Being A Bills Fan Is Hard, But I'm Willing To Ride And Die With Them

Being A Bills Fan Is Hard, But I'm Willing To Ride And Die With Them

17 years of playoff drought is hard to swallow.

To be a Buffalo Bills fan is tough for a number of reasons. Some may say it has to do with their four straight Super Bowl losses from 1990-1993. Others may say it has to do with the fact that they are in the same division as the New England Patriots and are constantly battling for second place. And lastly, there’s the infamous fact that they wear the crown for the longest number of consecutive seasons without making the playoffs in all of professional sports.

Whatever the case may be for Buffalo fans, it certainly isn’t easy.

Growing up in Boston, Massachusetts in the early 2000s, I was surrounded by sports success. At times it was overwhelming. The Patriots were in full swing of the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady dynasty that was forming and had won three championships in four years from 2001-2004. The Red Sox had won their first championship in 86 years in 2004 after surmounting one of the greatest comebacks in sports history against their rivals in the New York Yankees. However, I could not fall in love with either of these teams.

I could only fall in love with the blue and red from Buffalo.

My love for the Bills stems from my dad. Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, he has always been a die-hard fan. He fondly remembers the Jim Kelly era and those days long ago when his team used to be in contention for a championship year in and out. That was, of course, long before I was born. However, that has not stopped his love and passion for his team, which subsequently has rubbed off on me.

Once Sunday rolled around in our household, it was Bills time. We would wear our matching hats, sit down in our usual seats on the couch to not foil the “mojo” that spiraled around a possible win, and eagerly watch the game. Usually, it was a beat down of our favorite team, but week after week we would bounce back undeterred and with confidence that it was a slip-up and we’d be ready to win this time around. More often than not, this was not the case.

Being a Bills fan is hard, man.

But for the team you love, you’re willing to stick with them week after week and ride and die with them.

17 years of not making a postseason appearance, though, is tough to swallow. That’s why as a football fan, losing is all that I know.

Watching these games now, I anticipate that the Bills are going to lose. If they win, it’s a fluke. If they wipe out a team, the refs were paid in our favor. If they beat the Patriots, then God has given us fans a miracle. You see, 17 years of unsuccessful seasons, a plethora of new coaching schemes that have failed and busted first-round draft picks, well we’ve become conditioned to expect defeat.

However, that doesn’t stop us from loving and supporting our team and as Chris Berman says, “nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills.” So let's circle those wagons and break that playoff drought this year, boys.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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An NBA Player Was Suspended for... Throwing Soup

The NBA drama continues.

The hard times within the Cleveland Cavaliers organization continues. The trade deadline was a troublesome day for members of the Cavs as they sent away: Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, Jae Crowder, Iman Shumpert, and a first round pick. A big time roster overhaul to get their priorities straight and get on the right track.

Then it came out that there was more trouble in paradise… J.R. Smith was suspended for one game for “violating an unspecified team rule.” What could it possibly be? Missing a team flight? Failed drug test? Skipping out on practice? Nope.

According to multiple sources within ESPN, J.R. Smith’s suspension was in regard to an incident with assistant coach Damon Jones when Smith threw a bowl of soup (i’m not kidding) at his coach. No soup for you J.R.!

Smith has since served his suspension and has rejoined the team, along with regaining his spot in the starting lineup. But the hard hitting question still remains: What kind of soup was it? Is J.R. more of a minestrone guy? Maybe clam chowder? The world may never know.

Cover Image Credit: Einladung_zum_Essen/215 Images

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3 Takeaways From The Trojans' Men's Basketball Regular Season

A deeper look into the 2017-2018 season for the Trojans

The 2017-2018 season proved to be a tumultuous one for the Trojans' Men's Basketball Team. After the team opened up as a Top-10 squad in America, they stumbled out of the gates amidst some turmoil with the NCAA. However, as many wrote the season off as a "bust", the team fought back to get into NCAA Tournament contention and are now on the "bubble" to make the Big Dance. With that being said, here are my biggest takeaways from the Trojans' regular season.

