As I sit to write this column I could write about all the terrible things that happened in week 12. I could tell you about the Bills losing yet again in a new and painful way. I could talk about suspect coaching or Drew Bledose’s drive-killing turnovers. I could talk about how many games the Bills are now out of first place in the AFC East or how few receiving yards Eric Moulds has in his last 5 games. I could, but I won’t. It’s been done, and quite frankly, I’m tired of writing about it. There are only so many ways to tell you what you already know – the Bills stink, the season is lost and it’s tough to be a Bills fan.
Optimists see the glass as half full. Pessimists see the glass as half empty. I’ve decided to see the glass as having at least some liquid in it. If you’re a Bills fan you have to settle for what you can get and try and see the positive in anything, no matter how grim the situation.
Instead of kicking Bills fans when they are already down, I’m going to use my new philosophy to focus on the good in the loss to the Colts. Remember – it can always be worse. It might be hard to imagine how it could be worse, but it can always be worse. Focus on these happy aspects of the game:
-Nobody died. It’s always helpful to understand that football is just a game, but it’s the things like human life that really matter. As grandma always used to say, you’re young and you’ve got your health – be thankful for that. To take this even further, it’s not just human life that’s important. No bunnies, puppies or kittens were injured or killed at the game on Sunday.
-We scored a touchdown! Not just a touchdown, and offensive touchdown! Not just an offensive touchdown, two offensive touchdowns! I tell ya – with the offense clicking like this can wins be too far behind? I predict we have an even money shot at finishing the season with 5 wins. Seriously – we’re probably/maybe going to win another game if we continue to score multiple offensive touchdowns in the same game.
-It was 70 degrees in Orchard Park at game time. Imagine that – the Sunday before Thanksgiving and nobody froze their keester off at the stadium watching the game. On the flip side, nobody got heat stroke – the medical staff at Ralph Wilson Stadium was relatively inactive. In all, the sellout crowd had some nice weather and got some good fresh air – that’s always a good thing.
-Drew Bledsoe did not fumble the ball away at a key time. In fact, Drew didn’t fumble at all. This week he threw an interception on the last drive to end the game. For those of you revenge-minded types, take joy in knowing that the interception will count against Bledsoe in his quarterback rating – a fumble would have gone unnoticed in this index of relative greatness. -Mike Williams did not flip his truck on the way to the game. In fact, none of the Bills were injured in auto accidents on the way to Ralph Wilson Stadium.
-Despite being officially listed as questionable, both Travis Henry and Eric Moulds played in this game. A questionable designation means that the chances a player will play in the game are 50-50, and both Henry and Moulds played. Mathematically speaking, there was only a 25% chance both players would play – I love it when we beat the odds.
-The Bills only allowed 2 sacks, well below their average of 3 per game – that’s a 33% improvement!
-The Bills were flagged for 6 penalties for 42 yards. Like the sacks stat above, this is an improvement over their season average. The Bills were not flagged for having too many men in the huddle as they have been in previous weeks, although they were called for having too many men on the field. I don’t know about you, but I like the new, more disciplined Bills!
-The Bills achieved their fifth running play of 20 yards or more this season. Against the Colts punter Brian Moorman ran for 21 yards on an expertly scripted fake bad punt. Moorman was superb at selling the fake, especially when he dropped the ball before picking it up and converting one of 3 fourth downs in the game (oddly enough the Bills also converted 3 third downs). I think the Travis Henry vs. Willis McGahee controversy is over before it really got started – both players will be riding the pine next season as Moorman rushes his way to the Pro Bowl.
-I had Edgerrin James on my fantasy team. Edge scored 2 touchdowns and ran for 108 yards and also caught 6 passes for 39 yards. All of this was good for 29 fantasy points! While this may not be good for the Bills and many Bills fans may see this particular item as a bad outcome of the game, I still see it as a positive, at least for me. See my glass analogy above.
-If you’re a fan of funny signs, you probably enjoyed the TV coverage from CBS. One of the signs they showed said, “There’s Something Missing in Buffal” – a very witty way to show that the “o” has gone missing from this team. The best sign, however, had to be the one that simply read, “Believe!” – I laughed until a tear ran down my cheek when I read that and I’m still chuckling now as I write this. That’s some funny stuff.
-The Colts are no longer in the AFC East. That means today’s loss does not count as a divisional loss. That means our divisional record stands at 1-2, not 1-3. I like to think of the difference this way: in baseball a .333 batting average is solid whereas a .250 average needs improvement. I know that divisional record won’t count for much if we don’t challenge for a playoff spot, but remember – the glass has some liquid in it.
-There are only 32 days until Christmas! Before you know it the big jolly guy in the red suit will make his way to your home and bring you all sorts of Bills merchandise. Due to poor sales Santa will probably get a good deal on most Bills items, including anything with Drew Bledsoe’s name or likeness on it. Think of it – you get some Bills stuff and someone like St. Nick saves some cash – what’s better than that? Save any boxes or bags Santa brings and you can wear it over your head to the stadium next season.
-Speaking of the holidays, it’s still early enough to ask for a collection of your favorite 2004 NFL draft guides and publications. Before we know it March will be upon us and the more we know about our top-10 draft pick the better. Get educated now.
-There are only 5 more games and 34 days left in the season. If you’re as tired as I am of feeling bad about life every Sunday and waiting for some word from One Bills Drive that the coaching staff has been let go, your wait is almost over. 34 days – that’s nothing. David Blaine spent more time than that locked in a clear plastic box in front of egg-tossing Brits – Bills fans should be able to do this time without a problem.
I think I’m going to end my list here – I just can’t deal with all these positive thoughts. If I keep spouting more sunshine I’m liable to walk into work tomorrow morning whistling Zipa-Dee-Doo-Dah and talking to little cartoon birds on my shoulders (I don’t think that would go over well with my boss). I hope that I’ve been able to help other Bills fans by focusing on all the good things today’s loss brought. Remember – you have to believe (Lord, that’s still funny).