FROM THE VALLEY: The Buffalo Bills: just Joshin'

Tom Valley

Let's give credit where credit is due and versa visa — or however you say it:

It may not always be pretty, but Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen gets the job done. Put simply, Allen carries an arsenal of tools whenever he takes the field, and uses whatever necessary to address any given situation. And not least in that bag is unflinching determination. A Jim Kelly mindset is a fair comparison. Ergo, as today's title suggests, the Bills are just Joshin' … their way into, and hopefully through, the playoffs. (You're welcome, Bills Mafia, for the suggested mantra.)

Also, like Kelly, Allen shows that he's a team player, not a superstar prima donna who finds it necessary to shout and scream at his own teammates.

Speaking of Tom Brady: NFL players can easily get fined by the league for petty infractions. Their corporate image as role models is taken seriously. But “seriously” is contingent upon who you are. The game's biggest icon is probably Brady. Justified by his success on the field and his ability to stay away from controversy off the field, it's understandable.

But why he wasn't fined — nor was it barely mentioned as a negative — the day he ran across the field, not long ago, to scream in the face of the opposing coach, who had just beaten him, and yell “Go F*** yourself'!” is an an absolute mystery to me. The cameras caught the totally deplorable, unsportsman-like act and broadcast it live to a national TV audience of many impressionable youngsters.

Brady, without a doubt, is a player that kids look up to, a player they admire and want to be like. And this is how he shows them to behave in the face of adversity? From a leader, that's inexcusable. I once respected the guy for his amazing athletic accomplishments. Unfortunately, his star has been greatly diminished, not by his contempt for losing, but by how he handles it.

Disclosure: Brady was fined for tossing a Microsoft tablet in the same game, but that was probably because the NFL was afraid of making a corporate sponsor upset. In other words, if money is involved, action is required. A superstar's moral ineptitude? No big deal.

Now if you'll just give me a moment ... I'll climb off this soapbox. Thank you.

Next credit due: It's true. Even though one-time Vice President Mike Pence wore brown lipstick for four years, he may have saved our country from total collapse. His courage to not cave to a group of threatening, imbecilic, non-patriots may be one of the single most heroic acts anyone has ever undertaken for the sake of democracy in our nation's history. It's an indication how bizarre things are when people are admired for simply doing what they are supposed to do. “Strange days, indeed,” so sayeth Jim Morrison of The Doors.

What does our government need to prevent another situation like the one that Mike Pence was put in? Fewer people in government who put him there.

Looping back to the Buffalo Bills:

I remember the lean years when they were a horrible team. How bad were they? I once had two tickets to a game on the dashboard of my truck and someone busted in and left two more.

My wife would always remind me after a Bills victory to turn off the PlayStation 3.

Pals of mine would gather in our downstairs family room to watch the games. It became known as the whine cellar. (If this joke is still here after I self-edit, I've failed miserably to come up with something better. My apologies, ahead of time.)

I once wrote to the late, great owner Ralph Wilson and suggested changing the team's name to the Buffalo Possums. I explained the reason as: they play dead at home and get killed on the road. Thank you.

Of note, I can never be accused of being a fair weather fan, in more ways than one. My friend Dave Bellucci and I had season tickets back in the Joe Ferguson/O.J. years. We sat through ice storms, blizzards and downpours … and those were just the August preseason games. So we've literally paid our Bills/dues along the way. (The next Valley generation and the one after that, have, proudly, taken up the torch and continue the tradition of going to the games. How awesome is that!?)

So finally, let's keep Joshin' our opponents, Buffalo … starting Saturday night. Go Bills!

And that's the way it looks from the Valley.

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