“Winter winds they do blow cold, The time of year, it is chosen. Now, the frost and fire, And now the sea is frozen. He who sleeps, he does not see The coming of the seasons, The filling of a dream. Without a time to reason.” -Fotheringay
“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Jack frost nipping at your nose. Yuletide carols being sung by a choir.
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.” –Nat “King” Cole
“Blame it on the rain that was falling, falling. Blame it on the stars that didn’t shine that night. Whatever you do, don’t put the blame on you. Blame it on the rain, yeah, yeah. You can blame it on the rain.” –Milli Vanilli
I initially encompassed the lyrics above because of the impact Mother Nature played in Orchard Park Monday night. FOR BOTH TEAMS.
Pardon my recapitulation giving prominence to “FOR BOTH TEAMS”.
Then a lightbulb flickered on in my dome. Not a bright Halogen or fancy CFL bulb. Nothing luminous like a fluorescent or a modern LED bulb. We are talking about an old fashioned Thomas Edison experimental, incandescent bulb near moments prior to burning out.
What dominated my thoughts momentarily was how the late ‘80s German dance-pop group Milli Vanilli were exposed for not being the real vocal performers on their records and at concerts. Have the Buffalo Bills been “exposed” multiple times this season as fraudulent Super Bowl contenders? On paper, they took a 13-3 team and filled in the blanks where needed. This made many people pick them to win the AFC this season and potentially the Super Bowl.
The perfect progression does not always happen in the exact order as we would anticipate. On paper, you fabricate your team and let players’ age and youth blend together with chemistry and unmitigated coaching, teaching, and training.
A How-To-Build-A-Winner-For-Dummies publication would dictate “progression” as incremental: Drafting high after missing the playoffs for a short time, then a wildcard berth, then a division title, and, eventually, the Super Bowl. Sounds great? Many teams do not take the steps in perfect order and some have one or two great years and regress. Injuries, combined with other teams being more prepared for your team, plays a factor in the actual results.
“We haven’t proven we’re a Super Bowl-caliber team because we haven’t beaten the teams we’re supposed to beat.” –Ozzie Newsome
Keep in mind that, during the Almost-A-Dynasty years, the Buffalo Bills built themselves up to that incredible 12-4 season in 1988 (right around the Milli Vanilli era). That team progressed to the AFC Championship game, where they lost to Icky Woods and the Cincinnati Bengals. The logic of team-building progression would indicate Buffalo would take the next step the following season. Instead, the “Bickering Bills” had to sneak in to the playoffs as a wild card with a 9-7 record. They proceeded to lose to the Cleveland Browns with the famous Ronnie Harmon dropped ball and headed to the bus to grab their golf clubs.
“I don‘t think there was an iota of difference from top to bottom among those eight or seven. The last three years, it’s been so competitive that just the slightest little blip on the radar screen can cause you to turn over.” –Bill Polian
It was after that season of contrivances, maturing, and modifications that the Bills came out. The following season, they dominated with a 13-3 record and destroyed the Raiders 51-3 on the way to their first of four straight Super Bowls.
“Buffalo? Buffalo? Did I play with Buffalo? That’s been so long ago, I don’t even think about it anymore.” -Chris Burkett (as he put his hand to his temple in a mock attempt to jog his memory after a practice with the Jets preparing for a game against the Bills.)
I highly doubt that history will repeat itself, but my point is that they could miss the playoffs this season. The Bills could sneak in as a wild card and lose the first playoff game. They could ride a wild card berth all the way to a world title if they peak at the right time. Losing Tre White for the season is a really huge loss, but great teams win with depth. So let’s get positive. May the Buffalo Bills find new life like the patron saint of sports, Saint Sebastián. Saint Sebastian was named the patron of sports because he was extremely fit and able to withstand long physical endurance.
“Complicating, circulating. New life, new life. Operating, generating. New life, new life.” –Depeche Mode
That’s why they play the games, right?
Things we know about the Buffalo Bills this week:
Buffalo’s lone TD came off a punt that grazed the Patriots’ returner and Siran Neal fell on it setting Josh Allen up for a score to Gabriel Davis. Buffalo did successfully reach the red zone again, but effectiveness was obviously lacking when they got there.
Bills Mafia/Buffalo Fanatics
Buffalo Bills fans honor injured NFL player Tre’Davious White with $100K Food Bank Donation. “I am at a loss for words for what the Bills Mafia has done for me and my hometown.” – Tre’Davious White.
No Tom Brady
Mac Jones’ three pass attempts Monday night were the fewest by a quarterback in a win since 1991. At one point, New England had 32 straight running plays.