I’ve been blogging for almost 5 years now. Yes, I’m slightly embarrassed to say that. Writers/Bloggers always talk about how much they have grown and how they’ve learned to adapt to the experiences they have gone through. However, based on myself pretty much figuring out where to put a comma and Google some $5 words, my hot takes are relatively the same for the most part.
Nothing has changed with my fandom nor the constant reaction to the reaction you see on Twitter. Fans are impulsive. Teams suck and teams are good. Folks are always going to overrate and underrate. Lamestreamers are always going to troll. No matter how many hours ESPN dedicates to sports or Twitter expands, sports always tend repeat itself for the most part.
However, if there’s one thing I can say I’ve done a 180 on and learned from when I first started blogging, it’s my reaction to fans trying to find solace in a losing team.
For most of my life, I could never understand how a fan could find goodness in a team game when the team fricken sucked ass. Maybe I was spoiled by the Bills of the 90s, but it was wins/losses to me. I never really had a favorite Bill growing up because the winning is what was my favorite moment.
It’s a results business, right? However, I was wrong. You can find the goodness in cheering for your teams even when the shit hits the fan over and over and over again..
The player who taught me that was Stevie Johnson.
I loved Stevie Johnson. I loved how he did everything in his power to make us laugh when the product sucked. I was thrilled that he wanted to entertain the masses. He taught me that while wins/losses mean a lot, you can still can have fun.
Maybe he tried too hard in entertaining fans, but you know what? What the hell else did we have? The Bills were awful and it surely wasn’t his fault. When he walked in, it was like Oz coming to Kansas except he turned Kansas into the Land of Oz. It was like the reverse Dorothy.
He became that guy that if you walked into a random bar in Las Vegas and said “Buffalo Bills”, by the time the bartender went through the 90s Bills and losing four Super Bowls, Stevie Johnson would be the first guy to come up that we were actually watching in 2013. Stevie had the “It” factor for me.
I’ll never forget when he did the “Why so serious?” T-shirt celebration and for that one week, he was like a celebrity on ESPN and Jim Rome. Then things crashed down after his drop against Steelers and you know what his reaction to it did for me?
It humanized him.
I’ll never forget how he was in tears at his presser and God knows if any fan were in his place, we’d be doing the same thing. He was one of us. Period. That’s why I always got pissed off when dumb lamestreamers tried trolling him because they just didn’t get him. They aren’t fans who understand how our minds work because they’ve made that silly oath in a tree house about not giving a shit about our teams. We stuck with him because while he wasn’t perfect, he made us forget that there’s more than just wins/losses.
As far as the trade goes, I guess I get why they decided to make this deal. They probably felt they had younger, cheaper kids that could do his job. I wouldn’t have done it, but I understand A LOT of my angst happens to do with my affection for him. Trust me, I wasn’t kicking and screaming when Lee Evans got traded and both their careers have very eerie similar paths with an incumbent pushing them out and their stats not measuring for what you want with a #1 WR.
However, there will be 100s of other boring Lee Evans to enter our lives, but I can pretty much take it to the grave that there won’t be another Stevie Johnson.
While I wish we all could have won together on the field, I’ll always cherish the times you made me forget about the field and the bad football we had to watch. While most fans take their football lives too seriously (Guilty), you taught us why we should’t be so serious.
Good luck in SF and thanks for letting me forget that we hadn’t made the playoffs in 14 years on a few occasions on Sundays