Tyrod Taylor – the currently under contract Bills quarterback, and possibly future free agent, we’re not quite sure yet – had a bit of an interesting day on radio row before the Super Bowl. You may have forgotten it, what with the Super Bowl going to OT and all, but Tyrod said that the Bills, “on paper,” should’ve been in the Super Bowl.
But that comment was almost immediately overshadowed on the Buffalo twitter-sphere by his remark that the Buffalo media were overly negative during the season. This led to a lot of the journalists covering the team sneering, claiming that Tyrod was making excuses, and that it was basically absurd to ever call them out for negativity. How could he complain about us?
To which I say: come on.
Do you have even an ounce of self-awareness, Buffalo media? Like, do you ever look at the stuff you write? It’s almost always negative, complaining, picking at holes, not ever satisfied. Y’all are the king of moving the goalposts, of nitpicking, of breathless over-coverage.
There are writers who carped about Tyrod missing open receivers even if he got a first down anyway, from their god’s eye view from the press-box, or in their all-22 film breakdowns.
The Bills can win and it’s not good enough – Rodak’s coverage of the Bills win over the Bengals back in November is focused on how the Bills aren’t a playoff team – and their losses are signs of endemic failures, with the blame thrower finding a new target every couple of weeks.
Tyrod’s not good enough!
Marcell Dareus is overpaid and lazy!
You can’t win with a run-based attack!
Wait, it’s the defense’s fault! Rex is a fraud!
It’s not as if the team has often deserved positive coverage over the past, say, seventeen seasons. They’ve been bad, and the company line has always been: we, the media, aren’t fans of the team, and we just tell it like it is. Since the team hasn’t made the playoffs in 17 seasons, of course we’re going to be negative – because that’s what the situation requires!
But when Tyrod – a guy who’s every move has been analyzed since he was named the starter on a constantly elevating set of metrics that he will not live up to until the team makes it back to the playoffs – describes exactly what the media has done, they become aghast, as if the sanctity of their craft has been seriously offended. Come on! Just fucking own up to it!
“We tell it like it is!”
That’s your whole shtick!
“The owner and GM need to have press conferences with us to face the music – we’re gonna grill them!”
And then they high-five each other when someone gets to ask of Doug Whaley – and this is verbatim from the presser – “I am just trying to figure out what you do despite your job title? I would like to know what you do.” But somehow they’re paragons of integrity and not at all slanted in their coverage.
I’m not going to throw every member of the Buffalo media under the bus here. I think there are some – I’m thinking mainly of Buscaglia and the crew at WKBW – who manage to discuss the team without falling into out and out pessimism, who do not engrain seventeen years of failure into every inch of coverage. It’s not John Murphy level optimism, but it’s at least fair.
But for the general roster of Bills scribes (and Sabres writers, too) it’s laughable to pretend that they’re not generally, and often times overly, negative. Just admit it, guys. You don’t have to play this game. When the team gets good (I guess I should say “If the team gets good,” … gulp) then the coverage will surely shift.
That’s what “telling it like it is” really means.