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Buffalo Rumblings Weekend Chat: What figure has had the biggest redemption arc?

Loki inspired our weekend chat this week.

2021 E! People’s Choice Awards - Backstage Photo by Todd Williamson/E! Entertainment/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The season 2 finale of Loki aired on Disney+ this week and as a sucker for all things Marvel, I watched that instead of the middle of the Thursday Night Football contest between the struggling Chicago Bears and anemic Carolina Panthers. It was the right decision. You won’t get S2 spoilers from me in this article, but it got me thinking about redemption arcs.

In the original Thor movie from 2011, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is introduced as the God of Mischief, secretly aligning himself against his adoptive family. In 2012’s Avengers he viciously kills beloved SHIELD agent Phil Coulson and leads a massive invasion of Earth and New York City. He’s a legit Big Bad Guy, to the point where multiple superheroes need to team up to take him down. By Thor: Dark World in 2013, he’s cautiously aligned with his brother, a pairing which continues into Thor: Ragnarok. He’s killed early on in the next movie, Avengers: Infinity War and while his brother mourns him (again) and even tattoos Loki’s name on his back, no one else in the universe really mourns Loki. Still, he has become a sympathetic, fan-favorite character by the time of his death at the hands of Thanos.

Fast forward to 2021’s Loki streaming series, and an alternate timeline version of Loki is recruited for his skills with mischief. He’s tasked with hunting down another equally mischievous character as an uneasy flawed protagonist. By the end of season 2, he’s clearly a self-sacrificing, incredibly caring hero of the story. (Again, no spoilers from me.) People have forgotten about Loki’s murdering and destructive ways. THE DUDE KILLED ONE OF THE MOST UNIVERSALLY ADORED CHARACTERS IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE, but now he’s had a clear change of heart and all is forgiven (I guess).

How does this apply to the Buffalo Bills and Bills fandom? I have a parallel here, and the timeline is remarkably similar.

By 2011, Tom Brady had become the villain in lots of Bills’ fans stories. He had won Super Bowls and the New England Patriots were in the midst of an incredible run of success, especially against our Bills. Since leaving the Patriots in 2019, his image has softened considerably thanks to a massive marketing and social media budget (I assume). He’s definitely not seen as a hero to us, but I don’t know if he’s a villain anymore.

The current narratives around the Bills have been pretty negative, but if we’re looking at similar overcoming in our storytelling, the rise of Ken Dorsey or the return of Von Miller could be worth monitoring as we get to the end of 2023.

What do you think? Hit us in the comments section.

We’re continuing to dust off an old favorite this week as we get further into the 2023 NFL season. We used to run open threads around TV shows like LOST and just general Friday night open threads. Let’s quote the OG Brian Galliford:

Welcome to the weekend, Buffalo Bills fans. We’ve got a couple more days before the Bills take the field, and after a long week, it’s time to blow off a little steam. Use this thread to talk about... well, whatever it is you’d like to talk about. Maybe you’d like to share a cool story from your week. I know I do!

Join the comments below!