"It’s time to show up, or just pack your backs, and there’s going to be a lot of changes."
Amen to that Jim Kelly.
One of the greatest Buffalo Bills players of all time knows that this decade-long losing streak needs to stop. Apart from the Houston Texans, the Buffalo Bills are the only team in the NFL to not make the playoffs in the last ten years. That kind of accomplishment is not one to be proud of.
In an interview with Randy Cross of NFL Sirius Radio, Kelly said that it's time the team made the playoffs.
Now normally anyone saying a team should make the playoffs is not a "newsworthy" quotation, but in the city of Buffalo, those words have not been vocal in years.
Even years after his retirement, Kelly remains active in the Buffalo community and active with the team. He's publicly stated that he has a investment group ready to prevent the team from moving to Toronto. Above all, when Jim Kelly says something, you listen.
As a fan of the team, I've grown accustomed to them losing, as sad as that sounds. I can almost expect that despite how strong the Bills have started, they will crash and miss out on the playoffs. It's time for that attitude to change.
Kelly added that he hopes Terrell Owens is a disturbance in the locker room. I don't blame him for saying that either.
The Bills have always been a team that says the right things to the press to avoid bad publicity. Their players don't make ridiculous promises or guarantees. They just go out there and do their jobs.
Now don't get me wrong, that's a welcome sight. No one wants a team full of "prima donnas". However, there has never even been a "prima donna" on the Bills to give the locker room excitement.
Owens has told the city of Buffalo that the playoffs should not be a problem. I love it. I would have been happy if he said the team was going to go undefeated and win the Super Bowl. (Note: I said happy, I didn't say I would expect that to come true.)
The thing is, the city needs some excitement. The players cannot always say the same old "our team looks strong and who knows where that will take us" line they have been sticking to for years.
They need a player to say that their team is going to step out on the field and embarrass their opponents. They need a player to say that their star wide receiver will torch the secondary of the Dolphins for 200 plus yards and three touchdowns.
I used to hate that kind of behavior when I saw it on television. I thought those players were obnoxious. That's until I realized that those players give their fans something to look forward to. It gives their team much needed press, good or bad.
If Jim Kelly tells the world that he wants that kind of attitude in the Bills' locker room, you better bring it.
The city of Buffalo has been tied to losing for years. It started with the clever slogan, "Boy, I Love Loosing Superbowls", and continued to Brett Hull's goal from inside the crease, and went all the way to Dunder Mifflin closing the Buffalo branch. This city has dealt with failure for years.
An entire fan-base wants to win. A metropolitan population of 1,254,066 wants to win. If it took one outspoken football player to get them excited, I'm glad he's getting paid 6.5 million dollars.
(This is the third part of the new column: Inside Enemy Territory. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at InsideEnemyTerritory@gmail.com, or follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/InEnTerritory)