Some people are fans of the Buffalo Bills. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Buffalo Bills. This 2017 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Buffalo Bills.
Your 2016 record: 7-9. I’ll say what I always say about Rex Ryan: he may be a truly awful head coach. But at least when you’re mediocre with Rex, it’s still an event. Who can forget the dildo on the field?
That’s a Hall of Fame dildo right there. I like how they wrote “Tom Brady’s dildo” on it so that I know it’s Tom Brady’s. That makes him queer! And who can forget the time Dan Carpenter’s wife threatened to castrate Richard Sherman? Or the time the starting linebackers missed the team bus? Or the time that one fan got arrested for drinking shots out of a teenager’s asscrack in the parking lot? Or the time the Jets scored 10 points in zero seconds against them? Or the time the refs completely dicked them over against Seattle because LOL WHO CARES IT’S A REX RYAN TEAM.
Or the time the team tried to ban backyard wrestling moves in the tailgate lot, only to have innovative fans fight each other with whole pepperoni instead? Or the time Richie Incognito—huffing tub of meat Richie Incognito—was gifted a bizarre image rehabilitation from ESPN? Or the time they benched Tyrod Taylor to avoid having to pay him a lucrative injury exemption, then redacted him from the season highlight reel? Or the time Marcell Dareus got hacked?
I see no lies. Nicest hacker ever. Anyway, you won’t have Rex to kick around anymore. They unceremoniously dumped the Ryan Boys a week before the season ended, which resulted in a cascade of hilarious events including the two of them getting into a bar fight, Rex having to convert his Bills truck into a Clemson truck, and—best of all—GM Doug Whaley giving a truly bizarre press conference in which he professed ignorance to Rex’s firing and never asked his owner for an explanation as to why. I’m well aware that any reason to fire Rex Ryan is self-evident, but even your typical NFL access stooge was aghast at the blithe obliviousness of Whaley. The GM was finally canned AFTER free agency and the draft (juh?), and celebrated by doing what everyone does on that barren frost moon: DRINK.
That’s the most Buffalo photo of all. Just a bunch of sad drinking and average food and fired GMs. Do all the crack shots and ladder dives you like, Bills fans. You and I both know that the party will always die and that you will end up sitting at that bar, quiet and destitute, stuck in the middle of a reboot of The Thing.
Your coach: Sean McDermott! Yes, THE Sean McDermott! The one who got fired after only a year replacing Jim Johnson in Philly! As reader Creek Bear points out, you will catch McDermott dead before you catch him without a camo baseball hat to honor our TREWPS…
Something tells me that this man has just the right combination of stoicism and humorlessness to make you remember the Ryan years more fondly than you ought to. He took away the goddamn pool table, man. Is there a lamer, more tired “I’m the new sheriff” move than that? Even Chip Kelly thinks that’s petty. What idiot player would buy this kinda transparent horseshit? Oh, right:
Ah yes, the coveted Incognito endorsement. “Now this is MY kinda asshole!” McDermott is joined by hand-picked GM Brandon Beane. The two worked together in Carolina. One look at the Panthers wideout corps and I already know you poor bastards are in trouble.
Your quarterback: Tyrod Taylor, who struggles to break 200 yards passing a game and yet is somehow the best QB this team has had in 987 years. If this guy’s last name had been FLUTIE, you assholes would have sold out his jersey a year and a half ago. Why, I simply can’t imagine why this fanbase wouldn’t fully embrace Tyrod and give him the support he could use to develop as a passer…
Mmm hmm. Anyway, Tyrod returns to the Bills even after the team treated him like absolute shit in the waning weeks of 2016. He’ll be joined by Sammy Watkins’s Unfulfilled Potential, free agent Corey Brown, and draftee Zay Jones in the passing attack. That’s fun name to say. ZAY JONES! Sounds like a 1930s cabaret singer. He’ll fucking hate Buffalo.
What’s new that sucks: Well, Stephon Gilmore is gone to New England. Would anyone be surprised if he wins eight Super Bowl rings with them this year alone? No, they would not. The rest of the AFC East is New England’s trout farm.
