Readers may remember that toward the end of the 2008 NFL season, I decided that watching the Buffalo Bills consistently lose games and look boring in doing so had lost its appeal to a sufficient degree that I decided to just plain stop watching them. Sunday afternoons became a lot more pleasant once I realized that devoting three hours each week to an activity that wasn't bringing me much pleasure wasn't that good an idea. I was prepared to do the same this season, but in the offseason, the Bills did something that can now been seen for what it was: a move designed to tempt fans like me back into the fold. That was, of course, the signing of wide receiver Terrell Owens.
And yes, it worked. I watched the Bills for the first handful of games this year, even though it was obvious that aside from his signing, the team hadn't actually gotten any better. At all. Now, in the first four games, they only won one contest, a home game against Tampa Bay, a team that is in a full-bore rebuilding youth movement phase. But the games they lost were to teams that are pretty good: New England, New Orleans, and defending division champ Miami. But aside from the New England game, which they played pretty well in before losing when someone made a really bad fumble late in the game that led to the Patriots' winning points, the Bills tended to look flatter and flatter each time out, and the offense specifically looked worse and worse, despite the presence of T.O. For me the last straw came when the Bills lost at home to the Cleveland Browns -- one of the league's worst teams right now -- by the thrilling score of 6-3. That's when I said, the hell with it, T.O. or no T.O. I spent the next three Sundays watching the Spiderman movies with The Daughter at the time when the Bills were playing.
They were 2-1 in those games, but I don't really care. I didn't miss watching football at all, and I didn't miss it this week either (during which the Bills were on their bye week). The Bills have managed, I think, to drive the fandom out of me at long last. Oh well. A Super Bowl win would have been nice, and who knows -- maybe in a few years when they're a year or two into their new location (either Los Angeles or Toronto, I'm thinking), they'll manage a title in the Big Game.