Some people are fans of the Buffalo Bills. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Buffalo Bills. This 2012 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Screengrab from the movie Buffalo '66. Read the other Why Your Team Sucks 2012 previews here.
1. Buddy Nix's Olde Tyme Football Country Store. Pity the Bills. They're like Green Bay, only with none of the success or the charm. They play in one of the shittiest stadiums in the NFL, located on top of a fucking glacier in the middle of No Man's Land. If you're from Buffalo, you're essentially from nowhere. You talk like a Midwesterner ("Hi, I'm fraaam Baaaffalow"), and yet you're located in the Northeast. You take pride in the Goo Goo Dolls, which no reasonable person should do. You get married before age 20 because there's nothing else to do. It's as if someone airlifted a chunk of northern Alaska and dropped it down 4,000 miles to the southeast. The state of New York basically consists of New York City, Long Island, Westchester, and a gigantic, frigid attic that no one goes up to because it smells funny and there might be weird things up there. Look at these poor people:
As for the Bills themselves, they reflect the isolation of their hometown. It's as if the rest of the NFL moved into the 21st century without them. The Bills, as currently operated, are like a little mom-and-pop store just waiting to be bulldozed out of existence. You walk by that store every day and you think to yourself, "Christ, who goes in there?" I have a picture in my head of 80,000 old people crammed into Ralph Wilson Stadium, all trying to pay for their beers with a check. That's what the Bills feel like right now. They try to do modern things like pay $50 million to Mario Williams, and yet that move still feels like an old person trying to work the remote. The Bills need to stop openly handing out blowjobs to Toronto and either A.) move for good, or B.) get all the hobos living in Buffalo to pony up for new digs. In order to save the Bills, they must be destroyed forever.
2. 5CHAN! The shame of it all is that this is a talented roster, featuring the likes of Jairus Byrd, Fred Jackson, Super Mario, and lots of other good players. There are just three problems: 1.) All of these players will fall prey to injury before Week 8, because God hates Buffalo; 2.) Stevie Johnson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Super Mario, and Mark Anderson all got paid, which means all of them will now have carte blanche to suck; 3.) Chan Gailey is still the coach.
The last five Bills head coaches read like an almanac of mediocre retread NFL head coaches: Wade Phillips, Gregggggg Williams, Mike Mularkey, Dick Jauron, and now Chan Gailey, the retreadingest retread of them all. This team has the roster and the soft schedule to go 10-6, and yet that's of little comfort to Bills fans, who must know deep down that they're screwed once Chan has to coach against REAL coaches in the playoffs. He'd be a much more effective coach if he didn't spend all his time online trolling people with pictures of gay ponies.
And now T-Jack is in town! Holy shit, Tarvaris Jackson is awful. The Bills are like the Salvation Army of terrible quarterbacks.
3. It's DEMETRESS Bell, not Demetrius. "It was (famed offensive line coach Howard) Mudd who insisted that his newly-signed left tackle, Demetress Bell, fix the spelling of his first name and change it from the incorrect Demetrius." OK, then. Glad we cleared that up. By the way, the Bills offensive tackles are lousy and Ryan Fitzpatrick is gonna die.
4. 1999. That's the last time the Bills went to the playoffs. HOLY SHIT. That's what happens when you have to overpay free agent talent just to come to your remote arctic geological surveillance outpost, settle for retread coaches because big names don't want to hang out with you, and hand $24 million in guarantees to Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bills will never be able to recreate their early-'90s glory years because they CAN'T. Even if Bill Belichick and the ghost of Bill Walsh were placed in charge of this team, they would still be so thoroughly crippled by both their locale and their stadium situation that they'd be doomed to fail anyway. The Bills are horrible. And never forget:
4a. This is Gregggggg Easterbrook's favorite team.