In the never-ending derby to be distant second in the division, the Bills have imported Micah Hyde (hurt), Mike Tolbert (fat), and Anquan Boldin (old, sets off metal detectors). Will this fulfill McDermott’s objective of making the Bills completely anonymous and irrelevant? Let’s ask the owner!
SOUNDS LIKE A YES TO ME, KIDS.
What has always sucked: Your owner is fucking terrible. You know that now, right? Now that we’re long past Terry Pegula rescuing you from Ralph Wilson’s tomb (Chris Berman will be buried with him!), I think we can all finally admit that the new owner is just as clueless and shitty as the last owner. Go ahead. It’s okay. “Pegula” sounds like the world’s worst erotic horror film.
Every year we get further away from the 1990s, I am more disbelieving that those Marv Levy Bills teams ever happened. It simply does not compute in my system. That team? In Buffalo? Nah. All a myth. History is tricking you. That team played in an alternate dimension…in Akron. Those weren’t the Buffalo Bills. The Bills I know are a funeral dirge. They are a seafaring expedition party that crashed on an ice floe and have been forced to subsist for decades on seal blood and melted snow.
Now that Rex has been pushed out, they can go back to their standard process of hiring faceless coordinator after faceless coordinator and churning out nondescript seven-win seasons while being terminally unable to find a superstar quarterback. Those four AFC titles and Super Bowl appearances? They’re gone. Vanished. They’ve been buried under the permafrost. It’ll take another interglacial cycle to uncover them. As long as I live, these poor bastards and their inbred fans will serve as fresh kibble for New England. Meanwhile, Tom Brady will shoot himself up with beet juice and play until he’s 106. You people are ruined.
Also, our Dave McKenna says the Buffalo Metro Rail goes up and down just one street. That’s dumb.
Did you know? You already know the Bills haven’t been to the playoffs since 1999. But on top of that, that haven’t won a playoff game since 1995. An entire generation has been born and graduated from college since that victory. Indeed, the Bills exist mainly for cool onscreen graphics about what the world is like the last time they were good. PEOPLE DRANK MILK OUT OF CANS BACK THEN!
What might not suck: LeSean McCoy is good for a half-dozen huge games a year, namely the weeks I don’t draft him for my DFS team. Fucker.
HEAR IT FROM BILLS FANS!
The Bills circle wagons like the Donner Party.
Our fans jump through tables in the same parking lot where they were conceived.
Being a Bills fan is like having a brother addicted to heroin.
Fuck Buffalo through a burning folding table.
I have been kicked out of more Buffalo Bills games (2) in six years of being a season ticket holder than number of times the Bills have been to the playoffs, PLUS number of times they have had a winning record, since 2005 (1).
I was in the same section as that guy who fell from the upper levels a few years ago. No one noticed him go down because there were two simultaneous fights going on.
Our receiving corps has a more constantly rotating cast of forgettable white guys than Dr. Who.
The last time I went to a Bills game, a girl started herself on fire.
My friends and I were enjoying a tailgate with a nice-sized fire, when a bunch of very drunk teenagers stumble through. One of the girls stops to take a selfie with one of the guys (damn kids), and walks directly into our fire pit. Several of us shout, “Hey! Look out, you’re in the fire!” No response. More shouting. Again, no response. I walk up to the girl and yell directly in her face, “YOU ARE STANDING IN THE FIRE RIGHT NOW.” She smiles and slurs, “That’s OK, he’s my cousin.”
I still can’t figure out what she thought I said.
My dad is a massive asshole and always looking for something to complain about. He’s from Buffalo, so rooting for the Bills is obviously a way of life there. He’s also seen it all; Wide Right, the Music City Miracle, 15+ years of being Brady’s bitch in the AFC East. He basically bought NFL Sunday Ticket just so he can wake up and watch his team get its ass kicked.
He’s never satisfied with anything they do. Buffalo could be up 42-0, and the other team could score a field goal and he’d probably say “Same Old Bills”. At 45 years old with greying and decreasing hair, he’s the perfect distillation of the frustrated Western New York sports fan.
That dissatisfaction also spread to his parenting. For years he verbally berated me and ranted that I would never become anything, that girls would never like me, that I was a disappointment etc. He and my Mom fought constantly over how to raise me.
