Muted response regarding Bills’ playoff chances

Photo from NewYorkUpstate.com.

The mood emanating from BillsMafia’s been very interesting to watch across social media this week. Seems the national media might be more enthused about the Bills’ chances to make the postseason for the first time in 17 years than the local media, social media and/or the general vibe around the FAMbase.

Whassup, Buffalo?

We’re right in the middle of the holiday season, the weather outside is frightful, yet we don’t seem to be revved up very much. It took me awhile to think about my own sense of apathy about the Bills’ playoff chances being alive for the last game of the season.

Like I suspect many fans, the Benjamin non-TD reversal in the Patriots game came at a point of total exasperation as a fan – with the NFL and the inconsistency of calls made during games. Fortunately after years of experience, I flipped off the switch and entered Christmas Eve and the holidays without batting an eyelash.

Fast forward a few days and a lot of Christmas joy later, we now focus on the upcoming Bills/Dolphins matchup. Fortunately the players will be able to enjoy warm weather and sunshine playing in Florida. Their muscles and joints will appreciate being away from the bitter cold around the northern US and Canada these days.

So what’s it going to take to get a big dose of enthusiasm going among the FAMbase for the Bills to secure a playoff bid on Sunday?

Steve Tasker spoke on Wednesday’s John Murphy Show about why he thinks fans might be a little reluctant to “get their hopes up” after 17 years of futility. Considering how many ways the Bills managed to screw up in the past, it’s not unreasonable for fans to be reticent to jump in the deep end all at once.

Photo from local10.com.

However, that stated, it’s also reasonable to dust off our tutus and get ready to dance in the streets should the Bills be able to beat the Dolphins in Miami. Some think they will pack it in and hand Buffalo an easy win because they have nothing to play for.

I’m not one of those who subscribes to that belief because I lived through that decade of losses to the Dolphins during the the 1970s. Never count them out until they’re not breathing. They might just have enough distaste for our invading bison that they decide to end our silly playoff hopes this season once and for all.

So –  it doesn’t matter what happened over last 17 years, we still have a chance to be delusional right up to the end of the regular season! That should be enough to celebrate, especially given the generally accepted low expectations most of us had for the Bills at the start of this season.

While I agree with John Murphy when he suggested fans should be celebrating instead of feeling pensive about the Bills’ playoff chances, I also understand why a muted response might seem to be the safer approach.

Also wondering if there isn’t a general malaise beginning to set in that has more to do with fan dissatisfaction with the NFL in general.

Photo from si.com.

The inconsistent application of discipline by the NFL along with inconsistent calls made by referees has dampened even the most passionate fans’ interest in the game. The NFL has a huge image problem blooming – like the green algae on Lake Erie in the summertime.

The truth is when the game is rife with inconsistency, from the way the administration of the NFL handles discipline to referees at “headquarters” completely overstepping their bounds with ridiculous calls, people lose interest in the game. If the owners in the NFL aren’t worried about fans losing interest, they should be.

Fans all over are getting tired of being ripped off for large sums of money for a lousy product. Forget attending games, league attendance is down not only because of political strife, but because it’s already cost prohibitive for middle class families to attend games. A day of reckoning is coming for the NFL, probably sooner than later.

Despite all of this, Bills fans still love their team like no other fan base in sports. And though we might not show it on the outside, we have every single superstition covered for Buffalo’s upcoming bid to make the playoffs on Sunday. Just don’t ask us to be public about it. Squish the Fish.

Editor’s babble: Thanks to everyone for making 2017 a terrific year to be a part of the BillsMafia FAMbase. You can find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO. Happy 2018 & here’s hoping the Bills will still be playing!

About Robyn Mundy

Robyn Mundy is Editor-in-Chief of the BillsMafia blog at BillsMafia.com. She's a retired oncology nurse & psychotherapist who loves to write about her life-long passion for the Buffalo Bills, and occasionally something of clinical or social relevance. Robyn lives with her husband Gary and their dogs in the foothills of the glorious Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Robyn is also a proud founding sponsor. Follow her on Twitter at @robynmundyWYO.

