In another endless series of appalling decisions and blatant favoritism, The Patriot Act was enacted in Gillette Stadium and thrust on the helpless and hapless Buffalo Bills and their faithful fans on Christmas Eve.
The Patriot Act is tiresome. It defies logic. It is not right. It is irrefutable. It is bad for the country.
And it is turning people away from the game.
Each time our Bills play the Patriots, we have to fight Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, the Referees, the League, the actual Devil — and in this particular game — ourselves and our coaches. It again proved too great a chore. Brady, Belichick, and Gronkowski, are the best in the business and the league is the worst.
It takes the game from professional football to professional wrestling.
I am not a conspiracy theorist; nor do I believe in payoffs any more than the playoffs, which makes this glaring farce even more infuriating, and for my hair to fall out manually instead of naturally.
But it is impossible to gauge the demoralizing affect decisions and big plays like this has on a team. It wasn't only the Kelvin Benjamin debacle, there were three or four other game-changing monstrosities to boot.
Bills owner Terry Pegula, coach Sean McDermott, and at least one official on the sidelines were all at a loss to explain The Patriot Act, and spoke out publicly and privately about it.
On Sunday, the Bills players and coaches blew it in the second half as much as the referees, so it wasn't the difference. The team might have been ripped off, but they were most likely getting ripped to shreds late in the game anyway. The Bills were worn down in the fourth quarter and unable to stop The Patriot Act or put together successful scoring drives themselves.
In several ways, The Buffalo Act is wearing thin on a lot of fans, too.
Bills fans were equally at a loss to explain several of McDermott's wall-bashing decisions as well, not to mention his and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison's infatuation with Mike Tolbert, a love and weird obsession usually reserved for teenagers and rock stars.
Tyrod Taylor continued to confound both his supporters and detractors with equal parts wizardry and what-the-heck-are-you-thinking?!! Shady McCoy showed he still has a bright future even at 29 years old with an endless array of jukes and jives that left defenders grabbing air as he passed them and gasping for it just after.
Benjamin flashed his ridiculous size and skills, even on one leg, and left fans screaming at their TVs and yelling obscenities at Dennison for not calling more jump balls in the red zone and end zone for him. You know, the reason we got him in the first place.
Dennison again seemed to hate stuff that works.
The defense not only scored a touchdown itself, on a tremendous individual effort by Rachel Bush’s boyfriend, but kept Brady in check for most of the first three quarters. Outside of the impossible to cover Gronk, who has gone from lovable goofball to loathsome public enemy No. 1.
What makes it exponentially worse is that he has also become arguably the best ever to play his position. It used to be okay to like Gronk even though he was a ball-carrying member of The Patriot Act. He was a Western New York guy and was mildly amusing in an oversized doofus kind of way. Now he is just another one of the intolerables.
While keying on Brady and Gronk, the Bills coaches and defenders lost sight of Diminutive Lewis, and then forgot how to tackle him. Lewis hurt the Bills and their playoff chances as much as Brady and his big goon.
The Bills' rush defense, with stats to prove it, has been atrocious the second half of the season, and was back-pedaling with speed usually reserved for defensive backs.
Ultimately, like most games since The Patriot Act has been enacted as the undisputed law of the land, it left Bills players and fans equally frustrated. And at a loss to even explain it.
The Bills are just like the Patriots — without the everything.
The League, and its leaders, minus Robert Kraft, need to change the law before the people take to the streets and not the seats.
Pete Rosen is a screenwriter in Los Angeles, lifetime Buffalo fan, and may be found blathering daily at twobillsdrive.com.