Sports Briefs: Curse of the Buffalo Bills

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Chris: For a team whose best player is most known for murder, the Buffalo Bills’ lack of success at least has not affected the local Buffalo Wild Wings location. Hexed football teams don’t win championships and set NFL records. Yes, the Bills’ two titles were for the now-defunct American Football League, and being the only team to ever reach the Super Bowl four years in a row also means they are the only team to ever lose the Super Bowl four years in a row. But at least there’s the possibility that the next “Friday the 13th” movie will be titled “Jason Voorhees vs. OJ Simpson.”

Joe: I blame the location's weather for Buffalo’s second-tier finishes. Who in their right mind would want to play in Buffalo? It is too cold to play eight games there at a consistently high level. They might think they have the home field advantage, but it is just brutal to have to play there in the winter.

Ralphie: I think the Bills problems are mostly due to poor coaching. The guys who made team are obviously good players, or they wouldn't be in the NFL.

Brad: The owners, coaches and players all play a part in the success or failure of the Bills. Players and coaches coming and going from the team doesn't give the team a chance to be consistent and build a foundation to strengthen their game play.

Joe: The Scott Norwood missed field goal has haunted the franchise. It is always in the minds of the fans and ownership.

Brad: It probably left some team esteem issues lingering, but the team kept messing up and choking during the following Super Bowls. It was one thing after another, like Thurman Thomas losing his helmet. Every time the Bills had the chance to come out on top, they goofed and knocked themselves back down.

Chris: I bet both of Buffalo’s star running backs wished the past had turned out differently. Orenthal could have refrained from committing deeds that resulted in him wearing an electronic tracking bracelet, and Thurman could have benefited from putting said tracking bracelet inside his helmet.

Ralphie: It's ridiculous to think that a missed field goal in one ball game could affect games for three years after. It would be cool if it were true, though. That would mean we'd have a few years when we wouldn't have to worry about who would win the Iron Bowl.

Chris: Are Flutie Flakes considered cursed, too? Would the Addams Family use a box that expired in 1999 as an ingredient in a soup recipe, assuming stale cereal compliments eye of newt?

Joe: I think the Bills were just so happy to be in the playoffs that they were not surprised by the Music City Miracle kickoff return. They knew their destiny - See Norwood curse.

Brad: It's a combination of that possible bad call on the kickoff and poor coaching. Wade Phillips seemed like he had something against Doug Flutie, and no matter how far he took the team, Phillips didn't seem to want him starting. That is not good for team play or team moral and interaction.

Ralphie: If losing the playoff game in 1999 had any lingering effect on the Bills, they would deserve to lose. They're making excuses!

Chris: The one constant in Buffalo through the Bills’ founding in 1960 through today is, of course, bison, who are kept as pets and walked on leashes throughout neighborhoods. Another constant is owner Ralph Wilson. And unless Ralph Wilson Stadium was built on top of a cemetery, the curse of the Bills could be attributed to Wilson living in Michigan and being completely unaware of the team. Either that or he breaks a window every seven years.

Joe: The Buffalo Bills playing one game a year in Toronto would certainly broaden the fanbase and help the NFL, but it will further irritate their fans and have negative economic impacts to the Buffalo region.

Ralphie: I don't like the fact that they play in Toronto. We have lots of great stadiums in America, and they should use those.

Brad: Teams play in a bunch of cities all season. It's not disrespectful to Buffalo, it's just part of the game. It can always be viewed as building its fanbase, though.

Chris: One item that may encourage the Bills’ fans would be if the city of Buffalo banned its restaurants from serving buffalo meat. Just imagine the positive impact it would have on Billy, the Bills mascot, who would feel much more secure in his hometown, knowing he would not one day be made into a burger patty.

Ralphie: They're going to have to quit blaming past losses and other dumb things and practice harder. My mom always says that the more I practice, the better I'll get.

Brad: They need to completely reinvent themselves. Build the new stadium. Find a way to shake the wintertime blues that seem to affect the team every year. Maybe new uniforms, logo, etc. They totally need to start from the ground up and revise the way the play the game, new plays, new strategies. A fresh start and break from everything that they have been. Also, incorporate this new image into a gimmick to rebuild the fan enthusiasm for their home team.

Joe: In order for the Bills to be playoff contenders, a superstar QB is necessary. Solid drafts with linemen on both sides of the ball are required. And MOST of all, never let a playoff game come down to a field goal.

Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.

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