Not even Shakespeare could have dreamed of a storyline as glorious as those displayed by Dick Jauron’s Buffalo Bills every time they appear on Monday Night Football.
For the third time in as many years, the Bills have turned a near-certain victory into a mind-boggling defeat, cementing the heated argument that Buffalo is indeed the deserved owner of the title “Most Tortured Sports City in America.”
The first episode happened in 2007, when the Bills hosted the Cowboys and Terrell Owens in a game that had most people scratching their heads. Why the hell did this game get scheduled for a national audience, anyway?
But the Bills showed their guile, holding the Cowboys in check and looking like they would pick up a certain upset… until the Cowboys scored a touchdown, recovered an onside kick and hit a 51-yard field goal to win the game.
That very game gave berth to one of the greatest posts this site has ever seen. (It was actually my second post for the site, and I’ve gone straight downhill ever since).
Last year, the Bills saw their playoff hopes come crashing down when Cleveland’s Phil Dawson nailed a 56-yarder to knock them off on a Monday Night.
Clearly, the bar for the Bills to top themselves in the third part of this trilogy was set very high. But like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Buffalo came through with shining colors.
Things looked promising enough early on, as these things tend to do. But at no moment was I worried. Towards the beginning of the fourth quarter, I reminded my giddy friend Buffalo Bob with a message on Facebook: “Don’t worry Bob… they are putting all the ingredients in place for you to have another epic heartbreak in the final 30 seconds.”
Well, I was off by about 20 seconds.
After the Patriots cut the Bills’ lead to 24-19 with 2:16 left, things started to look like they were turning. You figured, OK, Bills will go three-and-out and Brady will have some last-second heroics. But the Bills being the Bills, it didn’t even take that long.
On the kickoff following the touchdown, Bills return man Leodis McKelvin put the ball on the carpet, where it was recovered at the 31-yard line by the player at the one position that always manages to kill the Bills: the kicker. That’s right, Stephen Gostkowski recovered a fumble.
From that point onward, the ending was merely academic. This is what the Bills do better than anyone, even the Cubs. (Despite this fact, ESPN is celebrating this one as BRADY IS BACK, BABY! COMEBACK KING! Well, I hate to break up the fellatio, fellas, but this had a hell of a lot more to do with who he was playing than what he did).
As for Buffalo Bob? Well, he has declared that he is “officially done with this piece of shit team. Fuck them.”
Even more sadly hilarious, several of his fellow Buffalo ex-patriates (because aren’t all Buffalonians former Buffalonians?) chimed in telling him to jump onto the bangwagons of the Falcons or Saints like they did.
I can’t say I blame their behavior. In fact, I encourage it. As I pointed out to Bob, it will help soften the blow when they move to Toronto in five years.
But I do hope they get to play on Monday Night for each of those years. This poor train wreck can’t be missed.