I can’t believe I had to throw out my whole column proclaiming the Era of Vince Young. Guess it’s time for Plan B.
For older Bills fans like me, the Dolphins long personified “the enemy.” If you’re reading this, you probably know why: the losing streak. Dan Marino. Brian Cox.
Over the course of time, as both the Fish and Bills began wearing mediocrity like an old, comfortable sweater, many Bills fans turned their animosity toward the Pats. Again, if you’re reading this, you know why: Tom Brady. The Hoodie. Spy Gate. And maybe the Super Bowls.
But, for me – and for so many of the hundreds and hundreds of New Yorkers who keep McFadden’s and Calico Jack’s bursting at capacity – the Jets are now the Baby Ruth in the NFL’s swimming pool; not as scary as they appear to be on the surface, but pretty vulgar just the same. Again, you know why: the fans. Rex Ryan. The fans. Even Mark Sanchez, who probably wouldn’t register on the radar of most Bills fans if he played in Houston, Baltimore or San Diego, is a source of derision. He’s dating Eva Longoria. If he played in Jacksonville he’d be dating a second shift waitress from the local Denny’s.
The real reason so many Bills fans dislike the Jets, of course, is their proximity. We have to live, work and breath the same air as Jets fans. That makes it personal.
And that, in turn, makes it so remarkable – and simultaneously exciting and irritating – that our team opens the season against the Jets, right in the heart of northern New Jersey.
But it goes beyond that. There are two other reasons this is such a big deal for NY Bills fans: we’re taking over a block of seats that’s 500-strong (thanks, ironically, to the Jets, who kindly offered to sell us those seats), and…
No, I can’t say it.
OK, I’ll suck it up.
And because we sort of think the Bills might actually be good this year. We believe they may be good enough to possibly, maybe make the playoffs, even with a QB that only makes us forget Edwards and Losman because they weren’t worth remembering to begin with. A belief which will be tested immediately in a road game against the Jets – a team that performed so badly in the pre-season that they actually need to win this game.
This will either be the best or worst possible start to a season.
Either way, it’s great to be back for another season at McFadden’s and Calico Jack’s. The NYCBBB is bigger than ever, and I’m willing to bet there will be no place more crowded on Sundays over the next few months than Second Avenue between 42nd and 43rd streets.