5. Hear it from Bills fans!
Beginning with the 2006 season through the 2011 season, the eventual NFC Super Bowl representative beat Buffalo in the regular season:
2006 — Loss @ Chicago, 40-7
2007 — Loss v. NY Giants, 38-21
2008 — Loss @ Arizona, 41-17
2009 — Loss v. New Orleans, 27-7
2010 — Loss @ Green Bay, 34-7
2011 — Loss @ NY Giants, 27-24
This is with Dick Jauron, Perry Fewell and 5Chan as head coaches; Marv Levy, Nobody and Buddy Nix as GM; Trent Edwards, JP Losman and Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB. Through all this "quality," the streak endures.
Maybe Nate Silver can figure out of the odds of this, but they must be astronomically high.
The AFC East plays the NFC West this season. I predict the 49ers, Seahawks or Cardinals will make the Super Bowl. The road to New Orleans runs over the Buffalo Bills.
Ralph motherfucking motherfucker Wilson. Cocksucker has his wrinkly old hands wrapped tightly around the organization's neck. He gives the OK to the Mario Williams contract because, supposedly, he's getting older and "can't keep the money"? What about the previous decade, when the Bills languished in the AFC East cellar and you were STILL OLD AS FUCK?
Ralph bought the franchise for $50,000. With the franchise valued at $792M, an annual growth rate is approximately 16.88%. I would kill Ralph Wilson's worst enemy for that kind of growth on my investments! Asshole.
Where did our QB go to school? Please remind me again, good sir.
Our economy and sports teams have been shitty for so long that we're not even a go-to punchline anymore. Detroit is the hot new urban wasteland, while people have somehow decided that Cleveland's sports history is sadder than ours. You guys had LeBron for seven years and Iron Chef Symon lives in your city, so fuck off.
Now that Tim Russert is dead, Chris Berman is basically our only famous fan.
I have rationalized an eventual move to Toronto because it would keep the team reasonably close and shore up its finances. This is akin to admitting you're an unfit parent and giving your child up for adoption, except the kid is like ten years old and you've had some really good times with that little fucker.
I am 29, which means that the Bills' dominant era came when I was between 6 and 12. Needless to say, I strongly regret not being old enough to appreciate the significance of what they did when they were doing it, because it has been an incredibly shitty 2 decades since. They have fucked with their fans time and time again; the late 90s featured a string of painful playoff losses (Jim Kelly getting carted off the field in a home loss to the friggin' Jaguars, fumble in the red zone in the last minute in a loss to the Dolphins, and the Music City Miracle, and I will go to my grave believing it was a forward pass).
How I yearn for those days. 12(!) years without a playoff appearance; President Clinton was still in office when the Bills last had the opportunity to break my heart in January. They have had close calls since then, including a "win and you're in" game against the Steelers' third stringers - the Bills lost handily. They've had hot starts followed by long losing streaks (last year, for example). When you think they'll suck, they suck you in with a winning streak and then let you down, usually in the most frustrating way possible, and when you think they'll be good, they inevitably disappoint you. All this while the grim specter of the team moving to Los Angeles (or Canada (gah!) looms in the background.
There is hope for the team this year, which makes it a near certainty that Mario Williams will tear his ACL in training camp or that Ryan Fitzpatrick will decide that grad school is a better option and retire (little-known fact: he went to Harvard!). More likely, the season will come down to a do or die game against the Jets at home in week 17, where Tim Tebow will lead an improbable comeback to vanquish the Bills as I sit glumly in my freezing seat. I look forward to it already. Go Bills.
When you've publicly announced that you're willing to spend big-money on a name-brand coach, and they all run for the hills instead of taking the paycheck, and you end up with Chan Gailey (who was run out of Georgia Tech) maybe something is seriously wrong with your organization.
Stevie Johnson. There's overwhelming evidence he only loves two things: A) dropping crucial passes that result in losses, and B) doing some shit-schlock dance after a TD or big play that results in our already exhausted defense with less of a field to defend. He's a selfish bastard who was gifted way too much money. I will bet you my left ball that stupid bastard makes a game-losing play and/or puts our team at a disadvantage because of some moronic celebration.
