I’ll admit it – I’m pretty down on the 2004 Buffalo Bills.
In two previous articles here at Bills Daily I’ve been pretty negative about this team. Unfortunately, the Bills have lived up to my “expectations”. With every loss more and more of you fans are joining me on the dark side. You realize that this team has problems – big problems – and aren’t likely to go on to greatness this season (greatness at this point is defined as 8-8). You still root for your team hard every week (who doesn’t? If you’re a Bills fan it’s in your blood), but suddenly the success of your fantasy football team carries a bit more weight.
Of course there are the Pollyannas out there who shrug off the 0-2 start and predict the Bills will run the table and end up at 14-2 (17-2 when they become Super Bowl champs). Bless these eternal optimists – they see only what they want to see and reality may have little place in their world.
Unfortunately, when the Pollyannas are threatened with harsh reality they come out swinging. I’ve been accused of being a bandwagoning fan, someone who isn’t loyal to the team. Nothing can be further from the truth. I am still firmly on the Bills bandwagon, but I think I’m riding it as it goes into a ditch. I’m not getting off, just yelling that this thing is going off course. That’s not disloyalty – that’s reality. If you don’t like it you can go root for Detroit.
Judging from the latest Bills Daily poll, Bills Nation is fairly evenly split between fans who still see the playoffs as a possibility, fans who think the Bills can be respectable, and fans who think the season is over after two games. Where do you stand? Take this handy negativity quiz and find out! (Clip and re-take on a weekly basis! Track your attitude! Compare with family and friends! Fun!).
Outlook on the 2004 Bills
- The sky in my world is:
- Rose colored, with happy little animated birds and singing trees
- Cloudy/smoggy (southern California only)
- Ahhhh!!! Another hurricane/tornado/lightning bolt/swarm of locusts is coming!
- My occupation is:
- Up With People Coordinator/Director/President
- Tax Auditor
- Squeegee Person/Subject of Medical Experiments/Seller of Plasma
- My musical genre of choice is:
- Happy Music (Barney, The Wiggles, Michael Bolton)
- Top 40 (Britney Spears, N’Sync, Creed)
- Grunge (Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Nirvana)
- Scary (Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death, Strangeways by The Smiths)
- My personal motto is:
- Turn that frown upside down – you’re terrific!
- Good things happen to good people
- Murphy’s Law is real – I’m living proof
- This is my rifle. There are many others like it but this one is mine
- At the end of the season, the Bills record will be:
- The Bills problems are:
- Problems, we have problems? This is a playoff team!
- Minor and correctable
- The same as last year
- We should be so lucky to only have the problems of last year’s team
- Complete this analogy: The 2004 Buffalo Bills are to the 1990 Buffalo Bills as:
- Champion : Champion
- A team with potential : Champion
- Loser : Champion
- Hello? Suicide hotline? I need someone to talk to…. Jim! Thurman! Come Back!
- The 2004 Buffalo Bills MVP will be:
- Drew Bledsoe
- Lawyer Milloy
- Brian Moorman
- My therapist/grief counselor/AA partner
- Drew Bledsoe is:
- A Pro Bowl quarterback
- A guy who can hold the team together
- A placeholder for J.P. Losman
- The anti-Christ
- The offensive line is:
- Starting to gel – you just wait!
- A group that can will be adequate under the careful coaching of Jim McNally
- The same bunch of talent-short guys as last season
- Better suited to be an a cappella singing group named The Turnstiles
- The starting running back should be:
- Travis Henry or Willis McGahee – it doesn’t matter – either guy will go for 1500+ yards (probably both)
- Travis Henry – he’s a warrior
- Willis McGahee – Let’s start to season the kid for 2005
- The Atom – you need a guy really small to get through the holes the O-line is opening
- The Bills receivers are:
- The best in the NFL
- A talented group of youngsters with veteran leadership
- Not the same since Peerless Price left
- Did you say receivers, as in plural? I only see Eric Moulds, and Bledsoe does, too
- The Bills defense is:
- Even better than last year when they were #2
- Solid – the reason we’ll stay competitive/win games
- Not capable of carrying the team
- Irrelevant – if you hold the other team to 3 points you still lose if you can’t score any yourself
- The defensive line:
- Has multiple Pro Bowl players – Schobel, Williams, Adams
- Has decent run stuffers and adequate pass rushers
- Needs to put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks
- Is irrelevant – these guys don’t score points! We need points to win!
