SEATTLE, Wash. —
You can try to run, but you can’t hide.
What’s made matters worse was that after years of sitting in the press box, worrying about the next day’s story, I prematurely bought season tickets this year and thought I’d be enjoying the fun first-hand. Instead, I pushed my trip back as far as possible, until after the home opener, then shoved off the next day.
Along my travels I found a Kenmore West and UB graduate wearing a Canisius College sweatshirt at a soccer game in Kalispell, Mont., and a Tonawanda native at the summit of a hike in the Cascade Mountains. Both shook their heads when I brought up home, stunned the Bills were off to such a slow start after finally spending a few bucks in the off-season.
I saw the same look on Sunday, when Feely drilled the 61-yarder. Doom. Gloom. A sorry-eyed look of despair we Buffalonians seem to be the only ones to understand to this depth.
A few minutes later, the Cardinals charged deep into Buffalo territory, and it was certain we’d be on the short end of the stick. It’s not like we didn’t expect it. The skinny guy in the Flutie jersey asked aloud why he’d been born a Bills fan. Matteliano essentially called for a clear-cut firing squad for the coaching staff. Hats were thrown and arms flailed in disgust.
I wasn’t home, but it sure felt like it.
That’s when the unthinkable happened — Feely pulled his second kick, boinking it off the upright. Jarius Byrd stepped in front a bad pass a few minutes later, and the Bills finished the day tied for first place in the AFC East. There were high-fives, hugs, and what’s probably unrealistic talk of the playoffs.