Buffalo has had the stability at QB of a single mother crack whore on welfare since Jim Kelly retired.
I fully expect a jump this year from 6-10 to 8-8, and a corresponding jump in my bourbon consumption. At my current lifetime rate of increase, death by cirrhosis will kick in well before a Bills playoff appearance, which is good news since they'd just lose to some clownfraud playoff team like the Texans or Bengals or whoever is good in at football in 2030 anyways.
If your name isn't some spelling of "Jim Kelly," I would be fucking terrified to be a QB in Buffalo if I were you. Your best bet is to just tank the season. Zero expectations. Buffalo fans start planning for Super Bowl tickets when you string more than one win together and the moment you drop a game you could be murdered and people would probably cheer. The Bills MAY go 3-0, but when they lose to NE I can't wait for local news to hit the bar scene to interview drunks about how Vince Young should be starting.
Buffalo is a punchline at this point. Last year, when the Bills seemed to be headed in the right direction, media was all like, "Isn't that cute? They think they're people!" Then Fitz contracts alien hand syndrome, Fred Jackson's football-ancient legs explode, and the Spanish Flu hits the locker room to remind us that we're not people. Oh, and they sign Mario "16 Games!?" Williams. There's always next year!
Have you done the Bills yet? I need something to help me get over the excitement of the upcoming season.
Our team hasn't made the playoffs since last century. We haven't hosted or won a playoff game since Jim Kelly was still our starting quarterback. That guy retired a goddamned decade and a half ago to concentrate on being drunk in public, ushering in the Todd Collins era, and here we are. We haven't been relevant in any real way since the LA Raiders were still a thing.
Our coach looks like he should be scamming for free soup at the City Mission. Our starting quarterback admitted this offseason that nobody ever actually taught him how to throw a ball properly, and on top of that, he looks like he should be walking a trench three feet behind a mule. We've got a billion dollar defensive line, but our linebacking corps is straight out of the YMCA flag football league and our starting cornerbacks have replaced their hamstrings with spun glass.
Our 93 year old owner is so cheap that he wouldn't buy into the new blackout rules, which could cost the team up to $500k, and then immediately told the state he wants at least $200 million to upgrade the concrete bunker that is his stadium. HIS stadium. His name's painted on the goddamned thing.
The Bills are terrible. Not lovable losers, like the Cubs. Just losers.
The best moment they have had in the last decade was when Kevin Everett DIDN'T DIE in front of 70,000 people.
Bills fans are such starfuckers that we went to the airport and had a rally when TO signed. TO! Our dumbfuck mayor actually gave the washed up athlete a key to the city (which by the way he never returned). Most players live in the burbs because downtown Buffalo is a shithole, to put it lightly. Our 107-year-old senile pennypinching dementia-ridden owner doesn't even live in Buffalo, he lives in DETRIOT. Think about that for a second: someone actually voluntarily lives in Detroit BECAUSE BUFFALO IS TOO SHITTY.
We lost 4 straight superbowls and yet still call those teams "Almost a Dynasty". All Bills fans call themselves the "most blue collar fans in football" when THERE ARE NO BLUE COLLAR JOBS LEFT IN BUFFALO. Working in a Yahoo data center or answering calls at a collection agency is not working a blue collar job - it's just a shitty job.
The only good thing about the Bills is that the taxpayers have not been duped into buying a $3 billion dollar stadium for our 107-year-old senile pennypinching dementia-ridden owner, but yet this is why the Bills will eventually move to LA when he suffocates on his own diaper. Being a Bills fan is THE WORST.
I am 28 years old. The last time I saw my favorite team in a playoff game was the week after I got my driver's license.
