Hey Bills Fans,
Getting ready to head into this Miami Dolphins game and surprisingly looking forward to it. That’s right, even though we as a team are out of playoff contention and the season seems lost I am still looking forward to playing. I know you must be thinking, “What’s wrong with this guy, why is he looking forward to a game that essentially means nothing?” That’s a simple answer for me, because this game is still fun. I started playing this game in my backyard 18 years ago. It was fun then and it is fun now. Yes it is a job now, and yes sometimes the pressure, stress, and uncertainty of your career take some of that fun out but once you step on the field, it’s all back to being fun.
Another reason I am looking forward to this game is my parents and father-in-law have made it up for the game. It’s always fun to have family in the stands, cheering you on. Reminds me of growing up, I was lucky enough that my parents only missed 3 games from 5th grade of pop warner to senior year of college!!! That’s a ton of games and a ton of traveling! Now I’ve got great in laws that are equally as supportive as my parents have been throughout my life.
Finally, a 3rd reason I am looking forward to the game this weekend, comes from a single quote from a passenger on my father-in-law's flight up here. You see, if you plan to go to dinner with my father-in-law, or to the auto parts store- or anywhere there are other people involved, make sure to plan an extra 20 minutes for random conversations with strangers. That’s the southern hospitality in him, and his flight up here was no different. In conversation with the Buffalo native passenger next to him he asked, “If you had to describe Buffalo in one word, what would it be?” The passenger thought about it for a minute then responded with, “Proud”. No doubt, I would have to agree. Whether it’s the locals here who love love the local cuisine & can clear the raods of snow faster than anyone in the country, or those Buffalonians back home at the local Buffalo Backer bars where, even though everyone there has been away from Buffalo for decades, still bleeds the red and blue- everyone is PROUD. It would be a good early Christmas gift to all of you to knock off a divisional rival in the Dolphins. We know you guys feel the same way about them as we do, and although it won’t be the same as winning to send us to the playoffs it is still beating the Dolphins and would feel great to win not just for us but for this town too. We want to make you PROUD.
I’m sure by now you have all heard of Chicago’s Sam Hurd and the recent developments in his federal investigation. If not you should google it and find out more, it sounds like he was trying to live out his own American Gangster movie. It’s a shame how this reflects the NFL and helps to further stereotype NFL players. One of the things a story like this does is cause a lot of people to question the policies and procedures regarding drug testing in the NFL. And the more comments I hear, the more I disagree with the general consensus. Everyone seems to think the drug testing program is easy to get around and there needs to be more random and more frequent testing. Well let me ask you, when was the last time you got drug tested at your job? I can pretty much guarantee that for the majority of you if drug tested at all, it was upon being hired and since then probably not at all. I say to you, that program is a joke and far easier to get around than our program.
You guys propose adding more frequent tests, is that really the answer? Have you seen the ESPN 30 for 30 on Todd Marinovich? He was tested three times a week by the Raiders and still was doing drugs on a regular basis all the while passing the tests. To me this says, if you want to get around it, you can, no matter how frequent the testing. This is my answer instead of over-regulating; put the onus on the organizations to only hire good character guys. Unfortunately, if you hire guys that are suspect character guys, there is a chance you will get suspect results. This will, of course, exclude some guys that are highly capable of playing at this level. We as a country must decide what is more important. Do we want a game that is played at a slightly higher level and have guys that prove they will continually get in trouble or are we ok with playing the game at a slightly lower level with all good guys?
I am not saying I think this league is made up of thugs, in fact I think the opposite. Since joining the league stereotypes have been broken consistently. I can’t get over the intelligence and character of the majority of the men in this league. In this locker room more specifically I can honestly say that I respect every man in there. It’s the exceptions that cause a problem, there are only a couple out there but they cause a big problem. I’m not talking specifically on the Chicago situation. I am talking much more general on the entire league. And furthermore, I don’t know of anything that could have been done to prevent this specific problem in Chicago. From what I hear the guy was a quiet, go about your business, type of guy with no red flags. We are just unfortunate that it happened in our industry to cause a cloud to float over us. Thoughts?
Hope we bring you guys a win this week, we are surely overdue by now.
(For Now) Your No-Named Buffalo Bill