I hope everyone out there had a fantastic holiday. It sucks when you get old now because all you want is straight up cash homie (Randy Moss catch phrase). I cant remember the last time I opened up an actual gift. Usually, my parents are like you want gifts or money? To quote the Million Dollar Man, everyone has a price!! hahahahahahahahahha (Ted DiBiase laugh).
Anyways, with the year coming to an end, I thought it would be fun for the writers on this site to post their favorite story for the year. Here's mine....A one game-winning streak.
What if the Bills won only one game this year?
Yes, besides draft experts and some in the football world who don't understand it's not about where you pick, but who you pick (See: Pats, Ravens and Steelers), would shout with joy because we would win the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, what team would you like the Bills to beat?
It has got to be the Pats, right?
For an entire decade, the Pats owned us like we were a used whore. It seemed like every year, we would come so close to beat those guys and by the miracles of Bradymas, they would pull a victory out of their asses. Of course, the season would then end with the Pats crushing us and making us realize that we aren't close to their level.
However, for one Sunday this year, we were.
During the last 12 years or so, besides the opening day game against the Pats in 2003, there haven't been many epic victories for this team. We came close a few times against the Pats, Colts and the Cowboys in 2007. However, for the most part, it has been a bunch of meaningless wins against the Browns, Jags, Chad Pennington, Nick Saban, and any Jake Dehlomme or John Beck Quarterback led team. Did those wins feel special? Not really. Didn't Jauron have like 2 wins against teams with a .500 or better record? If you can't beat decent teams and you are constantly out of the playoff picture by December, when you get wins, they just tend to feel empty. I couldn't tell you how I felt when the Bills beat Miami last year. I was probably indifferent about it.
I was just begging for victories in which you wake up the following morning and you jump out of bed feeling good as a Bills fan. It is a feeling I use to remember when I was a kid. It was great jumping out of bed knowing that we just beat the Chiefs or Raiders to get to the Super Bowl. There was a spring in your step during that time. It was waking up and knowing that we owned the football world. We took it for granted, I tell you. Those mornings were glorious. You expected that to be the norm. Riding the school bus on Monday mornings never fault so good.
When we beat the Pats this year, it all came back to me. I must have said to myself at least 20x the following sentence:
"Holy crap, we beat the Pats!"
It happened after Rian Lindell made his game-winning field goal. It happened when I kissed the top of my friend's bald head when we won (That sounded disturbing). It happened on the subway ride to Queens. It happened the next day when I looked in the mirror and brushed my teeth. It happened during a meeting at work when I tuned out my bosses. Hell, I may have said it out loud. If I had a girlfriend, it would happen while we were having..you know. Again....HOLY CRAP, WE BEAT THE PATS!?
I'll never forget watching the game at McFaddens with like 300 ex-Buffalonians in NYC. Just the way the Bills fell behind by 21-3 and the air went out of the place. It was getting to the point of wanting to just get drunk so that we could forget the streak. Maybe we could wake up with the greatest hangover ever and forget about the 2000s, Leodis McKelvin's fumble, Losman's safety and Drew Bledsoe. All of a sudden, the Bills woke up. They fought back with a bunch of undrafted kids and a bearded QB who seemed to become the franchise that day. Can you believe we intercepted Tom Brady four times? It still seems like a dream, doesn't it? While I sit here and type this post, I can't believe we beat those guys.
The best moment came when Fred Jackson took a pass over the middle and raced towards what seemed to be the game-winning touchdown. The bar thought he scored and the place just went crazy. It was like being in a mosh pit. I was expecting to see a guy wearing zubaz to start crowd surfing at some point. Then, the refs decided to review the play. GREAT!? Another way for the NFL to screw the Bills. Damn conspiracy theories still haunt us. Stupid Music City Miracle?! Wait?! If they rule the ball at the 1-yard line, we can just kill the clock and have Lindell kick the game-winning field goal with no time left? This is perfect?! The Football Gods are smiling at us?!
The best part was being able to watch Bill Belichick go nuts on the sideline. He was so helpless. He knew that review screwed his streak. Only thing he can do was yell at the refs and look like Dick Jauron reincarnated...a buffoon. For once, we were on the other side. We were the ones laughing at Bostonians everywhere. It felt like we finally turned the corner as a franchise. We started thinking flex schedule and all. I had already envisioned how the NFL Films yearbook for the Buffalo Bills 2011 season would open: You play the final play of the streak ending and John Murphy going crazy. Hell, you could even add the audio from Van Miller in 1980, when the Bills ended the 0 for the 70's streak against Miami.
It was too perfect that day.
When the kick sailed through, the bar went nuts. It went so crazy that the NYPD came to the bar and had to evacuate it because we went over the 200 occupy sign in the corner of the bar. Man, they should have just added another zero. Everyone was on the corner of 42nd and 2nd, screaming and singing the shout song. I can only imagine what tourists or New Yorkers were thinking when we took over that corner on one faithful Sunday afternoon.
Alas, we know where we are now, but I can't help but smile when I think back to that Sunday afternoon. For the first time in a long time, I felt the Bills were alive. It really was a fun seven weeks, wasn't it? It felt like the old days. It was the first special Sunday we had in years. Hopefully, we will have more in the years to come.
I know, we stink. However, if you want to get into a good place for next year and beyond, go back to that Sunday. Go back to the day Fitz and Fred had. Go find the highlights on Youtube or read Sully's recap of that game. Come on, aren't you a tiny bit excited about next September?