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The Meaning of Losing



The Buffalo Bills lost their second game of the season to the New York Jets. A simple meander throughout any of the Bills Mafia content shows that a portion of our fanbase has forgotten how to properly lose, and many have a misunderstanding on what it means to lose.

Everybody Loses Games

Early on this season, we witnessed the Bills throttle some high caliber football clubs in the Rams and the Titians. Since then, a majority of our games have been relatively close. This is known as “the norm”. The Bills may make you forget, but it is abnormal to annihilate your opponent in this league. This leads me into my belief on expectations.

If you are expecting the Buffalo Bills to dominate every team they face, you are going to be disappointed more often than not. How you personally choose to consume football is your own responsibility and I’m not here to tell you otherwise, but you’re setting yourself up for a long season if every close game feels disappointing because we aren’t burning through the entire league. Simply put, we are human beings watching a game played by other human beings. Human error and luck are part of what makes the sport endearing. With that, comes an inability to obtain consistent perfection. And that is perfectly okay.

The 1972 Miami Dolphins football team is still relevant a million years later because of how ridiculous of a feat an undefeated season truly is. Football is a game in which luck plays a sizable role. Neither team has control over how a ball bounces. Football is truly a game of inches, and that can often be a difference in a football game.

What Does It Mean to Lose?

What does it mean to lose in this league? We are privileged enough to root for a team that has a high standard of winning. We all expect them to win every week because we are good enough as a team to beat any of the 31 other NFL teams. At the end of the day however, the NFL is a week to week, matchup based league. How the team you share a field with in a given week matches up to your strengths and weaknesses means more than their record. Losses hold a hidden value throughout the course of a season.

Witnessing the Buffalo Bills struggle the last six quarters of football is both discouraging and encouraging to me. We played our worst six quarters of the year, and are 1-1 over these two games and lost by three points. There is much reason to believe that, as our team gets healthier, coupled with a likely step back to normalcy from the QB position, that our team will improve. There is also now tape that can demonstrate our mistakes, and serve as something to learn from. Losing is not fun. Losing sucks. But losing is also valuable in this league. As I discussed earlier, the ‘72 Dolphins are such an anomaly because they never had to endure the in-season lesson of losing. They are quite literally the only team that will (likely) ever be able to say that.

At the end of the day, a bad three point loss in November does not define a team. There is zero reason to panic. The Jets outplayed us in the game, so credit to them, but at the end of the day we also beat ourselves. These things have to be cleaned up. I have full faith that this organization will right the ship going forward. That being said, you do not want to play your best football in October/November. Remember when the Steelers went 11-0 a few years back and fell apart when it matters most? This organization is focused on winning a championship. Losing a game in November does not change that.

Featured Image: AP Photo/John Minchillo

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