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Wheel of Misfortune
A Game Show and Way of Life for Bills Fans
by Tony Bogyo
September 17, 2016

From Pegula studios, it’s America’s game [audience chants] Wheel of Misfortune! The game where we delve into what’s wrong with the Buffalo Bills while solving word puzzles. Now here are your hosts, Pat Sajak and Rob Ryan.

Pat: Thank you. Please welcome the lovely and talented…Rob Ryan? In an evening gown? Where did you get an evening gown in that size?

Rob: You can find anything on the Internet – believe me – that’s where I also found these size 13 stiletto heels.

Pat: Well that’s truly disturbing, so I’m just going to move on and introduce tonight’s players. Our first contestant is head coach of the Buffalo Bills, Rex Ryan. Welcome, Rex.

Rex: Glad to be here Pat. I’m excited for the opportunity and really believe good things are going to happen.

Pat: Our next contestant is Bills General Manager, Doug Whaley – welcome, Doug.

Doug: Great to be here, Pat. I’m looking forward to building something great. I’d like to trade my first turn for a 4th round pick in the 2017 draft.

Pat: You can’t do that, Doug. Our final contestant is a Hall of Fame player who just had his jersey number retired by the team, Bruce Smith – hello, Bruce.

Bruce: Great to be here, Pat.

Pat: OK, let’s get started. Since the Bills already won the preseason, we’re going to skip right to the final round. The category is THING and we are going to give you R, S, T, L, N and E.

Board shows N_ _ L _ _ _ _ _ S.

Rex: I’d like to spin.

Pat: $500 – pick a letter.

Rex: X.

Pat: Sorry, no X. Not sure why you would pick X – that’s the least used letter in the English language.

Rex: Well ya know, if I stick my neck out and choose X and X comes up, I look like a hero and nobody ever questions the decision. But because I say X and it doesn’t comes up everybody gets to second guess me. That’s why I don’t really care what other people think, OK?

Pat: Your turn, Doug.

Doug: I’d like to trade.

Pat: You can’t trade. Your options are to spin or solve the puzzle.

Doug: OK – I’ll spin.

Pat: $400 – pick a letter.

Doug: Q.

Pat: No Q – sorry. Another very odd pick of a little-used letter. Bruce – you’re up.

Bruce: I’ll spin.

Pat: $1000 – pick a .

Bruce: P.

Pat: There is one P. P is for the players the Bills have but not playing – all the guys you’d like to see play but aren’t on the field. Whether it’s due to injury (Shaq Lawson, Reggie Ragland, Sammy Watkins, Cordy Glenn, Aaron Williams) or boneheaded suspension (Marcel Dareus, Seantrel Henderson, Karlos Williams ) the Bills just can’t ever seem to get everyone on the field at the same time and don’t have the depth to recover from it. Seems like no team has more of its top talent sidelined than the Bills. We’re never really going to see what this team is when you have so many players who aren’t actually playing, and you certainly have no shot at beating good teams. Not sure if this is some kind of curse but it sure is frustrating if you’re a long suffering fan. OK – your turn again.

Board shows N_ P L _ _ _ _ _ S.

Bruce: I’d like to spin.

Pat: $200 – pick a letter.

Bruce: F.

Pat: There are two Fs. F as in faltering defense. Two years ago this was a great unit, and last year it nosedived – couldn’t stop anyone. We were assured that in year two the players would be better versed in the system, communication would be better and the defense would be great – Rex Ryan is a defensive genius. But here we are after 2 losses and the defense looks terrible. On Thursday Ryan Fitzpatrick looked like the second coming of Joe Montana and two receivers had over 100 yards and a third nearly hit the century mark. The front seven generated no pass rush even when blitzing. They got called for 12 men on the field and obviously still look confused some of the time. These guys should be called the Godfather defense because when it comes to downs I and 2 are actually very good but third is just a train wreck. If you thought last year’s defense was unacceptable, just wait for the 2016 model. OK – spin again.

Board shows N_ P L _ _ _ F F S.

Bruce: I’d like to spin.

Pat: $600 – pick a letter.

Bruce: I’d like to buy a vowel – an O.

Pat: There is one O – not in Buffalo, there is no O in Buffalo. The offense is still pretty bad. Although Tyrod Taylor got paid, he still doesn’t look all that solid. Sure he threw some nice deep balls on Thursday, but he is still way off the mark on some of his shorter throws and he still almost never throws over the middle. Tyrod also seems to have forsaken the run and doesn’t seem to be playing with any sort of urgency. The run blocking has been pretty bad, especially for a team that wants to run the ball and also likes to throw screen passes. Sammy Watkins seems to be hurt and he’s either going to play hurt the rest of the season or be shut down and on the bench – he seems destined to show his true abilities only when he’s moved on from the Bills.

Board shows N O P L _ _ O F F S.

Pat: Spin Again….$700.

Bruce: I’d like to buy another vowel – an A.

Pat: One A – as in atrocious corner play. Thursday exposed the starting Bills corners as less than the players we thought they were. Granted the defense puts tremendous pressure for the corners to hold their own without much help and the front seven produced no pressure, but the corners were just terrible on Thursday. Stephon Gilmore didn’t stop anything at all against the Jets and single handedly gave up three third down conversions in the first drive alone. Ron Darby saw more successful bombs come his way than the residents of Dresden in 1945 and not a single step taken to help these guys in the second half! When you don’t generate pressure and you let a guy like Fitz pick you apart you have to wonder just what type of a defense you have – just wait until they have to defend against quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Russel Wilson and Big Ben.

Board shows N O PL A _ O F F S.

Bruce: I’d like to spin.

Pat: $800 – pick a letter.

Bruce: Y.

Pat: - Yes – there is one Y, as in yet another coordinator. The defense was horrific on Thursday, so the natural move to be made was to fire the offensive coordinator – if you’re in Bills management this all somehow makes sense. Certainly the offense has looked bad – Thursday reminded us all of the Trent Edwards years when you just prayed that the offense could find some way to stay on the filed longer than a minute and let the defense catch its breath – remember that? Well now that we’ve gone into year two of the current regime, settled on a quarterback and installed an offense that we trained for all during camp, what better time to throw it all away and go in a different direction than week 2 of the NFL season? This will be our 11th coordinator in the playoff drought era. Nothing says winner like purging coordinators and installing whole new systems with 14 games to go now does it? This is a move that’s going to pay off in spades. OK – so you ready to solve the puzzle?

Bruce: I’d like to solve the puzzle – “No Playoffs”.

Pat: Yes! That’s it! You got it! We’ve all got it! We’ve all had it for 16 years and this year will make 17! Bruce, you’re our big winner of the day!

Bruce: Wow, this is great. Well, maybe not so great, but hey – I’ve always wanted a ceramic Dalmatian for my living room!

Pat: Oh, sorry, Bruce – we haven’t had contestants shop for our prizes in 25 years – the last time the Bills were actually a good team! Today it’s all about money!

Bruce: Tell me about it, Pat, tell me about it……

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