So where now, Buffalo Bills?
We're five games into the season and the only thing the Bills have successfully managed to do has been raising the spectre of disaster that's been looming in the mists for years. Those murky backwater channels where the sky is always gray and the wind always blows into your face down from clouds that appear to be the giant faces of Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick grinning mercilessly down and blowing harder.
In years past, I've been able to foster a healthy detachment from the action once things turned sour. The team seemed absurd to me. Drafting all those running backs, having their only Pro Bowler be a punter, signing T.O. and watching Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown crawl out of his office to present him with a key to the city, hearing J.P. Losman talking about Yoda, having Marv Levy return as coach-NO wait-the general manager as an octogenarian and drafting Donte Whitner, seeing fans at games wearing the punter's jersey, and more than EVERYTHING else: losing in epic fashion.
Some Eskimo languages have up to a dozen different words for snow. They know their snow. Bills' fans know their stuff too, they're experts in loss.
Going back to the game-that-need-not-be-mentioned to now, the Bills have ridden the lousiest, suckiest roller coaster in the world. We've lost on prime-time. We've lost tight games in OT. We've lost because we stopped trying to win and started trying just no to lose. We've lost in blizzards. We've lost to a quarterback whose final stat line revealed only two completions on 17 attempts, we've thrown three interceptions in first quarters, we've fumbled away victory within the jaws of defeat, we've lost in cold hopeless and underattended home games, we've lost playing neutral site "home games" because we've been told it's the only way for us to keep our team, we've lost blow-outs, we've had our ass handed to us by every other team in the AFC East, and we've lost a crap ton of road games.
I can't do it anymore. This year it's different. It's different for one reason disguised as two reasons.
The first reason is that the Bills were supposed to be better. Their defensive line was supposed to be in the top-5 in the league. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller were going to form the league's most dynamic backfield. Fitzpatrick was going to 'manage games' (whatever that means) and limit mistakes (whatever that means). Scott Chandler was going to be Heath Miller. And the Bills caught a break in being scheduled against the NFC West.
The second reason is that the team is only a few events away from standing in line at the soup kitchen. The Bills' lease issue being made or unmade by Governor Cuomo's 2016 presidential aspirations and his contempt for petty Western New York Democrats. The lease is up in 2013. The stadium needs at least $200 million in repairs. Couple that with a 94-year-old owner who is 94 years old and has been alive on earth for 94 years, and you have a team that could very easily find itself homeless, headless, or both- in the very near future.
And future is exactly what the Bills haven't had during this losing drought, that like the universe is constantly expanding. And that's why these two reasons are really one. It doesn't matter that the Bills went out and signed Mario Williams for more money than what the Bills-Toronto series generated for the team in the first 5-year agreement ($78 million), how could a team with no future have a present?
So again, where now? The Bills teetering on the brink between saving their season or scouting quarterback play on Saturday, all over again. Will this week's game on the road against Arizona give us any positive indication of the immediate future, or will the team continue to look completely lost in the desert.