This city, despite having a faithful fan base who has not seen a playoff-worthy team since the heartbreaking "Music City Miracle" of a decade ago, has faced disrespect from NFL players time and again.
Look first to Willis McGahee, who the Bills risked a first-round pick on despite a devastating knee injury suffered in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. Even with the injury, fans waited patiently and hoped for the best from the young star. He responded by criticizing the city for its lack of party life and taking a shot at the local Applebee's. Fans were so glad to see him traded that a local bar offered a cash-for-McGahee jersey deal to stock up on bar rags.
Buffalo took another risk this past season by giving the nomadic Terrell Owens a new home and perhaps one last chance to prove he is still a viable number one receiver to the rest of the league.
Though T.O. did not provide his typical sound bites, he was clearly unhappy about being part of a rebuilding effort for a young team. Rather than taking the opportunity to be a guiding veteran force for a young receiving corps, he lacked focus, lacked production, and lacked any of the emotion that fans come to expect from a player known by his initials.
The most recent hit to the city's pride came when Donovan McNabb declined a trade to the Bills that included a contract extension. Though McNabb would finally have a city full of fans who would be behind him and have a chance to play out his career until he decides the time has come, Donovan declined.
Instead, he chose to stay within the division and play for a Redskins team notorious for bringing in talent from around the league that cannot help but underachieve upon arriving in the Nation's capital.
Though McNabb can hardly be blamed for avoiding a team with one of the NFL's longest playoff droughts, Bills fans cannot help but be disappointed.
A fanbase that commonly feels forgotten about sees another chance at the national spotlight lost. The only consolation Bills fans can take from the McNabb trade is that it eliminates one more team standing between Buffalo and either Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen.
Still, even if the Bills manage to land one of these quarterbacks, the fanbase will be holding its collective breath until a contract is signed, lest there be a repeat of the Crabtree holdout in San Francisco.
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