By definition, the grieving process must be painful. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s imperative. Failure to grieve results in a pathological condition, not unlike being a Bills fan.
Loosing Lee Evans sucks. It destroys the slim chance we had at contending this year. That Nix was willing to “settle” for a 4th round pick from a team that in all likelihood will finish no worse than 9-7, leaving us with little to nothing for our only proven receiver and deep threat has destroyed the shred of confidence I have in him and the future of our team. We’re ruined. All that’s left for us now is to go 0-16 so we can draft Andrew Luck. That’s our only chance. Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope.
Feel better? Good.
What we’re experiencing now are the viscous drippings from our pared sapling. And as hard as it may be to believe, this is a good thing. Our tree bore no fruit. Those slim chances of contending this year didn’t exist.
There is near unanimous support for building through the draft but an apparent lack of patience for allowing it to occur. Remember the last decade when tempted to scratch the itching ‘now’. The only outright lie I can remember Buddy saying is expecting the baby without labor pains. There’s no such thing.
Folks, we are beginning the second year of a five year (if the super-confidential insider intel I’m getting is correct… from J2’s posts…) rebuild that will be driven by developing young talent through the draft. And in case you’ve forgotten, Nix is an excellent drafter and believes in his picks (hence Merriman and Davis). We are creating the space necessary for young development by removing our only deep threat, or by only removing a deep threat.
Lee Evans stunted the development of the Buffalo Bills WR corps. If Evans is on the team, he has to start. He is established: reliable and respected. He is established: habituated and defined. He is a known. Easley, Davis, Jones, Roosevelt, Nelson, and even Johnson are wild cards. Unknown with respect to ceiling and, other than Stevie, mostly unknown by other defenses. Gailey’s offensive machinations tend to eschew ‘knowns.’
This is a Win-Win-Win-Win situation. I almost want to toss another one in there for Charlie Sheen, but instead I’ll explain the winning.
1. Lee Evans wanted out. Given the time Chris Brown spends around the team and the short leash he’s allowed as the official beat writer, I figure this may as well be law. Lee deserves a chance with a contender. I don’t think the Ravens have a shot in hell this year, but at least they’re contenders. I’ll always have the utmost respect for him and wish him the best.
2. Our receiving corps needs the opportunity to reach its ridiculous potential. If Davis and Easley stay healthy, there’s a good chance this wound will heal very quickly. And they’re not even penciled in as starters yet.
3. While the $3.whatever million Lee was supposed to make doesn’t seem like a lot to you, it is to Ralph Wilson. Ralph Wilson is winning.
4. Bills fans win. Not because we’re loosing a talented player who kept his head high and maintains a personal dignity and respect for the game rarely found amongst professional athletes – especially wide receivers, Bills fans are winning because we finally have a front office with the balls to do what they think is necessary to win a Super Bowl. I think a 4th round pick for Lee Evans is crap. This is a wildly unpopular decision. I’m sure the pundits will have a field day if they ever paid enough attention about the Bills to care we just jettisoned our best receiver. That takes balls. And with Nix’s eye for talent, he can back them up.
Gone are the days of 7-9 and 7-9 and 7-9 and reaching for something that isn’t there. We are going somewhere. It may take longer than y’all would like and suck in the meanwhile, but they have a plan and they’re sticking to it. So quit the knee jerk ‘fire and brimstone’ speak and look forward to watching our talent develop. This isn’t our year, it never was.
So when you despair and ask yourself, “when will then be now?”
Three more years, after a decade and a half, is “soon.”