Very few Bills fans that go to games actually live in Buffalo. They are either rich assholes who live in distant, fancy suburbs, or completely embarrassing hicks. All get absolutely shitfaced. If there is a night game (very rare), half the stadium will be black-out drunk by kickoff. Fights and vomit are guaranteed, as is an embarrassing defeat through either last minute meltdown or immediate blowout. Those are the two options.
It kills me that I can't find it anymore, but I saw a blog post one time from a fellow fan about an email they received from the Bills asking them to renew their season tickets. The team was coming off one of those classic Buffalo 5-11 seasons where they suck all season
and then win their last 2 games just to avoid being able to draft someone half decent and get stuck with JP Losman throwing more picks than touchdowns again.
The email had the typical bullshit about all the great perks and how exciting the next season would be and all that garbage, and then there's a picture of Losman lining up to take a snap, because nothing gets people wetter and willing to cough over a small fortune to watch a shitty football team more than an image of a future UFL superstar.
But upon closer inspection, by seeing who they were playing, what the scoreboard said, and where the team was lining up, the picture of the play that the Buffalo Bills decided to send their fans requesting them to renew season tickets was of JP Losman getting sacked for a fucking safety.
1. Labatt Blue has to be one of the most putrid tasting beers on Earth. Every single bar, restaurant, sporting event, and party in this city serves nothing but Labatt Blue. You can't go anywhere without seeing people drink it and eventually finding yourself drinking that because it's literally the only available option other than water.
2. Every time any player on the Bills has a good game they immediately have a T-shirt with a slogan on it being sold in every store in the city. Give it a couple days and you'll begin seeing that shirt on every single person you see walking down the street. Give it another week and the entire city will be wearing them. Give it a year and that player will be shitting the bed and waltzing their way onto another team leaving you with a dresser full of Trent Edwards and Marshawn Lynch shirts. Every single guy who does anything good at some point will be anointed savior status and is then immediately reviled the moment they don't deliver. I am typing this right now in a Super Mario Mario Williams shirt.
3. The people here below the age of 25 are all gigantic pieces of shit who live for the massively overrated bar scene and subpar late night fast food joints like Jim's Steakout. They all wear New Era hats from the flagship store in the city and never take the stickers off saying they're from the flagship store. People here actually derive self esteem from stickers on hats. It's a hell hole.
4. All the Bills had to do in 2004 was beat the Steelers back ups to go to the Playoffs. Instead Drew Bledsoe shit the bed and I spent the rest of the night in a Bills' helmet staring at the ceiling wondering why I bother anymore. That nihilism is always replaced with 24/7 uninterrupted news coverage following a Bills winning streak in which they interview people claiming we're back and waxing poetically about the city of Buffalo all while on the verge of tears. It never ends.
5. Sabres fans consist of fucking atrocious, overweight puck bunnies and their fathers who bought up all the season tickets in 06 and refuse to cheer at Hockey games.
Buffalo is basically the complete opposite of Boston. They will take any piece of news and try to find a sign of better things to come.
"J.P. Losman? That kid can play. PLAYOFFS!"
"Trent Edwards? So much better than J.P. Losman. PLAYOFFS!"
"We got T.O.? FINALLY WE HAVE OFFENSE. PLAYOFFS!"
"Mario Williams? THANK YOU JESUS. I DON'T THINK WE PAID HIM ENOUGH. PLAYOFFS!"
How does a team go 12 seasons without playoffs?
1) Import Southern California Quarterbacks to play in 2 degree weather in December? Check
see: Johnson, Rob & Losman, J.P.
2) Tread water by constantly drafting running backs but never having an OL to block for them? Check: Smith, 23rd overall 1997 replaced by Henry 58th overall 2001 replaced by McGahee 23rd overall 2003 replaced by Lynch 12th overall 2007 replaced by Spiller 9th overall 2010.
