Orchard Park N.Y.—A group of long suffering fans of the Buffalo Bills gathered at Carson Winslow’s house on an uncommonly warm end of September day in Western New York and were stunned when the Bills defeated the previously unbeaten Denver Broncos 26-16.
Winslow, a software engineer said, “Games against good teams like the Broncos are typically over at halftime and rather than wait to the bitter end, experienced Bills fans know how to move on and get the most out of the rest of their Sunday.”
Even with the Bills leading 13-10 at halftime the jaded fans suffering through a seventeen year playoff drought drizzled out into the yard, cracked a beer, took a swim and bitched about how rookie Zay Jones couldn’t catch a cold and how Sean McDermott not only couldn’t manage a NFL clock, but he probably didn’t even know how to tell time.
Only Uncle Peter remained inside watching the game and even he became discouraged when the Broncos came out and tied the game on their first possession of the second half with a Brandon McManus field goal. But the Bills marched right down the field on the ensuing drive and regained the lead on a six yard Charles Clay touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor.
When Uncle Peter updated everyone on the score Winslow’s wife Cyndi, called from the pool, “Give it up Peter, it’s only going to hurt worse when they blow the lead and lose,”causing everyone to laugh and nod in agreement.
But when the Broncos star linebacker Von Miller was called for taunting after a third down stop with just under eight minutes left in the game the Bills held the ball another four minutes and increased their lead 26-16 with a twenty-seven yard Stephen Hauschka field goal. With a little over three-minutes left and a ten point cushion it was hard to imagine how even the Bills could screw this up.
As everybody wearily came back into the house, confounded by the late lead, Winslow cynically stated exactly how the Bills would screw it up, “Three minutes huh… quick score by the Broncos, onside kick, field goal to tie at the buzzer, Bills lose in overtime.”
But that’s not how the game would play out. The Bills got another defensive stop and then took a knee to end the game.
Confused, everyone looked at each other trying to process what had just happened.
“Wow, they actually won,” said Winslow with a blank face.
“A win against a good team, what am I supposed to do with that?” Cyndi Winslow added looking into the distance.
“Yeah,” said Uncle Peter, like a Stockholm victim, “I think we’re supposed to be happy, but for some reason I feel empty and let down.”
Standing among the group perplexed faces Winslow came up with the obvious answer, “Next week is the Falcons in Atlanta. They’re going to get crushed.”
A collective sigh of relief filled the air and a few people muttered “Bills suck.”
And, all was well again.