentality of this city hang in the balance.
New England has placed itself firmly in between the left and right portions of our football minds. They own the Bills without question. Little to no hope of competing on a season long scale with them was the order of this season, and yet here they are with an opportunity to win a game and take possession of first place in the AFC East. Do we dare dream? Do we allow ourselves the hope of resurrection as a viable football franchise. If we give any reasonable amount of legitimacy to our Sunday pursuits, we must open ourselves to the chance of success. We have to be vulnerable. We can’t win big if we are afraid to lose big at life and love. BUFFALO BILLS WE WANT TO LOVE YOU BUT WEVE BEEN HURT SO MANY TIMES.
I get carried away. We don’t do this often in football anymore, and by this I mean mattering a damn. Its nerve racking and exhausting, but damn have I missed it.
What the hell is the matter with me? Why do I expose myself to this kind of stress? That fourth quarter against Oakland physically tired me out. I was limp through the four o’clock affairs because of what those Bills took out of me. I eat a lot of cholesterol, guys. I don’t know how much more of this I can stand.
I sat watching last Sunday’s game going through all sorts of emotions on the sports rollercoaster – boredom, excitement, anxiety, anxiety, and anxiety. I’ve been known to don the hoodies and pull the drawstrings tight during athletic events. I can get anxious. When I play the final puzzle on Wheel I always take the ‘A’ ‘N’ and ‘X’. I am not normal.
Man it’s nice to have this back. I’ll be watching Sunday from the safe and friendly confines of a fabric shroud of protection. Go team! Oh God!