The Glorious Plight of the Buffalo Bills: Anyone catch Ben Austen’s Buffalo Bills writeup featured on Grantland recently? It’s an interesting look at the inseparability of Buffalo’s economics and its football team, and delves nicely into some of the city’s history over the course of its personal journalism.
As someone who’s wildly out of touch with football, its rules, and its culture, I found Austen’s outside perspective a fascinating read for more than a few reasons. Can some real football fans sound in on this?
While the rest of the media packed up, I asked the mayor about his critical decision in 2009 to welcome Terrell Owens to Buffalo with a grand ceremony. Several teams had already discarded Owens, each thrilled to see him leave. But after the Bills signed the receiver, Mayor Brown stood shoulder-to-shoulder with T.O. in front of the Grecian columns of the city’s famed Albright-Knox Art Gallery. There he presented Owens with a key to the city. It seemed a bit much, I suggested, to say nothing of premature. Owens ended up catching just five touchdown passes in one season with Buffalo, a dispiriting 6-10 campaign. The mayor nodded sagely. Then he spoke about Terrell Owens as he did credit ratings and capital improvements, without a grin or a drop in his oratory.
Read the full piece here.