Sporting Nerds would like to welcome H. Ambrose Montgomery to our roster. He is Professor of Sports Logic Studies at Hamilton College, and his new series “On the Contrary!” will provide a counterpoint to opinions expressed by message board posters and commenters at popular sports sites. This week’s column is in response to a post by “PeerlesshasSpeed” at the BuffaloBills.com message board on the topic “5 reasons Why Bills Will Be 1-0 after Sunday!”
First off, let me first off say that I appreciate the depth of your passion about the Buffalo Bills, along with your seemingly boundless optimism about the team’s chances this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. However, while I am not a Chiefs fan, I feel as though your reasons that the Bills will win are at best trifling and perhaps even poorly thought out. Allow me to retort your analysis on a point-by-point basis, drawing examples from your post:
1.The Bills are a better team that has a chance to win games in regulation that they lead for 4.9 quarters instead of the defense allowing teams to scratch their way back in it.
I believe that your math is faulty here. A “quarter” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “any of various units of length or area equal to one fourth of some larger unit.” As you can quite clearly see, it would be impossible to have 4.9 quarters of anything, including a football game. What you are suggesting is a mathematical impossibility! Even with the possibility of a “fifth quarter” of overtime, the “sudden death” nature of overtime in the regular season rules out leading after four quarters but not winning the game.
Disrepect-The league and the general consensus for The Bills has them bottom feeders again and that is major motivation.The whole organization has something to prove and it starts Sunday.
While I commend your attempts at an amateur psychological analysis of the team, recent history hasn’t proven that “disrespect” has been a major motivational factor for the Bills. If this was the case, one might expect them to have felt similarly “motivated” after going 6-10 in 2009. So why did this lead to a 4-12 record in 2010? In fact, the team’s current string of six losing seasons suggests that they are feeling depressed or ashamed by the lack of respect shown to them by other teams in the league. Hardly a recipe for winning football!
3.More talent and that doesnt even include players like Kyle Williams that will have an even bigger year now that he has help.
While I concede that the “talent” is a subjective term, and that the Bills’ recent lack of success has landed them a succession of high draft picks, it’s hard to suggest that they have more “talent” than the Chiefs. The Bills only have one player who made the Pro Bowl in 2010 (the aforementioned Kyle Williams) while the Chiefs have five. Your claim of “more talent” appears to be baseless and without merit.
4.A winning formula: The added talent is great but do not forget the impact of coaches like ILB coach Dave W.
I believe the name of the coach you mentioned is Dave Wannstedt. Previously, he was the head coach at the University of Pittsburgh, where he failed to have a winning record in three of his six seasons. Combine this with his .485 winning percentage as head coach of the Dolphins and Bears, and his potential “impact” and ability to create “a winning formula” feels rather muted.
5.Overrated Opponents-You can call me a homer but Miami,KC,Dallas (Romo’s 9th year!),Giants and Redskins are all percieved to be better teams than The Bills but really are not.
Buffalo could have beaten much better teams than all of them last year (Baltimore’s Ravens, The Pittsburgh Steel-Workers and Chicago Bears) with what they had but will undoubtedly “Carpe Diem” in close games this year!
The perception that the teams you mentioned are better than the Bills likely stems from the fact that they had better seasons than Buffalo in 2010, and in many cases made significant improvements to their team in the offseason. (I will concede, however, that the Redskins will likely be bad, although I doubt you’ll get much argument from the general population of football fans – therefore, this line of discussion is a bit of a red herring.)
And while it is true that the Bills had close losses to the Ravens, Steelers and Bears in 2010, it’s also true that three of their four wins were by a touchdown or less. Based on their .375 winning percentage in close games (versus a .250 overall winning percentage), one could easily make the case that they were, in fact, lucky to go 4-12!
In short, while it’s unknown if the Bills or Chiefs can win on Sunday, your rationale for why the Chiefs “will be 1-0 after Sunday” simply doesn’t hold water. Along with the points covered above, your closing argument is weak and lacks concrete evidence:
I cannot wait to see QBs actually worried about the pass rush or a tired defense chasing Parrish and Spiller around in the 4th quarter of games. Once fans see how our defensive unit will win against teams like Dallas and others, then they will see The Real Fitz and an improved offense.
I am excited and Sunday cannot get here fast enough!1 game at a time,1 plat at a time!!
GO BILLS IN 2011!!
I would argue that teams are always worried about a pass rush, even if they were able to respond last year by effectively keeping their quarterback protected. Further, the Bills were 0-8 when both Parrish and Spiller were playing in 2010 and 4-4 after Parrish was injured and teams no longer had to worry about being “tired” by “chasing” both players. You may want to reconsider your sophistical tact while attempting to argue the merits of the Bills versus the Chiefs on Sunday.