1. The Losses of Tony Bland and De'Anthony Melton Hurt

In September 2017, associate head coach Tony Bland was arrested on charges of receiving a $13,000 bribe in July, 2017 from agent Christian Dawkins. In exchange, Bland would help usher USC players to Dawkins when it was time for them to declare for the NBA. As part of the charges against Tony Bland, USC rising sophomore and starter De’Anthony Melton was suspended indefinitely. According to reports, Melton was one of two players(the other is now-Arizona State commit Taeshon Cherry) who allegedly received payments of around $4000 dollars from Bland in exchange for commitments to USC.

There’s no question that the losses of these two figures hurt the Trojans. Bland was one of the lead assistants on head coach Andy Enfield’s staff and a true player’s coach. He also had a reputation as one of the best recruiters in the country and is credited by many for bringing current USC stars such as Jordan McLaughlin to the Trojans.

The loss of De’Anthony Melton impacted the Trojans negatively on both sides of the basketball. A projected first round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Melton was coveted by NBA scouts for his defensive versatility as well as his playmaking ability. According to ESPN, the Trojans finished 70th in scoring offense without Melton as opposed to 55th a year ago with him. Also, with Melton being unable to play, the Trojans lost one of their best shot blockers(1.0 per game) and their leader in steals(1.9 per game). Melton has since withdrawn from USC to prepare for the NBA Draft.

2. This team is still fully capable of making a deep tournament run (if they can get in)

Even with all of the talent that they have, the Trojans have been prone to meltdowns and heartbreak throughout the season. First, there was the improbable half-court buzzer beater by Stanford’s Daejon Davis to sink the Trojans. Then, there was the inexcusable loss at home to a Washington team that finished 6th in the PAC-12 standings. And then of course, the two losses to crosstown-rival UCLA where the Trojans blew substantial leads in the 2nd half of both matchups.

While ESPN’s BPI currently gives the Trojans’ a 60% chance to be a part of the “Big Dance”, the Trojans will need a strong performance in the PAC-12 Tournament to secure their spot in March Madness. If the Trojans can get to the NCAA tournament, there’s no question that the Trojans have enough talent to create some noise and make a deep run. After all, even with the loss of De’Anthony Melton, the team still features a Bob Cousy Award finalist(awarded to the nation’s best point guard) in Jordan McLaughlin and potential first-round pick Chimezie Metu. They also feature 3-point snipers in senior guard Elijah Stewart(40% 3-point shooter), who is tied for first in most games played in a Trojan uniform, and sophomore Jonah Matthews who came on well in an increased role this season, hitting 41.3% of his 3-point attempts.

3. The Future Is Bright

Despite the rollercoaster season that the team has endured this season, and regardless of what happens in the upcoming weeks, there’s no question that the Trojans have a bright future ahead of them. Although the losses of seniors to graduation Jordan McLaughlin and Elijah Stewart along with potentially losing Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu to the NBA will sting, USC has enough returning and incoming talent to make noise for the next few years. Sophomores Jonah Matthews(8.7 ppg) and Nick Rakocevic (7.5ppg and 5.5 rebounds) have looked comfortable in their second seasons and have shown flashes of being able to lead the team as upperclassmen. Along with the sophomores, freshman Jordan Usher came off the bench multiple times throughout the season and shined in a “spark-plug” role for USC with his defensive intensity and perimeter shooting. Former McDonald’s All-American Charles O’Bannon Jr. will also look to be a bigger contributor in his second season at USC.

Reinforcements are also coming in the 2018 recruiting cycle in the forms of 4-star guards Elijah Weaver and Kevin Porter. Weaver will look to fill the leadership and playmaking void left by McLaughlin while Porter, the #1 ranked player in the state of Washington, will add athleticism to the perimeter for the Trojans. Both players fit the mold of the up-tempo style Coach Andy Enfield employs and should fit in very nicely in Los Angeles.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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