As you may know, the Buffalo Bills are no longer the team that I described in the previous post.
They have not made the playoffs since 1999, the longest period of ineptitude in the NFL. They've been so bad for so long that some of their fans are doing what fans of habitually lousy teams do, rooting for their team to lose so the team can get a better draft slot.
I don't do that. I will always root for a win no matter how bleak it may be. But I admit, the extended period of mediocrity has made it easy to ignore the team.
I lived in Buffalo for five years, and as I've said before, you couldn't function in a social setting in that city at the time unless you could talk about the Bills. Pick the most stereotypical non-sports person that you know, place them in Buffalo between 1988-1995, and they would know the Bills' third-down conversion percentage on rainy days when nachos outsells pizza at the concession stands.
I don't think it's really like that anymore in Buffalo. There are still rabid Bills fans and the team still pops up at the top of the local news during portions of the season, but it doesn't dominate talk like it once did. I have more relatives in Buffalo than anywhere else, and I can visit them and leave four days later without ever mentioning the Bills. That was impossible in 1991.
I wanted to rekindle my interest in the Bills by acquiring not only some cards of players from the good ol' days, but also cards of Bills from the bad recent "what the hell are they DOING?" days. Fortunately, Dennis at Too Many Grandersons was trying to get rid of a bunch of cards from multiple sports. I eagerly grabbed the Bills and was blessed with a whole bunch of shiny cards and bad memories.
J.P. Losman. Oh dear. Losman didn't deserve a card this shiny, or one that was numbered to /199, like this one.
A super shiny card of James Hardy, someone who is no longer in the NFL and who I barely remember. Yet he's numbered to /100.
OK, if anyone should get a shiny card, it's T.O. I feel this properly recognizes Owens' mercifully brief stop in Buffalo.
Looking at these cards reinforced what I already knew: I know very little about what they're doing with football cards these days, and I have lost almost all of my knowledge of the Bills.
I am now like one of those fair-weather fans who has only a vague notion of who is on the team and says stupid things that cause real fans to glare at me.
I saw these cards of Takeo Spikes and said, "Oh, he was good!! How come we don't have him anymore?"
He got injured a bunch of times, asked for a trade, and plays in San Diego.
"Nate Clements! I remember him. I liked him! What happened to him?"
He signed a huge deal with the 49ers five years ago and is with the Bengals now.
OK, OK, so I don't know a whole lot about my favorite team anymore. There are still some things about the team that I do know.
Like good Bills running backs ALWAYS end up somewhere else.
I also know it's been forever since the Bills have had a quarterback that could produce confidence in fans. Two minutes to go and down by 7 on your own 31? I don't think for a moment that Ryan Fitzpatrick will get it done.
And that's been the pattern lately.
No. No. No. And No.
(When I tried to upload this card of Johnson, the internet froze and wouldn't let me upload. I tried three different times, rebooted, tried again. Nothing. I had to abandon the post that I intended to have published overnight, and it's publishing now. ... Typical Rob Johnson effectiveness).
As for football cards, there are few things as a football collecting outsider that I noticed:
You think baseball cards use the same photos over and over?
There is a lot more blood on football cards.
There is a lot more baldness on football cards.
Although a cool card, those face shields drive me crazy at work. I can't pick a decent photo if you can't see the player's eyes!
This stupid stuff that Upper Deck did with staged photos and trampolines is the difference between football and baseball. I don't need fake superhero crap from my baseball players.
Finally, some cards of the current Bills:
|Hey, it's snowing!|
|That's Spiller if you can't read it.|
|Closest thing to a diva the Bills have.|
|What kind of Bills uniform is that?|
I've tried much harder this year to pay attention to my football team. But I left Buffalo a long time ago and there is no one where I live who really cares about them. My social standing isn't staked on knowing about the team anymore, and they still suck. So, I watch for a half (first half sometimes, second half other times), and that's about it.
I do appreciate the cards from TMV. I feel like I have a respectable amount of Bills cards now.
Dennis also sent over a 14-card bipping of C.J. Spiller from his Clemson days. But since college football bores me into a coma, I'm not showing them because you don't want me to fall asleep in the middle of a post.
By now, you're asking "what happened to all the baseball?"
Well, Too Many Verlanders sent me a bunch of baseball cards, too, which you'll see in a few posts or so.
Just wanted to acknowledge my Bills. No matter how inept they are.