My dad and I never really had much in common. He was into sports, off-roading and firing guns. I was into movies, video games and music. To put it this way, I’m from Oakland and he’s from Buffalo. But in an attempt to have something to talk about with him, I followed the Bills in the off-season. I always heard my Dad complain about the Bills, so I wanted to tell him news that would make him happy. It was nice to finally have something in common with my dad after nearly 20 years of knowing him.
I don’t talk to either of my parents anymore (me and my Mom is a whole story in itself), I’m avidly following the Bills off-season and enjoying time with my girlfriend. She wasn’t with me when any of this happened, so she encourages me to reach out to him. After some hesitation, I do. It was a bad situation all around, and maybe he’s changed for the better, right?
I try to call, but my number is blocked. I message him on Facebook, but he doesn’t respond. I meet up with my grandparents and ask them to reason with him, they say it’s impossible. So he essentially has removed me from his life.
So when my girlfriend asks me why I watch football, I’m being truthful when I say it’s because I want the Bills to be good. But the reason why I want them to be successful is because I know it will make my dad happy. Even though he was an asshole of a father, and despite the probability that he hates me, I still want him to finally feel some pride and joy in watching his team play.
With all that being said, fuck Rex Ryan with his brother’s bloated buffalo-sauce-coated sausage. You wasted two years of my fan-hood.
I was a freshman in high school when they last made the playoffs. I’m almost 32 now. Fuck Rex Ryan with Scott Norwood’s right foot.
At least a dozen people reached out to congratulate me last week on OJ getting parole. Apparently they thought Bills fans had a rooting interest in the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners (we don’t).
18 of the 31 other NFL teams have played in at least one Super Bowl since the last time the Bills made the playoffs. Fuck Ralph Wilson’s corpse with Thurman Thomas’ missing helmet.
I hate this franchise.
If this is just me screaming into the void about a shitty fucking team, that’s probably even more appropriate than anything else.
Well, they haven’t made the playoffs in 17 years, but dammit if the Bills weren’t named 2016 Responsibility Bowl Champs, which is apparently a real thing for teams that register designated drivers at home games.
I hate this goddamn team.
In 2005, all the Bills needed to do to make the playoffs was win a home game against Pittsburgh team that was resting its starters. Sensing imminent victory, I drove five hours from Ohio where I was living at the time across the frozen Midwest/Northeast winter hellscape to attend the game. I had just made the same exact trip a week earlier for the holidays, but this was to be the Bills return to greatness. What’s another 10-hour round trip drive?
In what should have been the first ominous sign around 9AM at the tailgate, my cousin was thrown from a moving car onto the icy parking lot after he attempted to “surf” on the hood. For about five seconds he was stiff on the ground. I was convinced he was dead and started to run through in my head how I was going to break the news to my Aunt. However, due a fortuitous mix of cushioned snow gear and Labatt Blue, he popped up like a cartoon character and immediately resumed drinking. Later, he proceeded to funnel four beers on the roof of an RV and then immediately projectile vomit towards the sizable crowd that gathered around him.
The Bills of course lost the game and it’s as close as they been to the playoffs since 1999.
The most exciting season of my adult life heavily featured Kyle Orton.
OJ is about to be a free man, yet I am still serving a life sentence as a fan of this team.
When I was 25, I returned back to western NY after having lived in Asia for the previous two years. My brother-in-law got us tickets to Bills vs Chiefs as a welcome-home present — really great seats to a meaningful game. The night before, as standard practice, we gorged on wings and drowned ourselves Genny Cream. Woke up the next morning realizing how sensitive my stomach had become to ‘Merican grease and bloaty-ass beer after having a very light Korean diet for years previous. Instead of tailgating, I stood in line and after for the horrible port-a-potty, then only saw half of the game because of how many times I needed to heavily shit in the porcelain hellscape that is the Ralph bathroom experience. The half I did see, though, resulted in Alex Smith ripping our 4th-ranked defense to shred and losing all hope for the end of a playoff drought that has last since I was nine years old. Oh, and I saw my drunk-ass ex-girlfriend a few rows down make out with a fat dude wearing Zumbas. That was only my third-worst Bills game.
I begin every December seeing the 6-6 Bills at the bottom of the “IN THE HUNT” graphics and have repeatedly watched week 15 Ravens-Bengals games to root for the tie that’ll keep Buffalo’s 1% chance of making a wild card spot alive.
