Leather Tuscadero commented as we traveled down Southwestern Boulevard in Orchard Park, as the brisk, crisp, fall evening air replaced the cold rainy dampness from earlier, this was her first Monday Night Football Game she would be attending. Back to the pond rookie. Yes indeed. This would be your first indication that the actual Bills football content is not overflowing in surplus.
As far as myself, not my first rodeo, I am no Monday Night Rookie as I have been to both wins and losses, home and away, highlighted by a first ever NFL start by backup quarterback Frank Reich, a comeback victory over Greg Bell and the Rams back in 1989. Most recently I witnessed the Tony Romo “Nathan Peterman” type interception display as the Cowboys still snuck out of here with the “W” followed by the dull Cleveland loss the following season as these last home Prime time national games were close to a decade ago.
The next several shared opinionated comments were in disbelief beginning at Tim Hortons as she witnessed herds of intoxicated fans piling in to use the restrooms, throughout the walk approaching the stadium, the lines to enter the stadium, the restrooms and the beer line. Her comments continued at the seats as the drunks got drunker, voices louder, and the language increasing in vulgarity.
Every display that she shook her head in disbelief, I had to let her in on the fact that in the late 80’s and 90’s that was how we rolled. Many games resulted in waking up the next day scrambling for the sports page to piece the game together. Unfortunately, our rowdiness was not just involving turf, netting or stomachs.
The Bills were once an exciting team at one point. I stand corrected as the worst part about all of that is that those many many gameday experiences are some of the best memories of a lifetime enjoyed with friends. Crazy, embarrassing, unsafe, annoying, painful binges that would scare off or just plain repulse some fine folks, was a routine only to be repeated at the next home game and occasionally we took our gig to the road. It really makes me respect a lot of my friends parents as they kept right up with us when we were 17, 25 and even 35 and yet I get tired or even annoyed a bit just watching the show put on by the younger members of the Bills mafia.
Attempts to get the band back together were made in Chicago in 2014 as well as in London in 2015. Total different kind of fun sitting in Soldiers suite with attorneys and colleagues of my friend. Buffalo was victorious though with EJ Manuel. The Wembley experience was fun, horrible game, but mature couples on vacation could not be the band back together. Manuel had already lost his starting job to Tyrod Taylor but was thrown in to action due to an injury. Manuel basically solidified the end of his career in Buffalo with the first half performance in the UK. It is more of a new band formed with some members of the original band.
Things we know about the Buffalo Bills this week:
- Matt Barkley signed with the team on Wednesday. The former USC star quarterback will most likely back up Nathan Peterman, the legend that continues to grow simply by being kept on the roster. Ouch #1.
- I was not alone in my compendium of Monday night suggesting that the most entertaining portion of the evening was by far the half time show. The 72,000 fans lighting up the fall evening with thousands of cell phones was far superior to Buffalo’s product on the offensive side of the ball. Thurman Thomas, introduced by Chris Burman, the diehard Bills fan. Thurman Thomas was famous for stealing the show back in college. He repeatedly dominated the NFL in rushing, yards from scrimmage and receiving by a running back. He was the League MVP in 1991. He developed in to a top notch blocking back who picked up the blitz as good as anyone. He managed to steal the show for 12 years in Buffalo including championship games and he should have been the MVP of Super Bowl 25. The presentation Monday night succeeded keeping up with trends. It was awesome to be there for this. They honored him and paid tribute to him with style and class. It was far superior to the actual product on the field on Wednesday. Ouch #2. Congratulations to #34, never to be worn again by anyone on the Bills.
- Conversations on local radio posed one mindboggling question before the Bills Monday night game. It meant little at first until I let it sink in when I realized young adults have never known a division winner, Unmatched pure unified excitement throughout western New York for a team playoff run
- This embarrassing offense repeatedly taking the field, more specific being the QB situation, falls squarely on general manager Brandon Beane and McDermott who made the arrogant decision, at roster cutdown, to go with two young quarterbacks … first-round draft choice Allen and second-year pro Peterman who had thrown exactly 49 NFL passes.
- It’s not a totally ludicrous idea to say that now that wide receiver Terrelle Pryor is on the Bills’ roster, he might not just be their best receiver. He also might be their best quarterback. No more. Make it stop. Do not take this the wrong way. He has not been an extremely valuable receiver or quarterback. That just speaks volumes about the lack of talent on the front line backed by zero depth. Not a real good look for future resumes of the first-time head coach and first time general manager.