Circlin’ the Wagons
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • September 26, 2011 @ 8:43am
This post isn’t about the resilience of Ryan Fitzpatrick, the creativity of Chan Gailey or the sheer ineptitude of Chad Ochocinco. This isn’t about Tom Brady’s Uggs, Gisele Bundchen or how unstoppable Rob Gronkowski is. This is about a mentality shift in a city accustomed to disappointment, a new belief that long odds or adversity won’t stand in the way of the Bills’ stampede. The Bills absolutely “circled the wagons” of Ralph Wilson Stadium Sunday, ending the New England Patriots’ reign of dominance and becoming the NFL’s media darlings for the next six days.
I doubt many of you were like me, no beers deep, sitting on my bed, staring blankly at the TV screen as Brian Moorman jubilantly launched himself into Rian Lindell’s arms. Even my Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan housemate showed more raw emotion than I did. Buying into the defeatist mentality—it’s hard not to when it’s been almost 3,000 days since the Bills beat the Pats—I still had faint images of a Tom Brady-led final-minute drive in which the Brady-Welker-Gronk trio sunk the dagger deep into the hearts of Bills’ fans from Ralph Wilson Stadium to McFadden’s to much farther beyond.
Fortunately, that result didn’t happen, and I shook my head vigorously to make sure my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me, that the final score really was 34-31 in favor of Buffalo, and that Marv Albert, curiously covering football this fall, hadn’t tricked me with his sinister ways. The shouts, yells, excited obscenities and slurred Bills’ fight song renditions cascaded down from houses on my North Buffalo street, some that I didn’t even know held tenants until Sunday afternoon.
I found myself awkwardly humming “hey-ey-ey-ey” the rest of the evening.