2b) Ultimately use some undrafted guy? Check. See: Jackson, Fred
3) Make crappy Ohio backup your starting QB? Check. See: Holcomb, Kelly & Fitzpatrick, Ryan
4) Hype? Check. JP Losman is the future, TO gets key to the city, Mario Williams is going to kill Brady! buy your season tickets now.
On top of all that, we suck at sucking. In the 12 years without playoffs, we've won 5 or more games 10 times, which means we continually suck AND we don't get a good draft pick. Which is probably for the best as we'd blow the draft pick on a RB we don't need, or some bust on 'roids like Aaron Maybin.
When we do win it's tainted in two ways: First, we all know it won't last: we started 5-1 in '08 finished 7-9, started 5-2 in '11 finished 6-10 and we only got the sixth win because Tebow is truly awful...of course our fans ranted for the Bills to take Tebow in the 1st round because he had character (he's white) and grit (he has physical attributes we hate in QB's unless the QB is white) and Jim Kelly liked him. The 2nd way any win is tainted is by idiot fans singing, "I got a feeling the Bills are gonna go to the Super Bowl" It week one, we certainly are not going to the Super Bowl so please shut up.
We want Ralph to die because he's sucks, but we want him to live because we might lose the team if he dies...best case scenario Buddy Nix props up a dead Wilson in some kind of weekend at Bernie situation.
Two billionaires got together to move a game the Bills fans want, to Toronto where no one wants it. The games are sparsely attended and the fans primarily root for the opponent. The fans hate it, the players hate it, and one of the billionaires is dead, sadly not Wilson.
Buffalo is a great place, but everyone is so thin skinned about outsiders trashing the city, that it makes the city seem worse than it is, oh Tom Brady doesn't like our hotels, so what move on, I'm glad he doesn't like our hotels.
Trent Edwards was the likable friend your mom is always trying to set your sister up with. He looks like a physical therapist from Skokie, IL.
Have you ever been to a Bills game in Buffalo? It's 80,000 deadbeats wearing JP Losman and Trent Edwards jerseys shotgunning enough Labatt Blue to get so blackout drunk that they are as incompetent and delusional as 93-year-old owner Ralph Wilson.
And these people aren't happy drunks. At the beginning of the season, if you're not wearing a Bills jersey you're lucky if you don't get a glass bottle of 151 thrown at you in the parking lot, but by the end of the season, Bills fans are such self loathing disgusting people that they routinely fight each other at games. Being around Bills fans is like being at a dive bar at 4am after having just spilled a drink on every single person in the bar. They're going to come stumbling and swinging. Bills fans are an angry bunch, but mostly angry at themselves and each other.
I FUCKING HATE the small group of cornball losers who call themselves the "#BillsMafia" on twitter. These people are pathetic. The founders of this bullshit fan club refer to themselves as "OG's". One of the losers had a personalized jersey made with his twitter name on it, and he got a tattoo of the "#BillsMafia" logo. They are delusional apologists who have no sense of reality. Their bio and tattoo pact are all on www.billsmafia.com . You'll leave that website never feeling more embarrassed for a group of people in your life.
Our fans have the emotional consistency of a 14-year-old teenager who listens to Bauhaus.
Every game is a reminder of how horrible Buffalo is. When big city teams play and networks are coming back from a commercial, they show beautiful cityscapes, or famous landmarks. Not Buffalo. For EVERY single Bills game we get the shot of a sweaty 40-year-old Polish guy making a dozen wings, or a view of the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. Why the Canadian side? Because the American side looks like a good place to get stabbed. On top of that, we have a fanbase who saw the Green Bay cheesehead and decided we could do far worse. People wear fucking chicken wing heads at games. It took me several minutes to realize that this monstrosity was a chicken wing and not an aborted fetus head. You people look ridiculous.
Wanna be part of the Deadspin NFL previews? It's simple. Just email me and give me ample evidence of why your team sucks. I'll throw any good material into the post and give you proper credit. Next team up: THE JETS. Hoo boy.