Of late, museums are seemingly being built to try and get some tourism dollars into a struggling area. Cleveland got the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame simply because of a line from Spinal Tap. Kansas city is thinking about building a Museum for Suburbia, a museum for how you live right now. As we all know Buffalo has been looking for something since Bass Pro took 40 years or so before they decided against building a box store in Buffalo. So I propose we build the Museum of Suck.
It’s something that we understand. We have enough information to cull through to put together some incredible exhibits. And maybe local officials can, for once, build it in downtown, perhaps even on the waterfront. We can start with a nice piece on the Pan Am expo in the 1900’s and how we just wanted to show people a world with electricity, but the take away was that a President was killed
How Buffalo is that? We are introducing electricity at Niagara Falls to blow the minds of people who have never seen such a thing, but the only thing people recall is that the President died. Oh and the guy who takes over is a legend. Classic Buffalo.
Not much has gone better since Mckinley died. I knew last week that the Bills would lose this game. Little did I know that this would be a nice installation to add to the museum of suck. I took a couple angry emails just after the Cardinals game (all in good fun) that I need to enjoy the win and see that we are destined to be atop the AFC East going into the bye. My Dad’s friend even wanted me to publically apologize when I was wrong about the Titans game. I was genuinely excited to write that apology. I’m sorry than I can’t even be sorry (this sounds like another wonderful piece for the museum.)
However, the Bills for the second straight week (and third time in four games) took a game it easily had in hand and let it go with joy. At the 5 minute mark of the fourth quarter in a game they had wrapped up, they concluded it would be more fun for 70,000 people if they lost.
I listened to the post game show and most of the callers were livid that we didn’t go for two, we didn’t challenge that potential fumble, that we’d shank yet another punt at a critical moment, that fourth and 9 when you knew they had to throw to the touchdown was so easily converted. But those are all weenie moments that sprung forth from a terrible call in the second quarter.
I present you with the decision to kick the field goal on fourth and 1 when the game was 21-14. We were in a shootout. The last team to stop scoring, loses the game. I tweeted that early during the game, I said that to everyone in my section willing to listen, I texted that to people.
Now confronted with 4th and 1 at the 12 yard line with gusty winds in comes Rian “I only kick under 40 yards” Lindell. Fancy I is trotted out to kick something by no means is a gimme. Oh, yeah, every run play we ran worked. It’s fourth and 1 yard. Three feet. At home…against a weak team? And we kicked it. Sure we made it, but now we aren’t on the same footing. The message has been sent from Gailey to the team, “look you guys just aren’t that good. Plus I’m hoping for this game to be my first exhibit at the Museum of Suck.”
And to recap, in that very drive, the Bills had rushes for 10, 4, 20, 12, and 7 yards. So of course, 1 yard with the crowd into the shootout, going for it was completely out of the question. And the fact you are now asking a porous defense to make one stop which it hadn’t yet and would be unable to stop a 3rd down (titans converted 9 of 14 third downs for 64% and another 50% on fourth downs. Yay!).
The second they kicked that field goal, they were no longer equals in this shootout. The Titans were given a better gun and had confidence. I realize the Bills made some stops here and there and even eventually took the lead. But that weak call begat the other problems. With 7 minutes and the ball, they take a holding penalty on a 2nd down conversion. They decide to keep throwing screens because they don’t trust Fitzpatrick. They punt on 4th and 15. All things bad teams bring upon themselves for no reason.
Then they let the Titans run out the clock on their 4th and 9. (more on that below.) They try to dink and dunk their way 80 yards with under a minute. These are all weak calls. They all say, “we have no confidence. We want to win, but we don’t know how.”
Well, now we the fans have no confidence. I’m done with my journeys’s back to Buffalo for the year…for football at least. Perhaps I’ll make an exception if I’m invited to the museum’s opening.
Bill Polian – How bad is your team when it can’t win when Bill Polian is in the house and rooting for your team. I mean the guy has spent the last 20+years of his life being associated with winners. I even thought, “maybe this is simply good mojo for the long term. Take away the ill will between the organization and the guy who created 4 superbowl appearances, then the Bills ability to shoot themsevles in the foot will go away.” Yet this team just seemed to revel in ability to out do Bill Polian Mojo. Unbelievable.
Chris Johnson watch – He ran for 193 yards. He needed 54 yards to get to 6,000 career yards before the game. On one run for 83 yards, he got it and more. And he picked up a TD. Now, true to form, let’s all pay attention to Chris Johnson next week. I can almost guarantee you he won’t get 54 yards all game. Musuem of Suck.
Buffalo Bullies – I should have worn purple to this game. The Bills were bullies. They came out and took a handful of personal fouls and kept chipping after the play. And I think they did it because they just thought they were better and wanted to show the Titans who they were. And they got flagged for their behavior several times and could have been called a handful more. But where is this bravado when the team that kicks them in the face two times a year comes into town? They are little British school boys. “May I have another, Mr. Brady?” Never mind that I am disgusted by this team and their record, their whole manner in carrying themselves is pathetic.