In the entirety of the 21st century, the Bills’ record against the Patriots is 4-30. While those 30 losses can be seen, and are seen, as a horrifying monument to the ineptitude of a franchise for an impossibly long time, the true irrelevance of the Bills to the NFL can be seen rather in the four victories, and how they affected their direct karmic opposite, the Patriots, those seasons:
2003- Bills win a huge victory in week 1, 31-0. THIS IS OUR YEAR!
End Result: Patriots get 1 seed, go 14-2, win Super Bowl
2011- Bills win epic comeback in week 3, 34-31. I was at this game. The stadium partied like we had won the Super Bowl, and a stumbling drunk guy pretending to be a reporter was interviewing people with a dildo as a microphone.
End Result: Patriots get 1 seed, 13-3, Super Bowl appearance
2014- Bills win in week 17, Brady doesn’t even play but WHO CARES WE BEAT THE PATRIOTS
End Result: Patriots get 1 seed, 12-4, win Super Bowl
2016- Bills win shut out in week 4 16-0, Brady was suspended and LA LA LA CANT HEAR YOU OVER THE BILLS BEATING THE PATRIOTS
End Result- Patriots get 1 seed, 14-2, win Super Bowl.
Four greatest wins, the entire century, for the Buffalo Bills. No impact whatsoever on the playoff seeds, the Patriots, or the NFL in general. The Bills are but ghosts, and only those who they have left dead inside can watch them.
OJ Simpson has more wins over the courts than the Bills have Super Bowls.
The story of the Bills’ offseason basically amounted to “Free agent X still mulling the team’s offer.” You can guess how each of those ended. We couldn’t get the fucking sunrise to commit to Buffalo at this point.
Cardale Jones is going to the next twelve Pro Bowls because the Bills traded him. If they hadn’t, he’d somehow get career-ending toe cancer from a bad pedicure.
The Bills are poison.
I sat through the entirety of Derek Anderson’s 2 for 17 game when the Browns came to town. The Bills lost that game 6-3.
I was working in the stadium once during the 2008 season and the Bills were hosting the Chargers. The lights went out and I heard a buddy of mine yell out “Close the gate and run for your lives!!!” Being the more responsible one I said you can’t say that. About 5 minutes later the stadium lost power again and I hear “RAPE-AND-PIL-LAGE!” *clap, clap, clap-clap-clap* and then repeated.
In 2007, my uncles thought it would be a neat idea to meet up with our cousins from Rhode Island and watch the Bills take on the Pats in Buffalo. This was the season where TE Kevin Everett had that severe neck injury in week 1 and thankfully made a recovery (though his playing days were over), and this was the season of Brady-Moss-Welker. Before kickoff, Everett came on the Jumbotron to thank the fans for their support and gave us all an update on his good progress. He ended it with something along the lines of “Let’s go out and beat the Patriots!” I’d never heard the stadium so loud after that. The Bills lost 56-10.
So I am just shy of my 14th birthday when I watch the Bills lose Super Bowl 25. I went into the basement and alternated between crying and hitting my dad’s heavy bag. By Super Bowl 28, I am drinking beers at a friend’s house and I see The John Larroquette Show do a throwaway gag with John held at gun point begging for his life, closing with “I want to see the Bills win the Super Bowl,” to which the gunman quips, “Hey, Buddy, nobody’s going to live that long.” Cue laughter. Didn’t give it a second thought.
Three of our first five opponents have made recent Super Bowl appearances. We’ll beat them convincingly and go 5-11.
My earliest clear football memory is watching the Music City Miracle as a nine-year-old at my “friend’s” house. I put friend in quotes because once it became clear what was happening, he just started cackling and didn’t stop for several minutes. IT WAS A FORWARD PASS, GODDAMNIT.
The first Bills game I ever went to, they were playing the Aaron Brooks-led Saints. My parents and I were running a little late getting into the stadium so the first drive of the game had already started. The first thing I heard the announcer say as we walked into the stadium was “Rob Johnson sacked for a loss on the play”.
