The Bills 2007 season is just a mere 3 games old and unlike a majority of Bills fans this morning, I am pumped up!
How can I be excited about a team decimated by injuries, leading the league in yards allowed and fewest points scored and being the laughingstock of the NFL? How can I be jazzed to live through all of this when I live in the Boston area, home to every bandwagoning, bead wearing, r-dropping, Brady-loving chowderhead on the face of the earth? How can I be excited about a team that may not have a winnable game on the near or even distant horizon?
Iíll tell you how I can be excited - $285,000.
Thanks to the NFL Players Union and the collective bargaining agreement, a guy with 0 years of NFL playing experience has to make at least $285,000 for making an NFL roster Ė you canít make any less than that. In NFL terms, thatís not a lot of coin, but letís face it Ė to most of us, collecting a paycheck of $285,000 means some pretty nice digs.
I can tell I may have lost some of you already Ė youíre not following how I am connecting my state of excitement with a juicy $285,000. Allow me to connect the dots.
With the current Bills personnel crisis, I think I have a real genuine shot of making the team and playing next week against the NY Jets. How sweet would that be? Being able to leave my desk job taking guff from other office lemmings like me, leaving my office behind and moving back home to Western New York to play for the team I have loved since I was a toddler? I can barely type Iím so excited at the thought!!!
In addition to the awesome $285,000 salary, Iíd get some cool stuff Ė an official jersey with my name on it, an official helmet, and official pants! You can buy the other stuff at the pro shop if you have the money, but pants? You gotta be somebody to get official pants Ė nobodyís got those! Think of the game day parking! I wouldnít have to park in lot 2 where it would take me 90 minutes to get out to the thruway Ė I would park behind the stadium where the players park (and Iíd probably be able to upgrade my ride from a 1999 Subaru).
So, you ask Ė just what are my qualifications to play for the Bills? Size Ė Iím 6í2Ē tall and I go about 260. Mind you, most of that comes from donuts rather than the gym, but size is size in a big manís game. Iím 37, so Iím a bit long in the tooth, but Iím not looking to play for 10 years Ė one, two years tops and Iím ready to retire (wow Ė retiring before Iím 40 Ė Mom would be so proud!). I havenít been timed in the 40, but Iíd guess I could do that in 10 or 11 seconds, but on game day when the juices are flowing and Iím out on the field playing for my favorite team I could probably shave a second or two off of that. I have bad knees Ė had them operated on when I was in high school, but I suppose that wouldnít make me any more prone to injury than anyone else on the field these days, would it?
So Iím thinking I could play LB Ė the Bills only used 2 of them for most of the game in New England and Poz is on IR, so Iím figuring thereís need and roster space. I may be wrong on the roster space thing, but if I am Iíll wait patiently for my spot to free up. Seriously, is there any doubt that we could lose another linebacker to injury before we face the Jets? Would you be stunned if Angelo Crowell slipped in the shower or if John DiGiorgio suffered a season ending injury playing pinochle with the seniors at Sunny Acres as part of the United Way visit turned tragic?
Maybe Iím dreaming. Maybe NFL linebacker isnít in my future. Maybe itís defensive back! Given my stats listed above I think Iíd have to drop a few pounds (no more donuts) and my time in the 40 would have to improve (but if I cut out the donuts and lost a few pounds that would be almost guaranteed to happen), I could be a part of the unit most in need of help. 4 defensive backs were out of the New England game Ė Iím definitely needed, especially when the Bills had to go to a nickel defense for most of the game (see linebacker woes, above). The starting corners are now Jabari Greer and Kiwaukee Thomas, so to fit in with this group Iíd probably have to reverse my name so Iíd have a tough first name and an easy last name Ė Bogyo Tony Ė that sounds pretty cool.
Yes indeed, Iím PUMPED! Iím gonna live the dream, baby! Iím gonna play pro football and have hot chicks (if my wife lets me)! Iím leaving Boston as a financial consultant and coming home an admired warrior who will be worshipped on Sundays! The way things are going with the Bills my future is bright, bright, bright!
So Iím signing off now, telling my bosses to stick it, and getting in my car to drive to Buffalo and start the next chapter of my life. Iíll do it for the fans (and the 285Gs).
Or maybe Iíll just go to the Tobin Bridge and jump off. Reality bites. Hard.