If you’ve ever casually watched nature documentaries or the National Geographic channel, you’ve probably heard about tree rings acting like a time device—showing us a good amount of information from the past, like the following from NASA’s Climate Kids website.
“The color and width of tree rings can provide snapshots of past climate conditions.”
In a similar manner, someone can tell how long a Buffalo Bills fan has been part of the pre-trademark Mafia based on their reaction (or overreaction) the past two weeks.
There are the newbies, who have complete faith in “The Process,” general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott. These younglings, new to the bandwagon, only know playoff football and have the rose-colored glasses to prove it.
There are the droughters (like myself) who mainly grew up with the 17-year playoff drought hanging over their heads. These fans are pessimistic simply to protect themselves. They remember choking away a playoff spot to the Pittsburgh Steelers backups. They remember dominating the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots on Monday Night Football, only to come away with heart-wrenching losses. 5-1 turning to 7-9 in 2008, and 5-2 morphing to 6-10 in 2011 are fresh on their minds.
Droughters see this slide in a far too negative light. Years of blown leads, fast starts leading to nothing and mediocrity have turned these fans into doubters.
Like with most things, the truth is most likely somewhere in the middle, and those fans are the ones who can remember both the glory days and the drought. They’re the rollercoaster fans, with perspective and time on their side and, talking to them, they see a lot of parallels between this squad and the Super Bowl-era Bills.
They see a potentially explosive offense and a defense that, on paper, should be opportunistic enough to win a lot of games. They remember bad games from the Super Bowl teams, as well as good games from the drought teams. They don’t get too high after a win, or too low after a loss. Those non-reactions draw the ire of the other two groups.
Regardless of the category your fandom puts you in, remember, Bills fans are in those categories for a reason. Just like past relationships shaping people into who they are romantically, our own histories with the Buffalo Bills shapes us as fans. There is no right or wrong way to root for a team, but understanding where fans come from, will foster better conversations and interactions with members of the Mafia.
So, what about you, fellow Rumblers? What ring would best describe your fandom? Answer in the poll below and be sure to share your stories in the comments section
What "ring" best describes your Bills fandom?
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