The year of “Good Lord!” 2017 went out with a tremendous bang sometime just before 5 p.m. EST on Sunday when all hell simultaneously broke loose across Buffalo and wherever Bills fans amassed.
Andy Dalton hit something named Boyd for an immaculate TD reception on fourth and forever.
Chances are you were stampeded by friends, relatives – and depending on where you were – total strangers who were also slamming anything in sight and screaming like banshees.
It was like being in a massive mosh pit.
Sure, your wedding day, the birth of your child, that big pot you won gambling, the sex that one unforgettable time on the… All truly great and memorable moments…
But admit it, nothing has ever made you jump up and down and scream and dance and high-five and make a total fool of yourself for so long and so thunderous as when Tyler Boyd crossed that Raven goal line.
Joy in its purest, most basic and most animal form. Your personal noisemaker was never as loud.
That is why sports and football and the Buffalo Bills are transcendent – and its fans are second to none. Hundreds showed up at the airport, after midnight, in single-digit weather, to welcome the team plane home. Five thousand-plus have donated money to the Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation to help children with special needs and serious illnesses, which has now topped $100,000.
At one point donations were coming in at over 10 per minute.
The Revolution has begun.
The Bills game had recently ended with a nail-biting win, and the formality of the Bengal victory had yet to be notarized – but you knew. The long dreadful drought was done. The wallflower Bills were invited to the dance. A true New Era was upon us.
Seven hours before the ball dropped in Times Square, when usually it was our Bills, or the Bengals for that matter, who dropped it.
There are also likely a few moments that are now etched in your mind from the Bills' unsteady victory over the blowholes in Miami. Whatever happens to the Bills' Sean McDermott, who reached the playoffs in his first season as head coach at any level, I will always remember and love him for the Kyle Williams play call and touchdown.
That was a tremendous play. Great idea, timing and execution; and it turned out to be the game-winner. It was not a gimmick or risky, and was totally unexpected by the defense.
It was a perfect moment, not unlike the Bengal TD.
The Bills' defensive effort was a microcosm of the memorable season. They started off well, looked horrible for too long a stretch for comfort, were brought to the brink of breaking, and then came up with a timely turnover. This time it was a lunging catch by safety Jordan Poyer.
Otherwise this game might have gone down in the John Fourcade category, with the Bills losing an important late December game to journeyman David “Epic” Fales.
Tyrod Taylor, who will now be known as the Bills QB who led them out of the desert like Moses after seemingly wandering for 40 years, played emblematic of his season, too. Flashes of both brilliance and ability, followed by an equal amount of frustration and inability.
Shady McCoy, who had been breaking ankles of defenders with his cutbacks all year long, appeared to break his own on a gut-wrenching misstep. Pounding the turf with his fist and then being carted off it, many fans thought our playoff hopes just ended before they even started.
But Murphy’s Law was never enacted. Marcus Murphy came off the practice squad and then the bench to replace McCoy and did a passable impersonation. Mike Tolbert even looked like a legitimate NFL reserve RB.
And X-rays on Shady proved negative, giving him a chance to play this Sunday in Jacksonville against Saint Doug, Marcell Dareus and the Jaguars.
So now, early in 2018, with the curse lifted, and the drought in the history books after a miracle finish, the Bills begin anew. Uncharted waters for many Bills fans who cannot remember, or weren’t even born, since the last (not to be named) miracle.