My mom is still trying to figure out why my dad, my brother, and I care so much about the Buffalo Bills. Every fall, she has to hear Dad’s house-shaking, cat-terrorizing cries as the Bills get sloppy, get robbed, or get crushed. Then she has to endure the hours of catharsis, when my brother and I call home to rehash every sickening play.
We hang on partly because the Bills were great once. Back in the early 1990s, they went to the Super Bowl four years in a row. They lost all four times. But we told ourselves that we can take it. Hell, we’re from western New York; grief and loss flow from the faucets, fluoridated. Would we really rather be rooting for the (colorful expletive) Dallas Cowboys, with all that money, all those championships, all those impossibly beautiful cheerleaders? No way. We are Bills fans. God’s chosen.
Today I feel betrayed. This article by ESPN’s Gregg Easterbrook reveals that, for years, the owners of bad NFL teams, like the Bills, have sacrificed their team’s competitiveness on the altar of profit. For the first time in my life, I feel like ditching the Bills. I feel like calling my dad. And my mom.