Needless to say, looking back, these moments seem like harbingers of a lifetime of mediocrity and underachievement. Our drunk-ass fans are 10 times more fun and provide infinitely more joy to more people than our actual football team does. And yet, we soldier on, year after year, knowing that when Tom Brady retires to live out his days in a fancy dog hotel somewhere and when Bill Belichick vanishes in an acrid cloud of sulfur to return to his rightful place at Satan’s side, we might have a shot at going 10-6.
This is me after the Bills lost to the Ravens in Week 1 last season.
The Bills extreme sucking that has resulted in my in-laws witnessing me rip a Tom Brady bedazzled bed sheet out of some children’s hands (they spent a long time making this) and throwing it dozens of rows away on a blustery day (Bills lost), scream at and possibly attempt to fight a loud Patriots fan, throw a cup of beer at a Patriots fan, tripping a Patriots fan, yell at a Dolphins fan to get the fuck out of Buffalo, tell the entire crowd at the Rogers Center (Bills vs. Falcons in Toronto) that they are “fucking Canadian trash”, spill smuggled whiskey all over my crotch, pass out multiple times on living room floor after returning from the game, send vulgar and obscene text messages to the entire family as fourth quarter ends, and urinate in the corner of a parking lot, in a bush, out of a car, in a beer can, and their backyard.
Otherwise I’m pretty much a good-time guy. Go Bills!
I’m a Bills fan who’s been living in Cleveland for the past ten years. My friends complain about the Browns all the time, yet their team has somehow made the playoffs more recently than the Bills.
You would think a week 2 loss to the Jets at the hands of Ryan Fitzpatrick and his 374 passing yards would be the most disappointing part of my day - but no, that was expected.
That honour was bestowed upon Kenny from Tonawanda, who walked into a lower concourse restroom in the 3rd quarter with a tray of food containing three burgers, a sausage and fries (100% for himself) and proceeded to place it not on top of the urinal - which would have been fairly disgusting but at least respectable - but underneath (?!?!) the urinals, which 20 overweight Western New Yorkers were pissing into. I watched in horror as the collective sprays from a group of fat, sweaty drunks in Zubaz pants soaked Kenny’s sausage bun moments before he drove that shit into his mouth.
People in Buffalo can’t even eat and piss properly. All hope is lost for this urine soaked sausage of a franchise.
I made this compilation on the Bills’ 17-year playoff drought using a song about becoming an old alcoholic:
The first game I ever attended was in 2011, week 11 versus the New York Jets. Security was a bit more lax then it is now. When I walked in with my brother to go to the upper deck I physically walked over a guy lying face down in a puddle of his own blood. Normal me would obviously have called for some type of help or tried to intervene myself. The second I stepped in those gates the vibes changed. I don’t know what happened to the guy, but I saw 20 other people do the same. Fuck it, keep walking. Didn’t get much better. I went to the wash room at the half and a very proper looking father came in with his kid who was wearing a Mark Sanchez jersey. Not five feet away from the father, some drunk 50-year-old dude yelled ‘Sanchez is a fucking fag man, you must be too.’ Once again, no one said anything or intervened. As a fanbase we deserve our 40 years in the desert. It’s gotten better since my first game but I can point out at least one incident every time I’ve gone since.
Last year I had to adopt a rule where I didn’t have a drink unless we were up by ten. I was getting way too depressed otherwise. Also, I didn’t want Colin Kaepernick, not because of his activism, but because our fans are so awful I legitimately would have worried for his safety.
This team has taken the best years of my father’s life and now I’m going to let it do the same to me. Fuck this dead team.
They sell you hope, but you’re buying misery. From my heart, to hell with all of them until they win.
I have not seen this team make the playoffs and the only chance I remember this team getting close was a win and in scenario against Pittsburgh backups in 2004. Of course we fucking lost that game and because of that game, I wake up in cold sweats thinking of Brian St. Pierre. Fuck the Bills, Fuck the Sabres, Fuck OJ Simpson, and Fuck the drunken idiots who get powerbombed into tables so they can be on Deadspin.
