When you say tank, you think about when McEichel came into our lives.
As most of you guys know, the Buffalo Sabres basically tanked the 2014-2015 season in order to get Jack Eichel or Connor McDavid. I can only speak on my behalf, but it was an awful year when it came to watching them play. Don’t get me wrong, I was for the tank, but I wasn’t for watching every game and cheering them to lose on a daily basis. It was just sad. It made me feel dirty and it wasn’t fun. But you know what my least favorite part of the tank was? US.
I hated WGR cheering this on and having tweets like this. I hated TBN for basically chastising fans and even calling them losers for cheering for a tank. I hated all the grandstanding about how exhilarating or undignified it was. Just a 24/7 “let’s shit on the other side’s narrative” daily. Reaction to the reaction was running wild and I couldn’t deal with it. I knew The best way to go through that season was to honestly not watch and look up box scores. However, Twitter is like crack and while you know it isn’t good for you, all the kids are doing it and it can be very addictive. You just couldn’t help but get caught up in it. And the worst part? It still hasn’t died.
Whenever the Sabres win 3 in a row, you can count on Jeremy White smoking an after sex cigarette and tweeting out if the tank was just as good for him as it was for you. When the Sabres struggle, Mike Harrington is RTing people with egg avatars who hated the tank and celebrating the fall of liberty. This will never fucking die. Ever.
Guys, I’m sensing a tremor in the tanking force on how if the Bills cut Tyrod, we are about to be full blown into the tank 2.0. I’m sensing a lunch where Russ Brandon/Doug Whaley will meet with WGR and tell them their plans for tanking and boom…We are here again. It will become a marathon where we will be scoreboard watching and it will be 16 weeks of hell. 16 weeks of WGR pouring gasoline on the flames of tanking. 16 weeks where Jerry Sullivan will tell us how you can’t test the fate of the football Gods like this. It will be unbearable, especially since I feel Bills fans are way more bipolar than Sabres fans. Hell, at least you were probably born during the Sabres last playoff run. Can’t say that about the Bills.
And what will it be about? RATINGS. The ratings for WGR during the tank were through the roof. It really was an incredible feat in radio as I challenge anyone to find a POV like that which worked. Frankly, no one thought of it, even though we’ve had terrible teams.
I remember when the 2001 and 2010 Bills were bad, there wasn’t anything close to rooting for that 1st pick like with McEichel. It didn’t feel like a telethon. If anything, it was a cross between a bitch fest about how bad they were and for fans/media to concentrate on either the Sabres or other sports. Don’t get it twisted, that 2001 team was AWFUL and everyone knew prior to the season they would be bad. They basically cut any decent player from the Butler era because of cap or football system ramifications. They were in full rebuild mode. Sure, people talked about top picks like Joey Harrington, David Carr, and Julius Pepers, but there wasn’t any sort of rooting for losses. It was basically cheering for growth of younger players and bitching about the team.
Today, the elements to make this thing go full blown tank discord are here.
You got a desperate fan base who would sell their soul for playoffs. You have the most important position in football that has been the shits since 2000. You also have a built in narrative by some media/fans about how all that matters is the QB and everything else doesn’t mean dick. You have the same owners who basically gave carte blanche to Tim Murray to suck on purpose.
And the draft? Yikes.
You have the over-the-top coverage (or propaganda) of the combine. You have draft experts who will take average QBs and blow them out of the water prior to the draft because they move needles, yet, they end up not going as high (See: Draft experts discussing Nassib/Barkley as first rounders in 2013). In other words, even if you have a QB who is like slotted like the 10th best player, you can bet they will be touted as being higher to make fans drool over the prospect of picking them #1.
Even the same arguments for why it could or couldn’t work during the Sabres tank, are there for the Bills. Remember the counter to the tank was how Edmonton had the first pick multiple years and it didn’t work? I introduce to you the Cleveland Browns who have basically sucked just as long as the Bills. But the counter? The Raiders/Lions/Colts/Panthers sucked and got Mack, Stafford ,Calvin Johnson, Cam, and Luck….or in the hockey sense, the Hawks and Pens got Malkin/Crosby/Kane.
UGGGGGGH. IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN!!!
It is a recipe for discord, blame, and just a shit pile of #illhangupandlisten crowd.
And you know what the shittiest part of this is? I’d probably agree with it. Especially if you have someone like Andrew Luck 2.0 out there. Of course, 1st picks overall at QB DON’T automatically mean star player like it does in the NHL. Additionally, you have a plethora of SB teams that never had a top 3 pick (See: Steelers, Pats, Hawks, Ravens, Packers) which tells you that if you are good at drafting, it doesn’t matter where you pick. However, that’s besides the point and a boring point that doesn’t equal to discord. It is about desperation of wanting to believe in winning VS. ratings and web traffic.
All of a sudden, I want the Bills to keep Tyrod. It won’t be to save the Bills season, but it might be to save us from each other.