Mike Deville

Hey, it’s fall and it’s time to say a few words about football. Some of you will like what I’m going to say, and some of you will immediately stop reading this week’s ASC.edu and jump out of a window. But I gotta say it anyway. YOU’RE IN BUFFALO BILLS COUNTRY NOW! LEARN TO LOVE IT!

Hey, I understand. You’re from somewhere east of Alfred, and you love one of those ‘other teams,’ the ones from New Jersey that think they’re from New York.  But here’s the deal: as long as you’re at Camp Alfred, you’re in BILLS COUNTRY, the ONLY REAL NEW YORK FOOTBALL TEAM. Deal with it! Love it!

Now that most of my readers are looking for a window to jump out of, can we talk? Look, I know the Bills aren’t number one in any league. But life in Western New York can be challenging sometimes, especially in November and December. That’s probably why the Ancient Greeks invented football. They didn’t call it ‘football’ of course. They called it “ἐπίσκυρος,” meaning ‘kicking the ball with your swollen foot,’ but the ruins of some of their early “ἐπίσκυρος” stadiums still exist, and from the number of restrooms and beer concession stands in them, we’re pretty sure “ἐπίσκυρος” meant football in Ancient Greek.

But that was then, and this is now, fall 2012, in WNY. You’re a long way from home, and you’re missing your favorite New Jersey football team. Don’t panic. You now have a real New York team to love: The Bills. And the Bills are an easy team to love because they really need your love. Sure, everybody loves Tampa or Dallas or maybe Ohio or poor Penn State, but the Bills are a little short on love some years. OK, lots of years….

And when you think about it, more of us can identify with the Bills than with some of the other teams out there. We suit up every week and give it all we’ve got. And some weeks we come up short. We get beat up and it’s all for nothing. We try Plan B and really try harder next time, and still, sometimes, we get nothing to show for the effort except bruises. (This reminds me of my performance when I took freshman comp, but that’s history, too.)

So let’s take a Zen approach on this. You’re in Western New York, not far from Buffalo. The Bills are your closest football team. EXPERIENCE the Bills! Sure, someday you’ll leave Camp Alfred and return to the real world. You’ll have the rest of your life to cheer for some other team, buy their gear, pay actual money to get their name tattooed on your chest, all the regular season stuff. Try the Zen approach: Be where you are; do what you’re doing. And right now, you’re in Bills Country and you’re supporting the Bills. OK?

And if the Zen approach isn’t working for you, there’s still Buffalo wings, beer, restrooms and visions of Kansas getting slaughtered. And I’ll be looking for the GO BILLS tattoo on your chest, butt, guns, wherever…. Be where you are, do what you’re doing, and for the next two years, LEARN TO LOVE THE BILLS!



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