(The hashtags in the post title are for the benefit of Twitter followers of mine who might not read the blog.)
A little background: each year for the last, oh, I don't know, five or six years, I have eventually reached a point in the football season where I recognize the writing on the wall, which invariably seems to read, "Not this year". Or "Bad team here." Or "Go forth and do something else with thy time." I've tended not to ignore such things, as my general feeling has been that I just don't enjoy doing things that simply are not enjoyable. And for twelve years now, Buffalo Bills football has certainly been mostly not enjoyable.
So, at some point each season, I've just stopped watching the Bills. Usually this happens at some point in the second half of the season, so I have borne sad witness to such Bills thrillers as the game they lost at home to Cleveland 6-3, a game in which they actually held the opposing quarterback to just two completions. But I've spared myself a lot of bad games, too, such as the "Let's see what Brian Brohm's got" laugher in Atlanta a few years back, or last year's season-ending game at New England, in which Brady and Belichick and the boys basically said, "Hey, let's spot these guys 21 points and then still beat 'em by 28."
What do I do instead? I go out with family, or read, or write, or watch movies in what I like to call "Instead of the Buffalo Bills Theater". (Today I watched Prometheus. Review forthcoming.) Now, some fans I know scoff at me when I make my yearly announcement that I'm not watching the games anymore, the implication being that I'm not a real fan, that I'm being something like a 'fair-weather friend' who is only there for people when times are good. But then, I'm just a guy watching games on teevee and talking about them. How does my 'support' matter to the Bills, one way or the other?
So my question is this. Imagine that the next few years of Bills history spin out thusly: At the end of the current season, they finish up 4-12. Whether he's fired or decides to 'spend more time with family', GM Buddy Nix exits stage left. Bill Polian and his son take over and immediately draft a franchise quarterback, be it Barkley, Smith, or one of the other highly-touted QB prospects. The kid proves as good as advertised, maybe taking the Bills to a pair of wild-card, 10-6 seasons before finally exploding and going 14-2 with a Super Bowl win in Year Three. Now: as they're hoisting the Lombardi Trophy and toasting either Mr. Wilson or Mr. Wilson's memory, and as you're dancing in your living room because the Bills have finally won the Super Bowl, is the feeling really that much sweeter because you watched 6-3, or the Brian Brohm start, or any of the Bills' trips to New England the last 12 years? Really?
For me...I'll like 'em again when they win.