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Fun with the Bills drought

It's time for a Bills playoff drought tournament

Howard Simon
June 27, 2017 - 4:57 pm

Once the dust had settled following the Music City Miracle, if you would have told me the Bills were about to embark on one of the longest playoff droughts in NFL history, I would have said your were crazy.

In fact, I would have told you it was more likely the Bills would win a Super Bowl or two rather than go 17 straight seasons without being in the playoffs. The 17 year run is the 5th longest playoff drought in NFL history.  In case you are wondering, the record is 25 years. (Nah, don’t be silly. The Bills will NEVER break that….I’m reasonably certain). 

I’ll bet many Bills fans feel like they wear the drought as if it were the long chain forged by Jacob Marley in “A Christmas Carol”. But I have chosen to derive humor from it rather than suffering.  

During our show on Tuesday morning, Jeremy asked for one play or moment that epitomizes the Bills playoff drought.  JP Losman’s strip sack/fumble returned for a game winning touchdown by the Jets was the first moment that popped into my head.  Then the Jeff Tuel 100 yard interception return for a touchdown against Kansas City found its way into my brain.

While we were discussing our selections, someone tweeted in and suggested we have a “Bills drought tournament” with a field of 64 and that we do our own version of bracketology.  We loved the idea although I hate to admit I was actually worried we couldn’t come up with 64 entries.  One hour later, I realized it would not be a problem.

The phones started ringing, tweets were coming in hot and heavy and the text line exploded as Bills fans made their suggestions. I did get the occasional tweet that this was depressing or a tough way to start the day but we were laughing as we discussed every nomination.  

Call it catharsis, call it therapeutic, call it whatever you want but at some point you have to be able to laugh at this or it will make you crazy.  You can let it drag you down, like Jacob Marley’s chain, or you can sit back, shake your head and laugh at the long list of unbelievable moments over the past 17 years.

Remember when I said I was initially worried we wouldn’t be able to come up with 64 entrants?  By the end of the show we had a list of over 50 and that was without looking back at each season, which I’m sure will spark some more memories.  

In fact, there are so many instances, we decided to break the field down into eight different brackets/categories with 8 entries in each bracket.  

For example, games against the Patriots will be its own bracket and will include things like 56-10 on Sunday night football, leading 21-0 and losing 49-21, the “dead Patriot” and of course, the McKelvin fumble(which many believe is a good bet for a one seed).

There will be a punts bracket which will have moments such as Rex Ryan punting at home against Miami last year with the season on the line, Doug Marrone punting twice in the fourth quarter of a night game in Miami and the “fourth and stupid” punt decision from Gregg Williams.

You know there has to be a crushing loss bracket, for that matter that could probably take up two brackets or one quarter of the field.  How about the Monday Night Football collapse against Dallas? Remember when the Bills lost to Cleveland despite the fact Derek Anderson was 2-17? Don’t forget the Bills once blew a 20 point lead in the fourth quarter at Miami and gave up the game winning touchdown in the final seconds. You can pick from multiple soul crushing defeats to Kansas City when the Bills were “In the hunt”. 

All of a sudden this sounds like an old TV commercial for K-Tel records and “super hits from the 70’s”. Yes, I’m old and yes I did buy those K-Tel records.

There will undoubtedly be a bracket for player moves and it will include moments like drafting Aaron Maybin, trading back into round one so the Bills could select John McCargo and of course giving up a first round picks to move up five spots for Sammy Watkins.

We will spend the next few weeks finalizing the list and putting together the brackets.  We look forward to posting them at and to all of you determining the outcomes of the matchups.  If you have any suggestions for the field, by all means feel free to email them to me or send them via twitter. 

Remember, laughter is the best medicine.

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