This has been a series I have been mulling since December when a drought draft photo was making the rounds on Twitter. I thought no one could make a more comprehensive list than yours truly. There’s some great drought podcasts out there that I would recommend with Ryan/Defenseman and Prescott Rossi, but I felt doing a written history of the drought according to someone who lived and hated it, needed to be told. In terms of a formula, it really is a mix of franchise altering moments (Hirings/Signings) or a specific moment where I go on a breathtaking diatribe rant (Games). In other words, there is no science to the logic, but only hate. Enjoy and fuck the Bills for being shitty.
100) Trading Willis McGahee – Yeah, I know. Half of you people probably couldn’t wait to get Willis McGahee out of town. He didn’t like the nightlife or the ladies and he once said the Bills should play in Toronto. But you know what? I don’t give a fuck if his sex life sucks or he hates listening to Sandstorm at Zoobar. He was a hell of a running back here and that’s what I cared about. At his peak, he may have had the best seasons of any of the running backs we had during the drought. He was the main reason the Bills went 9-7 in 2004. At a time when running backs were important, he was a legit franchise back. Unfortunately, McGahee’s contract had 1-year left and the Bills weren’t about to pay him. So, they traded him for two 3rd round picks, which of course meant they would use another first round pick on a running back. This would be a reoccurring theme during the drought with our running backs.
99) Extending Marcus Stroud – When the Bills traded for Marcus Stroud in 2008, it was kind of a big deal as he was a former pro bowl player and there was a narrative how the Bills new GM (Brandonfinger) was very aggressive because the Bills hadn’t really done much of any FA/Trade moves in five years. Now, when the Stroud trade went down, there were rumblings he wasn’t thrilled with coming here and the Bills basically promised him a new deal if he was decent. Stroud was a stud in 2008 as the Bills went from 31st in total yards given up in 2007 to 14th in 2008. The Bills made good on their promise with Stroud and rewarded him an extension that was worth 29-million dollars. At the time, I was cool with it. Unfortunately, Stroud was on the wrong side of 30 and to say he fell off a cliff would be an understatement. The defense was terrible in 2009 and 2010 and Stroud basically sucked. It also didn’t help the Bills went to a 3-4 in 2010 and he played out of position as a DE. While I normally don’t care about contracts, this was a time when Ralph was cheap and the Bills were always counting pennies with their players. Once they paid a few players, they were done. If one of your highest paid players were not playing up to their contract, Ralph wasn’t going to sign other expensive players to fix the problem.
98) Trading for Mike Williams – At the time, the Mike Williams trade could be classified as a low risk, high reward type of deal. He was supposed to be the #2 WR, wasn’t going to cost much on the cap, and cost a late round pick. Williams put up some nice numbers in TB and was supposed to be that BIG red zone target they have craved forever. Yeah, trading for the guy your current dictator head coach (Doug Marrone) kicked off his college team seemed like a no-brainer (Sarcasm). Unfortunately, Mike Williams and the Bills didn’t work out. From rumors of him coming to the stadium in just his uniform to the Bills just deciding to cut his playing time down to nothing for no reason really. It sucked.
97) Terrell Owens getting key to city – Seriously? What the fuck is this? What 7th dimension of hell did Byron Brown think this was a good idea? I mean, I don’t have to go on anymore when it comes to how stupid this was…except…reality TV sucks.
96) Firing Turk Schonert in the preseason- You thought firing Greg Roman after two weeks was a quick hook? How about basing a firing off preseason games. That’s exactly what happened with Schonert in 2009. The Bills were unveiling the no-huddle offense (They did this again in 2013 because why the fuck not) with Owens/Evans/Trent/Lynch and the architect was supposed to be Schonert. The offense sputtered in the preseason as Owens was out for games 2 and 3. Schonert was fired and the Bills promoted Alex Van Pelt who had like 1 year of coaching experience. I’ll always remember how after Schonert was fired, he buried Jauron in saying he wanted a Pop Warner type of offense with the terminology. The offense wasn’t very good in 2009 under AVP. I won’t sit here and say it would have been better with Schonert, but to fire your OC based on the preseason is amateur hour.
