A View from Calico Jack’s – 11/3/09

Bob Dylan…Seinfeld’s fourth season…and the Buffalo Bills?

In the mid-1960s, Dylan exploded with a burst of creative output unknown in the rock world before or arguably since. Seinfeld’s fourth season – considered by many to be the best season of the best TV comedy – featured classic half-hours such as The Contest, The Bubble Boy, The Junior Mint and The Virgin.

And the Bills…are in the midst of a historically remarkable run of ugly – and, perhaps worse, boring – football. From Cleveland to the Jets, from Carolina to Houston this past week, this edition of the Bills Make Us Want to Pout in a way that might be incomparable.

How boring are they? To quote Homer (Simpson), “I’ve seen plays that were more exciting than this. Honest to God, plays!” If Hitchcock were directing a Bills documentary, he might call it “Dial D for Dull,” (although, if it were a highlight reel, he might simply go with, “The Byrd.”)

How ugly have these games been? If this were college and you brought the Bills back to your frat or sorority house as part of some mean-spirited looks- or personality-related contest, not only would you win, your friends would STILL kid you about it at reunions 20 years later. The beer goggles that would make this team appealing have yet to be invented.

Remarkably, the team’s gone 2-2 in this four-game stretch, but the fact is that you can’t be so horribly outplayed and outgained week after week and consider the relatively good luck to last. Matt Schaub isn’t Jake Delhomme or Mark Sanchez.

So, where do we stand at mid-season, entering the bye week? As I write this, I see that the Browns have cut ties with their GM, but not their coach. Teams are understandably reluctant to make coaching changes during the season, and I’m largely on board with that. I don’t believe they will find “the” solution mid-season, or that a care-taker coach necessarily accomplishes anything for the team. Besides, our complaints aside, do 3-5 teams really change coaches?

No, what we see is likely what you get the rest of the way. That doesn’t mean there aren’t compelling reasons to stick with the team, especially with arguably winnable games on the horizon: where will the greatest QB controversy since…well, Edwards/Losman…take us? Or does the team choose C; none of the above? How will they creatively integrate two strong RBs into the offense? Or, better put, will they? Will Coach Jauron’s growing tendency toward periodic risk-taking (fake punt in your own zone?) become more pronounced? Will they say the heck with it and start throwing to TO with abandon? Will we sweep the Jets in prime time in Toronto? How many picks will Byrd get? Does he have a chance to actually supplant our punter as our MVP?

And, with AVP not working out as an eye in the sky or on the sidelines, will they try have him call plays from the parking lot, aided by nothing more than the radio broadcast of the game?

Above all…can Calico Jack’s and McFadden’s stock the bar well enough to get everyone through the season? The Tennessee game might be coming up, but our bars’ beer supply versus Bills fans’ need for liquid diversion might be the TRUE Battle of the Titans.

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