7 Replies to “Muted response regarding Bills’ playoff chances”

  1. I think that if we were solely responsible for getting in…more would be excited- but we need help. And while I will be donning the Bills gear, watching here in enemy territory while staying warm, I fear my Bills will again stoop to the level of their competition. A good ole blowout would be a blast!

  2. Happy Holidays Robin and thank you for the wonderful articles that you continue to put out-:)

    I thought back in the late 80’s & 90’s that the Bills had finally pulled through the dark ages What I mean by that is many of us grew up watching the Bills during a slew of horrid years–late 60’s early 70’s (Saban then brought us some joy) more bad years in the 70’s (Chuck Knox brought us back) and of course the early 80’s with the back to back 2-14 seasons… Polian was in the right place at the right time when he took over the Bills when GM Terry Bledsoe became ill. Polian brought the Bills back to respectabillity and when he left John Butler took over… It look like the Bills would be competitive for years to come and not head back to the dark ages on a regular basis. But Ralph continued to interfer and the top management talent left… hard to believe that the “Music City Miracle” was the last hurrah. Too many good football people left and now we are where we are…

    This was a hell of a season but I wouldn’t be suprised if the Bills took a couple of steps backwards next season in preparation for the future. First and foremost they need a QB, the draft has plenty to offer this year and the fans need to be patient while he progresses. The D-line needs help as does the O-line and the LB unit needs more speed. With a slew of draft picks they have flexibility but itis too bad that the Chiefs and Rams are heade to the playoffs and the Bills winning so many games will push them further back..

    I have faith in beanie and McD that they can get the Bills back on track for the future…

    Tomorrows game will be interest and everything has to align just right for the Bills to make the playoffs.. First they have to win which won’t be easy, as we all know we need the Titans, Chargers and Ravens to lose so we can get break the drought .

  3. looking forward to watching the game and want them to win it (of course). win or lose it was a mixed but overall successful first season for coach McDermott.
    it will be nice to watch a game that has playoff implications but it will be like most games- there is absolutely no expectation or “excitement” that they-
    1) have to win the game (on the road) against a division rival.
    2) need the somewhat dysfunctional bengals to win on the road against the ravens who have playoffs on the line – or –
    3) need both the underachieving raiders to win (on the road) against a motivated chargers team and the doug marrone led unmotivated jaguars to win (on the road) against a motivated titans team.

    good luck…..

    so as for now- expectations low. make it in? it will be like the cubs winning the world series.

  4. Thanks for another article Robyn. After 17 years of missing the playoffs and all the ways the Bills have blown their chances throughout those years, it’s hard to be giddy about the team. The 2004 season finale against the Steelers backups still rings fresh, win and the Bills were in, but instead, the Bills blow it. Donahoe blamed Bledsoe for choosing the wrong side of the field, demoted him to backup over JP Losman, then ultimately sent Bledsoe to the Cowboys. That move made the Bills a playoff caliber team to a 5-11 team, by which they stayed in that range (6-10/7-9) for a decade.

    I am looking forward to tomorrow’s game against the Dolphins. Hopefully the Bills do their part and win tomorrow. Good news is EJ Gaines and Kelvin Benjamin have been full participants in practice this week. If the Bills win, then I’ll be looking forward to the results of the 4 o’clock AFC games hoping things go the right way for the Bills.

    It’s been an interesting season for the Bills. There was a lot of turnover before and during the season. The Bills started off hot, then looked like the team most thought they would be (a bottom feeder), then started playing better again. McDermott made some head scratching/questionable game time decisions. Tyrod was the same Tyrod, inconsistent and hesitant. I’d say the two most positive things out of this season are the Bills are still in playoff contention and they never had a losing record at any time during the season. This is a good start to the McBeane era, but just being in playoff contention is not good enough long term. This team needs to win a championship, especially after the past 17 years of misery and putting up with the Patriots and the overzealous, obnoxious fans.

  5. Nice of the NFL to move all the meaningful games back to 3pm…because nobody has chit to do on New Years eve other than sit around and watch football into the evening.

  6. This is not basketball. If you are drafting high, you have a SIGNIFICANT need at multiple positions. Football teams are better off learning how to win at the end of a season than trying to maintain draft position. What one player is going to fix Cleveland? Or the Giants? Or Houston? The Patriots NEVER draft high and yet they are ALWAYS the best team in the NFL.