Some people are fans of the Buffalo Bills. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Buffalo Bills. This 2009 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group.
1. The K-Gun is back! Wait, who's the QB? FUCK. I'm totally jazzed that the Bills have decided to bring back the nonstop no huddle offense. Because if you're going to go three-and-out, why waste time? Seriously though, the Bills had one of the most exciting offenses in league history during the early 1990's, Super Bowl losses aside. I remember when the K-Gun was first introduced, and you could see some of the defenses reacting like, "Whoa, wait a second. They're not huddling! They're not letting us rest! That should be, like, illegal and shit!" It was a blast to watch, and it always saddened me that so few other teams have had the stones to do it since. Running the K-Gun means entrusting all play-calling duties to your QB, and no head coach outside of Indy could ever possibly allow that. No, no. We'd hate to macromanage a team like that.
So the K-Gun is back this year in Buffalo, and that SOUNDS like a promising development. Until you see that the guy pulling the trigger is an average-in-every-way player destined to become a journeyman, bouncing from team to team like so many Chris Millers. While head coaches are wrong to not sometimes hand the fate of their offense over to the QB, they're justified in NOT handing it over to someone like Trent Edwards, who has all the authority of a ferris wheel operator. AND the team traded their left tackle in the offseason. So you're trying to duplicate the glory of the team's 1990's offense with a shaky o-line and an average QB. This can't end well. Against the Packers last week, the first team offense (minus TO) turned the ball over four times in the first half and gained 87 total yards. Not a single drive went longer than six plays. Edwards' passer rating for the game was 34.3. I AM USING STATS TO MAKE A PRESCIENT OBSERVATION. By October, they'll be huddling once more, reverting back to the faceless, utterly bland Bills teams of the 2000's to which you've become so accustomed.
2. Offense aside, those 1990's teams were really fucking annoying. Let's face it, by that second Super Bowl loss to Washington, I think we had all had just about enough of the Bills dominating the AFC. That team, at the time, had an unusual habit of pulling every important AFC game of their asses, right before heading to the Super Bowl and shitting the bed. The worst of these, of course, was the big comeback against the Oilers. That was a really good Oilers team. I would have liked to see what they would have done if they had gone further in the playoffs that year. But nooooo. No, the Bills had to go and win. AGAIN. God, they fucking ruined everything. The Bills are responsible for a three-game stretch of Super Bowls so awful, so utterly unwatchable, that they still deserve your scorn for disgracing the main stage with their presence. And they weren't likable guys, either. Thurman Thomas was moody. Bruce Smith was ornery. Who was the center of that team? Kent Hull? Yeah, well fuck him too. Then there's the team's biggest cheerleader…
3. You're with them, asshole. The Bills are ground zero for all of Chris Berman's bizarre bouts of favoritism and annoying phrase coinage. That whole "nobody circles the wagons" bullshit should have been retired after the Music City Miracle. The Bills do not circle the wagons anymore. They hire Dick Jauron, and then they lay down and fucking die. I don't understand how Berman is allowed to blatantly root on the air for this team time and time again. As if it's some cute little trait of his that gets excused just because he is who he is. Eat shit, Berman. Eat shit and die.
4. You ever been to Buffalo? Holy shit, there is nothing to do in that town except eat and marry someone you don't really love. The only reason to go there is for some kind of wing pilgrimage. I've had the wings there. They're wings. They may have originated there, but you can get them in other, cooler places now. And they're just as good. Otherwise, the only purpose Buffalo serves is to give Weather Channel anchors an erection during the months of November through March. "AND HOW ABOUT BUFFALO, GANG?! TWENTY INCHES OF SNOW! I'M ROCK HARD!"
5. The readers have their say. Hoo boy. You people really don't like this team. From Bill:
At training camp, Dick Jauron always wears a straw hat that looks like he is going big game hunting in Ethiopia. Then, as if there wasn't enough material to work with, the stoic one sounds like Ronald Reagan on Quaaludes during press conferences.