50% of this team is religious – If you follow any of the players on twitter half of them are super religious. The other half is trying to grow a mustache for charity. So that leaves exactly 0% trying to win football games. But for a team that is so religious, isn’t it amazing that they can’t even pray right? I assume they are asking the big man for some of this crap to stop. Or maybe they are just praying for a ticket out of Buffalo, in which case, they are doing a great job.
Hypothetical situation – you are the coach – Ok, you are the coach of an NFL team, make the call. Your qb is 5-13 since you’ve handed out a monster contract. You’ve got a losing record going into the bye week, and he hasn’t done anything to give you confidence to throw the ball more than 10 yards in the air 3 times. Would you consider the bye week as a time to replace him? There are 31 other NFL coaches who without a doubt would. But not our coach. He’ll fire a pro bowl punter for 3 bad games, but will give a full 18 to a guy who won’t get you to the playoffs. I don’t even think the other guys can do anything better, I just don’t want to have to see T Jax or Thigpen to be heralded as options next year. Draft 6 QB’s
Powell – Ok, he’s terrible too. The guy’s last punt ended up in the stands. It traveled further to get to the stands than it did forward. So far he’s been put in two pressure punt situations. He’s punted the ball a total of 48 yards in those two punts. That’s not even a great single punt. It’s a putrid double punt. I’m not suggesting firing him or that he’s the issue, but the team created another issue when one did not exist. Keep proceeding through the classic blunders in Museum of Suck. The line needs to keep moving.
Fitz fumble – I liked at the start of the third quarter he fumbled. My dad said prophetically said as is usual, “if they don’t score on this drive they don’t win the game.” Literally one play into it and the game is over.
Kevin Costner – Well if you aren’t sick enough already, there is a movie by Ivan Reitman about the Bills scheduled to come out. And apparently the man who made Waterworld (Sr. donating member for Museum of Suck) is apparently going to be the GM in this fictional tale and tell the story of draft day where somehow it’s uplifting without the team winning anything. Classic, writers tasked with making people fly, make dinosaurs alive and other such moves can’t envision a world where the Bills can win. I can’t wait til the film comes out taking cheap shots at our beloved town. I also hate the fact that I’d rather have Kevin Costner be our GM. The guy had a plan to clean up the Gulf! I’m sure he’d be able to find a QB, or activate T Jax. But in all seriousness, I actually look forward to a movie about the Bills where hope is restored.
New Stadium – I wish NYS and Erie county opened up the vault to the Bills. “We will build whatever stadium you want at whatever cost you want and we’ll give you the parking revenues, the bond interest, everything! All we ask in return is for you to have a good season before we break ground. And if you can’t win this year, you sign a 15 year lease in the current stadium. And we’ll pay to keep the stadium up so it doesn’t fall on itself.” Men of honor would sign that deal. But when have you known Russ Brandon to be an honorable guy? I mean the Bills gave Bill Polian a Toyota Highlander as a present for bringing the only interesting 8 years span of football to a 50+ year old franchise. I’m thinking a multi-millionaire is kind of over this Toyota Highlander phase of life. You essentially just gave him a $20k tax bill for accepting such a crappy gift.
Small victories – As I progressed through security in my angry state, I saw a TSA agent pull a Dolphins carry on for extra security. Of course a Dolphins bag should be checked for extra security.
Lock out needs to end – This town can’t handle two overtalented teams that underperform and frankly that’s always been the Sabres thing. For the Bills they usually are never given the tools to succeed and when they are given talent, they do well. Obviously they never finish the deal, but they make it fun. The sabres have been the underperformers with no heart of late. I solely blame Gary Bettman for this transition.
Jet Patriots – I sat on the flight watching the last 4 minutes of Jets/Patriots game. Here is the difference between Buffalo and the Patriots. The Patriots fumble the ball, give up the game winning field goal, and then get the ball left with 50 seconds. There was no doubt in your mind that the Patriots, at the very least ,would tie the game. In Buffalo, after fumbling the kick, the Bills would have folded and lost. Then they’d come out and say they want to make a statement the following week . Meanwhile the Patriots make the statement in the week of the mistake. And yes, I’m giving the Patriots props. And no, their fans are still gigantic hacks that know nothing about football. Oh yeah, and they only won because a ref threw a pass interference flag from 30 yards away from the play while the ref standing right there saw no reason for a flag. So yes, NFL still has to take care of its most uninformed fickle fan base or it will just be an empty stadium as it always has been.
The Silver lining – We only face Houston and New England coming out of the bye. The Patriots put up 52 in the last visit and the Texans just took the second best team in the AFC out back and spanked them until they were blue. If the Bills escape these next two games giving up less than 200 points, I will be amazed.
Kevin Shenoy can be reached at email@example.com and can be followed on twitter at @kevinshenoy.