McDermott explained how he successfully recruited Brandon Beane from the Carolina front office: He sent him a text message attaching a picture of the book McDermott was reading, called “Chase the Lion: If Your Dream Doesn’t Scare You, It’s Too Small.” This is some dipshit self-help book by Mark Batterson, the veiled-prosperity-gospel preacher who founded National Community Church. Per the publisher, Batterson’s book is based on “the story in Second Samuel of Benaiah, who became King David’s bodyguard and the leader of Israel’s army” and “challenges you to follow God’s leading, act boldly on your audacious goals, and bravely plan for what comes after accomplishment.”
I mean - fuck me.
My last playoff memory of this team was the Music City Miracle (aptly named the Music City Debacle by my college roommate and fantasy league opponent). I was 11 years old at the time and, immediately following the end of the game, cried under the Christmas Tree for 2 hours straight…this memory encapsulates how I’ve felt about the Bills ever since.
Our fan base truly believes every year is the year. We beat the Patriots third string QB last year and the city of Buffalo almost collapsed from our rioting braindead fan base. Sammy Watkins is by far our best receiver and only has one foot. Our best defensive player is a fat dumbass who barely shows up to games and refuses to learn the playbook. If I hear one more person say Zay Jones is going to have a huge year, I’ll drive my car off the skyway onto Pegulaville.
The last time the Bills made the playoffs I was in college. I was running a track meet and had my roommate tape the game while instructing all the other members of the team not to let me know the final score since I was going to watch it later. That evening a group of us watched the game and I was the only one who didn’t know the final score. The Bills scored to go up late in the 4th quarter, but we all know what happened next - Tennessee ran the ensuing kickoff back for a TD on a questionable call. One of my friends was jumping in front of me, pointing and doing the Nelson Muntz “ha-ha” while I sat there in shock with my jaw hanging open unable to believe what I just witnessed. I left without saying a word. That was 17 years ago.
Being a 31 year old Bills fan is kind of like being a child star. You’re too young to grasp how fun and exciting it is while you’re on top of the world, then next thing you know you’re in jail for stabbing strangers in a bar on Christmas.
I travelled to London just to watch EJ Manuel lose all control of basic motor skills and metaphorically throw up all over his own dick against the Jacksonville Jaguars. I wanted to find their hotel and plant prostitutes made out of cocaine in his room so he wouldn’t be allowed to come back to America.
2014: Donald Trump places a comically low bid for the team. Everyone laughs and mocks him, and the fan base prays that the Pegulas get the team. They do. But if Trump had made a decent bid and bought the team, I doubt he would’ve run for president. I also contend that nothing would be different for the Bills. Trump 100% would have hired Rex and then fired him. This organization would still be a terrible garbage heap, but by taking the Trump bullet we could have spared the country the same fate. Now Trump is turning the US into the Buffalo Bills of countries: a horribly mismanaged shithole full of rock-dumb racist drunks screaming “We Need To Go Back To The Good Old Days” while fingering the nearest unwiped asshole and vomiting on the family in front of them. Fuck Trump and fuck this stupid team.
This year Tom Brady got his 13th win in Buffalo, which is more than all but a handful of Bills quarterbacks have. As I was waiting to get in, the girl in line in front of me passed out drunk on her friend’s shoulder. Like 100 percent, not waking up soon asleep. She probably had a better game-day experience than me. On top of Trump’s favorite quarterback clowning the Bills, I got to sit next to a friendly ol’ bigot who yelled “draft a white quarterback” approximately 200 times. No one else in the section seemed phased. Now people are excited about sentient pair of khaki pants, Sean McDermott, because he threw away the locker room pool table or whatever. Bills fans deserve whatever happens to this team.
The comments sections for every one of these articles (except for maybe the Browns’) are a nauseating display of football privilege. “Our coach is an idiot!” “We always lose the game right at the end!” “Our quarterback is inconsistent!” If you’ve seen your team play a playoff game on a high definition television, kindly shut the fuck up.
Despite the history, the fanbase is the most defensive bunch of snowflakes you’ll ever see. Case in point- local sportscaster responds to Stephon Gilmore factually stating that he’ll now be in more prime time games with this.
The secondary is absolute trash. When the defense gives up 30 points a game, it’ll be Tyrod’s fault, I’m sure.
Now our best defensive player is a fucking Patriot. Fuck this team.
For everyone else, football season ends in December, maybe even January. For us it’s an October divorce from reality, and 10 months of offseason.
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