I'll be brief. Their owner doesn't even know what day it is. They gave Rob Johnson a contract. They made Rob Johnson their starting QB. They harassed their head coach's family so much that he had to quit for fear of their safety. Not a Sunday goes by without a post game news report of some minority race being beaten almost to death leaving the stadium. They would rather play in Canada. Marshawn Lynch runs over people, drags them across town and then pulls into his garage and calls it a night. Sports Illustrated called it America's most losing city. They perfected the cooking of bird scraps. Labatts, Tim Hortons, and a 50 person brawl at Mighty Taco on a Friday night is considered "pregame".
10 years without playoffs, yet they sold more season tickets this year than any year since 93? Really? Way to reward mediocrity Bills fans. I dumped my season tickets right at the point of the Mularkey to Jauron transition, which ranks just slightly behind Ford to Carter as history's greatest lose-lose scenarios.
The local sports talk site has TO's Tweets listed on its front page.
Ralph Wilson. Those who say Al Davis looks like Mason Verger from Hannibal need to pay some serious attention. He'll spend 49 million dollars on Derrick Dockery, but won't shell out 6 or 7 million for a proven coach. Success in the NFL be damned, he'll do things his way.
Its sacrilege in this town to criticize Berman. This team is holding on tightly to Berman after its only other nationally significant fan bit it (Tim Russert).
Jim Kelly threw his wife down a staircase, Bruce Smith has multiple DUI's and never gave a shit enough to go to training camp, and Thurman's been in rehab. These guys weren't all that amazing.
OJ Simpson was the team's only half decent player for an entire decade.
A local site (buffalorumblings.com) is putting together an all time 50 greatest Buffalo Bills list. Joe Ferguson is on it. That would be equivalent to the Steelers having Bubby Brister on their list.
I love the Bills. Seriously, they're great. Got an ex-Pro Bowler with a giant fork sticking out of his back? Throw a trench coat on him, and trade him to the Bills! Got a neat trick play that you want to try out? It'll work on the Bills! You're the reincarnation of Chad "I have JV High School Arm Strength" Pennington? Congratulations, the Bills have committed to you as their long-term starter!
I had a girl housemate back then from Buffalo. They had just lost their fourth consecutive Super Bowl, which she bore with a sense of pride that only someone from a frosty, rusting, rapidly depopulating shithole could muster. She still lorded, with no sense of irony, her awesome "FOUR-TIME AFC CHAMPIONS" t-shirt around town, and proudly announced that the Bills' slogan that year would be "Strive for Five!"
Also, please mention that they never looked as good as they did in their Hall of Fame Game throwbacks this year. Every 10 years or so, they redesign their uniforms. Every redesign has been a step backwards. By 2030 they'll be playing in uniforms that look like something Marv Levy coughed up after climbing a flight of stairs.
From Robert S:
One time I was going through some old home videos, and I found a series of tapes that was a shot of my dad and his friends watching Super Bowl XXV. Between the wings, the Labatt, and easily five grown-ass men in Bills Zubaz, it was a nice window into the past, but it was kinda shitty knowing that I was going to watch my drunken father's hopes and dreams be crushed at the end of the game. But holy shit it delivered. After Norwood missed nobody talked for two minutes, then a little bit of crying, and then a guy threw up. That's the end of the video. I can't think of any metaphor for Buffalo, New York more perfect than that.
My ex when asked what was your favorite football team was she said "Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys" as shocked as I was I had to ask her what her problem was? To like both of those teams is like telling me your Favorite Flavor of ice cream is chocolate and vanilla you just can't do that its wrong. We broke up a week later.
And Nick C:
Every year, with a bunch of friends, we travel about 6 hours up to Buffalo for the Dolphins-Bills game up at as my Bills friends call 'The Ralph'.
Take away the awesome tailgating, you feel like you are stuck in a fucking time-warp whenever you go up north. Girls in jeans with no pockets on the ass, shit that went out of style 7 years ago. (Ed Note: On the right girl, I still find this kinda hot.) The girls think it's cool to dress like Britney Spears did in 1999 and to top it off when they see you wearing an out of towns colors they tell you to 'suck their dick'. This happens to me at least five times every time I head up to 'The Ralph'. I didn't know one place could have so many hermaphrodites.
So there you have it. Inept offense. Hermaphrodites.
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