As fans of the NFL, we know what it is like to feel a burning ire for another person simply because his team of choice does not match our own.
When a dyed-in-the-wool fan of one team encounters the opposing teams' supporters, love for his own overcomes common sense and produces emotions of extreme intensity. It's part of what makes this game so amazing and keeps us coming back year after year.
I am the kind of fan who would prefer to die rather than wave the flag of another team. I love the Miami Dolphins more than a person should love anything—to the point where I must admit that my own personal happiness is inescapably fused to, and wholly dependent upon the team's success.
I do realize, however, that without the teams that threaten to take away my happiness by defeating the Fins on the field of battle, there would be no Miami Dolphins; there would be no love.
That is precisely why I have decided to write this series, "It's Not All Hate"—to remind everyone that it is football that we truly love, to thank the fans of other teams for the competitive spirit that drives all of our passions for the game, and to acknowledge the fact that the symbiosis between us is what really fuels the sport.
I am going to attempt to say something nice about every single NFL team.
The Buffalo Bills:
A great rivalry has existed between the Dolphins and the Bills for decades, but my connection to the team goes deeper than that.
I was born and raised in Rochester, New York, which is well within the borders of Bills Country. As you can imagine, growing up, I had to tolerate hearing "Squish the Phish" on more than a few occasions and somehow "Kill the Bills" as a retort, never seemed to land quite the same way.
Needless to say I was one voice against many.
The semi-recent history of the Bills is the first thing I can compliment. The days of Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, and Bruce Smith are solidified, I'm certain, in the hearts of all Bills fans. Just don't mention Scott Norwood, or the words "wide right."
As far as the present is concerned, the team certainly has its bright spots.
Jairus Byrd's presence in the backfield is one of the things that gives Buffalo the chance to stymie great offensive units along with a weekly opportunity to pull off an upset.
The Bills offense has potential too.
A solid running game is a must, and Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson make a decent tandem. Add in one Mr. C.J. Spiller and Buffalo's ground attack is suddenly a force with which to be reckoned. Neither does it hurt to have Lee Evans running routes.
The addition of Chan Gailey as the new head coach should also contribute to increasing the team's effectiveness in 2010, adding fuel to the fire of what is a wildly competitive AFC East.
So there you have it Bills fans, a Miami Dolphins fanatic saying nice things about your team. I am certain that you have now heard everything, but enough with the niceties; we may recommence our hatred for one another at this time.
If you enjoyed this installment of the "It's Not All Hate" Series, Go To My Archive to find the others, and more.