Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bills VS Jets: The Rivalry That Isn't

This is weird. This Bills-Jets game is being built as the biggest game between the two in a long time, but the thing might be the biggest regular reason game between the two teams ever.

Even though they've been in the same division since the inception of the AFL, this has rarely felt like any kind of rivalry. I was really struggling to come up with something to write about for this game, despite it being the BIGGEST BILLS GAME EVER (since week 3), and I couldn't figure out why. Then, I tried doing some research into past big/memorable Bills-Jets game, and inadvertantly found out why this rivalry doesn't really exist. Mainly, it's because the Bills and Jets are rarely any good at the same time. Only four times out of 51 completed seasons have the two teams had a winning record at the same time, and they've only played one playoff game, with the Bills beating the Jets 31-27 in a 1981 Wild Card game. That was the Bills' first playoff win since they won back-to-back AFL titles in the 1960s, and it was almost thirty years ago, before I was even born.

My Bills-Jets memories consist of Kelly's Bills owning the Jets, some shitty Bills teams pulling late-season upsets against playoff-bound Jets teams, Drew Bledsoe's first game as a Bill, which saw them lose to the Jets when they gave up a kick return TD in overtime, Dirty Sanchez and Ryan Fitzpatrick playing to see who could fuck up worse in 2009 (Sanchez "won" that battle), and the Jets killing the Bills twice last season, the first time with me in attendance at the Ralph.

I just can't hate the Jets...yet. I have a good friend who is a Jets fans, and the last couple years, they've been my adopted team come playoff time. I was stoked when they knocked off the Patriots last year, largely because I FUCKING HATE THE PATRIOTS. I love the KissingSuzyKolber posts featuring Rex Ryan and members of the Jets. I can't hate them yet, but if this game goes down to the wire, and the Bills lose then I will be PISSED. If the Bills lose again in New Jersey later this month, I will be fucking raging and ready to kill. I obviously don't want that to happen. I'd much rather the Bills win both games and make a serious run at making the playoffs for the first time since the "Music City Miracle" in 1999.

Would I love it if the Bills won 51-0? Of course. Would I be ecstatic if Marcell Dareus pulled Dirty Sanchez's arm off and beat him over the head with it? ABSOLUTELY. But, until something changes, this isn't a rivalry, unless you want to count commentators on the ESPN AFC East blog constantly noting that the Jets and Giants play in New Jersey, making the Bills the only team that plays in New York State.

I would like for that to change, but for now, I'll settle for a Bills win, and Bills & Jets fans going back to mutually despising the Patriots.

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