Friday, September 5, 2008

Here I go again...

Though I keep searching for an answer,
I never seem to find what I'm looking for,
Oh lord, I pray you give me strength to carry on,
cos I know what it means,
To walk along the lonely street of dreams,

So, here we go again. Sunday kicks off another season of Buffalo Bills football. Over the next two days the feelings of anticipation and impending doom will grow reaching their crescendo just before the 1:00 kickoff. For those of you who have not suffered as a Bills fans let me try and describe what its like. Waiting for the season to start is an uncomfortable feeling likely somewhere between being in a landing craft at the start of Saving Private Ryan and sitting in the waiting room of your proctologist. There's a certain amount of adrenaline involved but not enough to overcome the dread of what's waiting for you. All you can hope for is to come through it in one piece, but your brain is telling you that you probably won't.

As I've chronicled before (and has been suspiciously echoed on Deadspin?!?) being a Bills fan is a test of Biblical proportions yet without any of the heavenly rewards. It's all suffering, no rewards. Usually you're served up a heaping dose of heartbreak at the very beginning of the season. An Amuse Bouche of a kick in the nuts, if you will. Last year's loss at the final whistle in a game where two defensive starters were lost for the season and another guys nearly died on the field was a perfect example of how the Bills tend to kick off a campaign. The team has three losses in their last four openers. Those three games were lost by a combined 6 points. Two of those games were decided on the very last play of the game. The script then calls for a mid-season break from losing winnable games. This is the "false hope" part of the season. Usually this lasts for three or four weeks. During this time talk turns to the schedules of those we're chasing for the wildcard and whether or not we're going to fly to wherever it is they're playing in week 17 to see them win their way in. Enter the second stage of soul-crushing defeats, usually not as dramatic as the first round but equally painful, and we're done. As the song says, the Bills really do make you want to Shout...shout "look out below as I'm jumping off the f-ing roof!"

This is what I thought, of course, until this news broke! Jason Peters has finally come to his senses and has ended his ridiculous holdout! Suddenly the landing craft doors open and the bad guys are already retreating. The proctologist turns out to be a supermodel with abnormally tiny hands. Now, all bets are off. The old, doomed Bills would have never got Peters back. Or if they did, he'd tear his ACL, MCL and ABC during his first practice (luckily I don't believe in jinxes). In fact, Marshawn would have never walked from that hit and run thing if we were talking about the same old post-Kelly era Bills. These are the types of things that only happen to winners. I don't think I'm out of line to view the return of Peters as a sign that good things are on the horizon. Hell, let's just go with that regardless. We're all tied for first and we're all tied for last. There's really no reason to be anything but optimistic.

So that's where we are now. It's Friday afternoon, two days before the opener and I am cautiously optimistic. If my feelings towards the 2008 Bills were being measured by Homeland Security we would be sitting at yellow. I have no idea what that means, but who cares. I believe it was Robert S. Kelly who said it best "It's the freakin' weekend baby, I'm about to have me some fun".

See you at 1-0, jerks!

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