Over at the Buffalo Bills fanblog “Buffalo Rumblings“, Aaron Lowinger wrote a counter-factual season preview/review of past Bills seasons; that is, a kind of historical fiction or “alternate reality” type of post. I thought it was a cool idea, but the reaction from most of the site’s readers was pretty negative. I can sort of see why, too, because even in Lowinger’s fantastic universe, the Bills are still seeking their first championship. Enhanced misery is not what people want in their daydreams.
I really like the idea, though. I’d like to try it myself in fact. Allow me, if I may, to borrow Lowinger’s (and Buffalo Rumblings editor Brian Galliford’s) idea, and try to make it into a happier one. What follows is purely fictional–although it may be factual somewhere in the multiverse…
When the ball slipped through the fingers of their most reliable receiver this past January, it shattered many Bills fans’ hopes of doing something done only twice before: three championships in four years. The Bills, coming off a franchise-best 14-2 regular-season record, had marched down the field for a touchdown to cut the upstart Jaguars’ lead to 31-29, but the two-point conversion fell short with only seconds remaining.
It was a rare miscue for a team accustomed to winning. After their thrilling 31-28 O.T. win over Arizona in SB 43, the Bills had established a reputation as clutch winners. Their improbable run to a 34-15 shellacking of that same Arizona team in SB 45 only cemented that reputation, with a thrilling 17-point rally to beat Indy in the divisional round, followed by Trent Edwards’ clutch drive to down favored Baltimore 27-24 in the conference final being the most notable examples.
January’s disappointment aside, the Bills remain a young team with all the major pieces in place for another championship run. Although they lost star running back Steven Jackson in free-agency, they are confident that Spiller can fill his shoes. The receiving corps remains intact, as does the offensive line. The addition of Asante Samuel to a strong secondary makes them arguably even more powerful than the #2 defensive unit that led them to their first championship.
Well, that was fun, right? Or maybe not. Is it just a sad reminder of how bad things are, or an uplifting diversion? For, after all, sports themselves are meant to be an uplifting diversion. They really aren’t much good if you let them make you sad.
P.S. Lowinger and Galliford–should you happen to read this, I hope you don’t mind me reworking your idea. If you do, I’ll gladly take it down. It’s not exactly Goethe reworking Marlowe’s stuff, but sometimes it pays to take more than one crack at an idea.