Buffalo Bills: Heartbreaking Loss Serves As Humble Reminder

Randall CastroContributor ISeptember 15, 2009

Sportswriters are people too.

There I was, among my peers covering the Detroit Tigers game, as I always do. The lone difference—I had an extra web browser page open watching the play-by-play of the Bills-Patriots game.

While my objectivity to the task at hand never wavered, I kept a close eye on the matter at hand in Foxboro, Mass.

Silent fist pumps. Erratic head scratches. An abundance of updates to those around me.

This was how I was going to bring my passion for my boyhood heroes and my career together, in one silent harmonious night, it seemed to fit perfectly.

The Tigers were trailing, but the Bills were winning. That's how it seemed to be for most of the night, although history will show the Tigers in fact held the lead for the majority of the game.

So did the Bills.

Then, it happened.

I don't know exactly what happened first. Aubrey Huff's game-tying home run, or the Patriots' first of two last minute touchdowns. On one hand, I formulated a new story from scratch, having seen my first article's theme crumble before me. 

On the other hand, the Bills themselves were doing some crumbling of their own. Now, it must be noted that the televised broadcast remained roughly a minute behind the on-line play-by-play.

"How mad are you?" one text message from a close friend read.

"Can you believe this?" read another. I had no idea what either of them were referring to.

Oh, there it was. The Leodis McKelvin fumbled kick return. Right. 

It was at that moment that I remembered, this is what being a Bills fan has become all about. They teeter with the idea of victory in grand fashion, on a large stage—then rip your very heart from your chest.

I didn't need to see the rest, I knew exactly what was going to happen next. Of course, I watched anyways; As most Bills fans will tell you, we've evolved into gluttons for punishment.

Right as Ben Watson was catching the go-ahead touchdown to turn away the Bills from their biggest upset in years, an error allowed Brandon Inge to score the game winning run for the Tigers over the Blue Jays.

The parallels were surreal. The way one team rallied while the other collapsed was nearly poetic.

The drive home was an hour filled with profanity-laced phone calls to dear friends suggesting that it was a "good game'." I am unaware as to when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will start granting playoff berths for "good games" and "almosts" instead of the typical win/loss format we're all accustomed to. 

By the time I got home, I had postgame Tiger audio to sort through, and the next day's work to map out. The sting from the Bills' loss still very fresh in my mind.

This morning greeted me with a new feeling: relief.

Thankful I had a job to go to, thankful I had some of the simpler things in life that can so easily be taken for granted.

Most of all, I'm thankful that the Bills managed to break my heart in the season's first week, keeping me focused on what really matters most.


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