Wow, to hear Bills Nation right now you’d think the sky was falling. A bunch of Chicken Littles focusing on all the negative of yesterday's performance in Miami. Maybe it’s because lots of fans were predicting a fairly good year from the Bills and were excited about the addition of Terrell Owens (although if you ask around now almost nobody will fess up to their prediction of 10-6 before the season started – they don’t want to admit they were blinded by the hype).
And so Western New York is once again a gray and hollow place as fans cry into their beers and face the reality that once again the Bills are one of the NFL’s bottom feeders. In a city that lives and dies by their football team, Buffalo’s been doing a lot of dying for the past 10 years.
Cheer up Bills fans! It’s time to focus on the positives of the game! If you can see the glass as half full being a Bills fan doesn’t have to be so painful.
As I see it, there are many reasons to be happy about today. Chief among them was that nobody died. For as badly as the Bills were destroyed by a team they could and should have beat, every single member of the Bills organization, including owner Ralph Wilson, finished the game with a pulse (except for the offense, but that’s only a figurative heartbeat). Nobody was washed away in a tsunami or ripped apart by wild dogs, so you’ve got to be happy about that.
You’ve also got to be happy that nobody lost their job. Despite some terrible performances on the field and on the sidelines, nobody will be lacking a paycheck and wondering how they are going to feed their families tomorrow morning. In a time where the national unemployment figure just hit 9.8%, isn’t it nice to know that the Bills have a 0% unemployment rate?
In a similar vein we should also be happy that the federal government has not had to bailout the Buffalo Bills. General Motors, Chrysler, AIG and Bank of America all had to rely on taxpayer funds to stay afloat in tough times, but not the Bills. With the revenues the Bills generated from you, the fan, through things like ticket sales, merchandise sales and the TV contract, the Bills are financially stable.
So in the big picture, the Bills have their lives, jobs and financial stability – isn’t that really what life is all about? I mean really, isn’t everything else just a silly game?
OK, I can tell you’re still a bit down in the dumps even after reading all the good news I just provided. That’s OK, I know how petty people can be. You’re saying, "but what about football – what’s to be happy about on the field?" I’ll tell you what we can be happy about in football terms – we have an AWESOME punter. For my money there’s nobody better than Brian Moorman – that dude can kick. Did you see the hang times he had today? He’s also lightning fast (he’s actually led the Bills in rushing for a game more than once) AND he throws touchdown passes! You show me a punter who has thrown 20% as many touchdown passes as his starting quarterback and I’ll show a Pro Bowl player (I’ll also show you a quarterback who should go to the Arena league).
Feeling better yet? Maybe you just need to learn how to watch the Bills so you don’t feel so bad on Sunday nights. The first thing you should do is lower your expectations. Whatever win-loss record you predicted for Buffalo this season, you should cut that in half (if your result after division is not a whole number, round down). This is known in higher mathematical circles as the Jauron factor. With the correct expectations the Bills are much easier to watch because holding on to unrealistic expectations (playoffs, double-digit wins, a .500 season) brings nothing but heartache and frustration – why go there?
Perhaps the biggest tip I can give you for feeling good about watching the Bills is to share with you the special drinking game I play while watching. If you’ve been a Bills fan for more than 10 years you’re probably they type of person who has had a substance abuse problem due to an addictive personality. While other people can walk away from that which is bad for them and causes them pain and suffering, you can’t. As much as you know you need help and wonder why you do what you do you can’t just walk away. That means you’re a perfect candidate to inject alcohol into just about any leisure activity.
So get some beer (minimum 1 case per person) and settle in for the game within the game – the Bills drinking game! (disclaimer – Bills Daily, the Buffalo Bills, the National Football League, the NFL Players Association, your local beer distributor and the author of this article cannot be held responsible for any alcohol intoxication/poisoning resulting in inappropriate conduct, mental or physical harm, coma or death associated with playing this game).
Begin by tuning into the Bills game. Drink every time you see one of the following things happen:
- The Bills lineup in the shotgun formation to help protect against the pass rush
- Trent Edwards checks down to a running back or tight end (drinking before the ball is released is allowed based on the high likelihood the throw will go to a check down receiver)
- Marshawn Lynch stops to juke left and right instead of moving forward resulting in minimal gain or a loss
- TV shows one of the Bills’ $5 million+ receivers failing to get separation from a defensive back in single coverage
- Edwards overthrows or underthrows a receiver who has miraculously gotten separation from their man
- Edwards holds onto the ball for more than 3 seconds, forgetting that’s all the time his line can give him at best
- Edwards locks onto a receiver and telegraphs his throw
- The center skips the ball off the turf on a shotgun snap (the ball is heavier than you think!)
- A Bills defender lines up 10 yards off an opposing receiver when only 4 yards are needed for the first down
- A Bills linebacker misses a tackle
- The Bills go 3 and out
- The Bills give up a third down conversion (chug if the conversion is longer than 8 yards)
- The Bills waste a timeout because neither the coaches nor the players know what’s going on and what should be happening on the field
- A Bills penalty
The following events should trigger a chug rather than a drink:
- A Bills turnover (2 chugs if the rules of physics had to be broken for the Bills to have NOT come up with the ball)
- An opponent’s gain of more than 20 yards
- One of the Bills starting tackles get beat like a rented mule by a defensive lineman (2 chugs if the opponent is a rookie, third stringer or CFL player)
- The TV announcers have to remind viewers that the Bills have their starters on the field
- The TV announcers compare a rookie or third string player from an opposing team to a hall of fame player based on the stats they are putting up against the Bills
- The cameras show a lifeless and passionless Dick Jauron on the sidelines
- The Bills, down by multiple scores, take a knee to end the half
- The Bills, down by more than 2 scores, insist on running the ball with less than 8 minutes left in the game
- The Bills call a play that any sane person would question. If you scream (verbally or just mentally), “why in the name of all that is holy would you do THAT?” you need to chug.
- The Bills settle for a field goal when they absolutely have to have a touchdown
- Aaron Maybin is sighted making a play
- The Bills lose another player to injury
- The Bills sign another practice squad player or street free agent and put him in a starting position
These are just the basic rules – have fun by inventing your own! Be as creative as you like, because if you watch the Bills you don’t see much creativity and may have to furnish your own. I personally like to use a low alcohol beer like O’Doul’s (.5% alcohol by volume) because it generally allows me to see a whole game before having to go get treatment for alcohol poisoning (you can’t believe how surprised the folks in the emergency room are when you come in that drunk and say the cause was O’Doul’s).
With the proper perspective and some alcohol you too can make it through another terrible Bills season. When you do, feel free to thank me (and remember my disclaimer – I’m not responsible for the drinking game). You may need this to get through next week’s ugly game against another terrible team, the Cleveland Browns – rumor has it that it will be shown at Guantanamo if the U.S. can prove it does not violate the Geneva Conventions.
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