After a long and drawn out discussion with a fellow Rumbler, I've come to the conclusion that we, as a fan base, tend to categorize each other, and do so wrongly. I've seen a lot of talk on this blog, since I first starting posting here in April 2010, about the "optimists" versus the "pessimists." There have been fan posts on the subject before, most along the lines of "the pessimists need to calm down! We're in a rebuild!" Or maybe "the optimists need to lay off the hate of the pessimists!" These posts have appeared and I have always had a hard time fitting myself into one of the two categories. I am, of course, optimistic about the future of the Bills. I have been since Nix and Gailey were brought in because, well, they aren't Levy and Jauron. But then again, I've always fancied myself a realist. I have not thought that the Bills are a very good team, although they have had their moments. And I still have a hard time believing that they are playoff caliber, and am lambasted on multiple occasions for voicing that opinion.
But I have come to the conclusion that those categorizations are wrong. There are simply varying levels of acceptance in the happiness we feel based on the current state of the team, as well as the direction of the team. Some people are happy with the current state of the team, saying that we are well ahead of schedule, and playing well considering we are in a rebuild. These fans say that the losses where we lose close games to tough teams are okay losses, and that it's going to happen every now and then. They point to what Fitz and Freddie and Stevie have done this year and say that the offense is clicking, and that's a source of pride and accomplishment. They say that, although our defense is like a sieve, it is opportunistic and has kept us in a few games, such as the Patriots game.
From this end of the spectrum, we can travel further "south" to find those that refuse to be happy with the state of the team, but are okay with the direction. I tend to land more in this area. I feel that every loss hurts, and that "moral victories" are somewhat of a myth. Yes, it speaks to our team that we are losing very close games to good teams with good records, but each of the two games we lost were winnable with some corrections to some fixable mistakes. This is the plight of the fans that find themselves toward this end of the spectrum. Do we dwell on the negatives or praise the positives? Well, I try to do both, as I'm sure most do.
Moving even further along the spectrum, I'm sure there are those who are happy with neither the direction nor the state of the Bills. I don't know what I can say to these people, except I don't understand. And that's alright, I don't have to understand. We all root for and display our passion for the Bills in our own ways.
I want to explain my rationale for my position along this spectrum. I believe that we should not settle for where we are. I can't imagine being happy with a team giving up 450 yards on defense every week. I watched Fitz throw the lobber to Webster on Sunday and almost flew out of my seat. These are flaws in a team that, frankly, has many fewer ones than I expected them to have coming into the season. However, it's important to note that I am fully on board with the direction the team is heading. There is a big difference between these two sentiments. I fear that being happy with the current state of the team will lead to complacency. The team is not happy with where it's at, I'm sure, and they work every week to address the flaws that are glaringly obvious. Their goal is to win a championship, so why shouldn't the fan base be on board with that? Why be happy with anything less?
The overall point of this post is this: All of these opinions are valid (assuming the rationale behind them makes sense). We're all passionate fans, as we follow blogs like this and take the time out of our day to post and read others' posts. Being a Bills' fan is not black and white. There aren't "good" fans and "bad" fans, just those at different portions of the spectrum. But my question becomes, where do you fall along the spectrum as I've laid out in this post? And why? Or am I crazy (which is also a valid opinion)?