- The linebackers are:
- The top starting trio in the NFL
- A group of guys with funny names who play well (how do you pronounce Takeo, anyway?)
- Not as good as their hype
- Irrelevant - Points! We need to score more points!
- Select the statement about the Bills secondary that most closely describes your own personal opinion:
- The group is better than last year – already we had a safety make an interception!
- Troy Vincent is an upgrade over Antoine Winfield – he’ll have more interceptions and provide veteran leadership
- Lawyer Milloy is the defensive equivalent of Drew Bledsoe – damn those crafty Patriots!
- Points! Points, I tell you!
- My opinion of the coaching staff is:
- I’m excited – Mike Mularkey will be a great coach and has assembled a solid staff
- Wait and see – it’s early yet but Mularkey and company need to produce results now with the talent they have
- Disappointed – why do we insist on hiring guys into their first head coaching positions? Would it have killed us to have selected a guy with experience?
- Mike Mularkey = Gregg Williams
- Tom Donahoe is:
- A genius who saved the franchise by getting us out of cap hell and bringing in quality players
- A good GM who has done an adequate job but needs to have his decisions translate into team success
- A fraud who is more hype than anything – he’s made bad coaching, drafting and free agent decisions and should be held accountable
- The anti-Christ (note: you can not select this answer if you said that Drew Bledsoe was the anti-Christ in question #9 – there can be only one!)
- Ralph Wilson is:
- A guy who will live to see his team win the Super Bowl
- A great owner who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame
- A man who has done his part to make the Bills successful and deserves better from his employees
- The heartbeat that keeps this team from becoming the Los Angeles Posers
- Having Tom Donahoe and Mike Mularkey answer questions directly from fans each week is:
- A great way for the Bills to show their fans they care about their concerns
- An interesting opportunity to ask questions of the guys in control of the team
- An electronic version of a Gregg Williams press conference where the phrase “we need to execute better” is typed rather than spoken
- Possibly the stupidest idea the team has ever had – they don’t want to answer the tough questions and put more BS spin on their responses than any political candidate
For each “a” answer, score 1 point
For each “b” answer score 2 points
For each “c” answer score 3 points
For each “d” answer score 4 points
Add the total score for all 20 questions and see where you fall on the magical scale of negativity!
18-30– You are a Pollyanna. You have little grasp of reality and the word around you. Like Dolphins fans, every year you honestly believe “this is our year”. Normally mild-mannered and pleasant, you are easily angered when challenged to really think about the team and/or defend your opinion. You blindly follow the positive communication from the Bills front office out of a sense of loyalty to the team. You will send me hate mail for this article and rip Bills Daily for giving me a voice. You will be emotionally crushed when the Bills are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention and will hide your pain by becoming a Detroit Lions fan.
36-50 – You are an Optimist. You want very badly for the Bills to play to their potential and believe that they can and will do it. You see the challenges the team faces but know there are more positives than negatives about this team and in the end the Bills will enjoy success. The bye week came at just the right time – time to get back on track and play hard for another 14 games. This could be a playoff team, but even if they don’t make the playoffs they’ll be better than last season. Come the end of the year you’ll be able to hold your head high as a Bills fan. You say good things about the Bills on the message boards but don’t feel strongly enough to get into heated arguments with others – those people are nuts.
51-66 – You are a Pessimist. You believe the 2004 Buffalo Bills are a deeply flawed team with little chance for success. Off to a slow start and with a tough schedule ahead, this team is going nowhere. You believe this team needs to be retooled in a number of places starting from the top down – new GM, new head coach, new quarterback, new draft picks, new free agents. You believe that the Bills are rebuilding and that the loss of a 2005 first-round draft pick hurts at this stage of the team’s development. You want your pain to be over and would like nothing more than to fast-forward 3 seasons from now when the Bills should have a great team. You frequently challenge the opinions of others, particularly if their assessment of the team is more optimistic than yours. You think seriously about rooting for another team but can’t bring yourself to do it – you bleed red, white and blue, even if you feel the team does suck.
67-80 – You are Suicidal. You have serious mental problems and likely pose a danger to yourself and others. You should be kept away from small children and pets. When medicated you may pass for a member of the other groups listed here (including being a Pollyanna if the drugs are strong enough). You attend late season games bare-chested and painted in red and blue and once ran a car off the road at high speed because the old woman driving “looked like a Pats fan”. You are destined to be disappointed that the Bills didn’t go undefeated this year. Seek professional help immediately – do not purchase sharp objects or firearms.
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