95) Duke Preston fighting with NE players – This is one of those “You had to be there!” moments. It was the season finale of the 2008 season against NE. I was in the crowd and it was one of your classic meaningless finale games where tickets were 20 bucks and you were only there to get wasted. The weather was BRUTAL. Late in the first half, the Bills were driving down the field and were in position to kick a FG. It was your classic get 5-yards to move closer, run out the FG team, and then attempt the FG as time was expiring. Unfortunately when the Bills were running out the FG team, Duke Preston was in a shoving match with like 3 NE guys 10 yards past the line of scrimmage.
Now, while he’s doing this, the clock isn’t stopping and the Bills are basically set up to attempt the FG and are just waiting for Preston to line up. And what does Duke do? He’s still pushing NE players!!! And you know the NE players are doing this purposely in order for the clock to wind down. At this point, my section which is 12 rows up from the end zone, see all of this and start yelling at Duke to get his fat ass to the line. Finally, after like the 20th push as if we are in F’N labor because it was painful, Duke realized what was happening and he ran to line up for the FG. And guess what happens? Time runs out. No FG attempt. It was a complete shit show. Maybe the refs should have blown the whistle, but Duke should have realized the situation. Just dumb fucking fucks.
94) Making Spencer Johnson an OLB – There have been some position switches during the drought. Some good..George Wilson (WR to Safety), Jason Peters (TE/LT), Aaron Williams (CB to Safety). And then some bad..Bryan Scott to LB. But one resonates with me the most: Spencer Johnson playing OLB in a 3-4 defense. Yes, nothing says edge rusher like moving your 300 lb DT to rush the QB standing up. Couldn’t we get Michael Jasper or Leif Larsen to do this? This was awful. I just remember wanting to kill George Edwards and Buddy Nix. Spencer Johnson couldn’t get off the edge unless you put a rocket up his ass.
93) Bobby Shaw 2-point conversion fail against Tennessee – Late in the 2003 season when Gregg Williams job and the Bills playoff hopes were basically dead as fried chicken, they went into Tennessee and put up a decent fight against a really good Titans team. The Bills had just scored a TD with 24 seconds left in the game to pull within 2 points. The Bills had to go for two obviously. Bledsoe, rolled out to his left and threw what appeared to be a game-tying 2-point conversion to Bobby Shaw who was diving for the football. Unfortunately, when Shaw went to show the ref he caught the ball by showing it like you see all the time in a game, the ball came right out of his hand. Incomplete pass. Game over.
92) Ko Simpson getting arrested – Players getting arrested will probably make this list a few times even though I have a “Boys will be boys” type of mindset with players. However, when a player is asked to leave a scene and repeats multiple times “I’m Ko Simpson and I’m worth millions” as a defense, you are making the list. I mean, that’s pretty much what Ko Simpson is remembered for. 1) Was Ko worth millions because I’m pretty sure he was on his rookie deal. 2) Did Ko say he owned a mansion and yacht afterwards?
91) Signing Brad Smith – If you need evidence on how the Bills are always like 10 years behind the times when it comes to fielding an NFL team, look no further than signing Brad Smith. The Bills signed Brad Smith because Chan Gailey liked the wildcat offense. I’ll always remember how when the signing happened, there was a big backlash of reaction to the reaction on Twitter. People went overboard with hating the move while others told them to STFU. If the Bills signed Brad Smith in 2008 when the wildcat was a thing, it would have made sense. Instead, they did it 3 years later and by that point the formation was dead. Brad didn’t do much of anything except gain 3-yards up the middle on a direct snap. For almost 4-million bucks, I think the Bills could have found someone else for cheaper to do that.