by “Christian Dan” Borrello,posted Apr 15 2009 1:09PM
The Buffalo Bills could replace this year's 50th Anniversary patches (if they decide on wearing them) with commemorative badges that mark a decade since Rob Johnson led the franchise to its last playoff appearance. That alone is the only real reason Bills fans have to cry, whine and bitch.
If you're shortsighted enough to think games in Toronto are bad now, realize that the team's future in or out of Western New York has nothing to do with games being played in Canada last year, this year, or in the next four years, and the money the Bills make makes them much more solvent in today's NFL. Heck, if they had a real general manager and head coach, they could be a playoff team.
Some fans' braindead jock-ocracy continued this morning with outcries of fans and media alike ripping the organization for scheduling another divisional contest along the other side of Lake Ontario rather than Lake Erie. The kvetching (yes, it's a word, spelled properly) continued when they learned the game would be on NFL Network, NOT on Time Warner Cable.
My, my, my. For a team that hasn't played one-and-done January football since Frank Wychek's lateral to Kevin Dyson sealed the Bills' Super Bowl dreams to a single decade--perhaps for eternity--fans are still awfully spoiled. Entitled even. They shouldn't be.
First, let's tackle the latter controversey. You can a) purchase DirecTV with all the complaints regarding cable prices; b) Go to a bar December 3rd and watch the Bills and the J-E-T-S; or c) Find a friend who owns a dish and watch the game there.
We used to complain when a game was blacked-out. Talk show lines were loaded with redundant hacks saying the NFL should obliviate the 72-hour sellout rule, to which few free-thinking hosts ever disagreed. Except this one little detail: if your stadium can't sell games out, maybe you SHOULD move the franchise, since NFL blackouts are about as a rare a Detroit Lions victory.
Sellouts are less frequent in other pro sports, so blackout restrictions would kill them entirely in today's on-demand world. If an NFL owner actually has seats remaining for a game that sells out everywhere else, he should be allowed the necessary incentive to sell those seats--that, of course, being the threat of a blackout. More simply: supply and demand.
The Bills-Jets game will be sold out. Rogers Cable will see to it, simply from a public relations standpoint. The Canadian media giant has already doubled the amout of seats sold for under a hundred bucks from 4,700 to 11,000. They want football. The dome will be filled. Period.
The question is where to watch it. Well, it is only Tax Day, so consider yourself warned, a little over seven-and-a-half months in advance. Find a place. Find a way. Watch the game. But first, stop and ask yourself: Heck, what makes me think I'll even want to stay-up and watch it in the first place?
Again, another example of fans taking football for granted. There's nothing in the last nine years that suggests this team will be worth our precious Thursday night prime-time hours, or warrants cutting into our sleep. Go one step further: do you know what you're doing next Thursday night? Let alone 33 Thursday nights from now?
Sure, it's the NFL. Our rite of passage. Only the NFL could not snap a single down and infuriate an entire country seven months before kickoff.
Then there's the Jets, who have no idea who they'll start at quarterback that cold, domed day in Toronto. The Bills pulled a Bud Selig for a second straight year and "leaked" a rumor about who they may play, to justify to fans when they book the team they may really have in mind when the schedule officially makes its way to the printer.
Last year, Browns backers in western New York were angered that they may have to forfeit their quick jaunt to Orchard Park for an expensive trip along the QEW. So the Bills and the NFL decided to give the Canadians the 1-15 Miami Dolphins instead.
Rabble! "How can they give 'em the Dolphins game?" Apparently, even any 1-15 team would be good enough for those (dang) Canucks, just not Miami.
This year, NFL Network reported the Bills may "host" Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts...
So, the Bills and the league got together again and settled on the New York Jets.
Aye. How about giving the Canadians the Saints? Or the Bucs? Or the lowly Texans? Sure, those will boost ticket sales.
Rogers Cable is spending roughly $76 million for these eight games, and reportedly are inquiring about more. Sorry folks, they're the only real vote that counts. If a nationally televised night game shown in the league's largest market is the best way to showcase the game, that's just smart marketing. From a paper standpoint, the Jets are the perfect team on the slate to put there.
If Bills fans want something to complain about, the Indianapolis game January 3rd is probably worth a gripe or two. If the Colts continue being a playoff team, there's a good chance Peyton won't be playin' in Buffalo that Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, it's just a schedule, a brutal one at that for a bad, bad team. But as ABC, ESPN and NBC have learned over the years, this year's schedule based on last year's records doesn't guarantee good games. This is the parity league. Remember? So forget the schedule for now. You have more important things to worry about, Bills fans.
Nine years of research proves it.
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Theisman also likes to use "football" as an adjective, as if fans might forget what sport they're watching without a reminder. "This is a football team that needs to just go out there and make some football plays if they want to win this fo...