Of Pianos and Pigeons
Anatomy of a Bills Drubbing
by Tony Bogyo
October 12, 2006

I’m not sure what’s worse – waking up Monday and thinking back to the drubbing the Bills took on Sunday at the hands of the Chicago Bears, or waking up with a slight but ominous tooth pain.

As the day wore on the pain of the Bills loss seemed to wane a bit, but the tooth pain grew exponentially, necessitating many calls to find a dentist who was doing business on Columbus Day (I had no idea that the dental community held the discovery of America is such high regard, but evidently they do as almost nobody was open). Amazing how these types of things happen on Sunday nights and holidays – must be some sort of corollary to Murphy’s Law.

In any event, I’ve been out of commission for a few days with tooth pain, trying to avoid having a root canal, and now my weekly article is late. Does it get any better than an epic Bills loss followed by pain and complex and expensive dental procedures?

The week started OK – excitement at the game. You’ll recall I didn’t expect the Bills would win or put big points on the board, but I felt that the defense would keep Rex Grossman and Thomas Jones in check – those guys aren’t exactly All-Pros.

12:15 PM – I head into Boston to watch the game with a few hundred of my Bills Brethren of the Bills Backers Boston. I grab a seat and order a beer. The man sitting next to me is reading the Sunday Boston Globe sport section, reading up on the Bills matchup as well as others.

1Q, 15:00 - The game starts and the Bills receive the ball. Following the Bears players as they race down the field are several pigeons who refuse to relocate from their turf, football players or not – now that’s attitude. Terrence McGee takes the ball out to the 25 and the Bills start their first drive.

Surprisingly, the Bills are able to move the ball. Lee Evans catches a 19 yard pass to convert a third down. The offensive line is actually providing some time for J.P. Losman to throw. The drive comes to a critical 3rd-and-1 play, and Willis McGahee is stuffed for no gain. In a highly questionable move, the Bills elect to go for it on 4th down – I am not happy that the coaches are gambling so early. As the Bills lineup and snap the ball the flags fly – false start on Damion Shelton – 5 yard penalty. I’m actually happy that this will force the Bills to punt and abandon their early gamble.

The next play seems right out of the football follies video series. The ball is snapped, Brian Moorman catches it, then drops it and is quickly swarmed by hungry Bears. The bungling mans the Bears will start their drive on the Bills 40. Time for another drink – my fellow Bills fans are not happy.

1Q, 11:17 – The Bears start their first drive and the Bills loose their first opportunity to make a big defensive play when McGee fails to grab an interception in his hands. The fans at the bar can’t believe it. The Bears put 3 points on the board.

1Q, 7:29 – After the Bills go 3 and out, the Bears drive 55 yards and put up another field goal. Again the Bills have a sure interception hit a defensive back in the hands go for naught as it is dropped.

1Q, 3:43 – The Bills again go 3 and out as Peerless Price drops an easy first down catch. There have now been 4 times where bad hands have cost the Bills and I begin yelling for Stickum which has long been banned due to the tragic Stickum overdose suffered by Lester Hayes in 1981. Come on – somebody handle the ball!

2Q, 13:06 – The Bears cap a 49 yard drive with a touchdown pass to Bernard Berrian. The bar is not happy, the score is now 13-0. The Bills will need 2 touchdowns to get back in the game – that’s a tall order when they keep going 3 and out.

2Q, 13:01 – The Bears kickoff to the Bills and race down the field with their attack pigeons. I don’t know whether it’s the beer or the bad attitude the game is giving me, but those things are starting to look like the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz.

2Q, 11:24 - Losman throws his first pick of the day – a terrible throw. The bar erupts with the cries of tortured masses who now realize the game is quickly going downhill.

2Q, 8:33 – Cedric Benson scores his first ever NFL touchdown after carrying 5 times and accounting for all 32 yards on the drive. The man next to me starts reading an article on the Boston Sunday Globe about how to make a piano – it does seem to be more interesting than the game.

2Q, 6:14 – Bernard Berrian abuses the Buffalo secondary and catches a 62 yard pass, setting up another Bears touchdown. The score is now 27-0.

2 Minute Warning – Losman throws his second interception of the day. Replays show the ball clearly being tipped by a pigeon. Losman will get charged with the pick, but we all know the bird is responsible. I hate pigeons.

Halftime – McGahee has rushed 9 times for a whopping 18 yards, Losman has a QB rating of 17.8 (a full 111 points behind hall-of-famer Rex Grossman’s). The Bills have turned the ball over 3 times and committed 5 penalties – but hey, free wings at the buffet!

3Q, 11:35 – Losman throws his third pick of the game. I start reading the Boston Globe piano article – I’ve always wanted to know how pianos are made.

4Q, 14:44 – Rex Grossman is done for the day and no doubt calling hotels in Canton for blocks of rooms for his induction ceremony. Brian Griese comes into the game and leads the Bears on a 14 play, 45 yard drive that ends in a field goal – Chicago 33, Bills 0. Time for more beer.

4Q, 6:07 – McGee fumbles the kickoff return, giving the Bears the ball at the Buffalo 7 yard line. After reading the Globe I begin building a piano which I hope later to drop onto my head from a great height.

4Q, 4:39 – For the second time on the afternoon, Cedric Benson leads a touchdown drive where he was the sole guy touching the ball. Bears 40, Bills 0. I still hate pigeons.

4Q, 2:54 – Brian Griese fumbles and Buffalo recovers – we’re on the march now!

4Q, 1:10 – Buffalo finally gets on the board with a 5 yard toss to Lee Evans – woohoo! The bar goes nuts! People smiling and dancing, giving high fives, hugging strangers. The mood is short lived, however as coach Jauron gives the game away by failing to go for the 34 point conversion. I am stunned by his willingness to admit defeat.

The game is now over and the crowds quickly disperse. I am fired up when I realize that NOBODY BUT NOBODY PUTS UP 41 POINTS ON THE BUFFALO BILLS!! We have an awesome defense, that’s for sure.

I wander out of the bar, but alas no piano falls (but also no pigeons). The pain is over, for now, but will return the next morning with tooth pain. I blame the pigeons.