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Voice of the Fan: The sheer joy of Bills fandom

Sunday’s raiding and looting of the Minnesota Vikings in the Twin Cities was all but orgasmic. Pure bliss. Absolute ecstasy. Suck it up and soak it in.

One had to think back to the Bengals-Ravens game last year to feel this great, and then wonder if that one big momentous feeling was even better than the endless series of fantastic ones coming, bang-bang-bang, one right after another in the inconceivable thrashing of the heavily favored Vikes.

In turn, this week is spent “arguing” over two fantastic outcomes, “Which was more surprising, the offense or defense?”

You couldn’t go wrong supporting either. That’s how well the entire team played. Especially our number one pick.

I believe he can fly.

Josh Allen took to the skies in several manners against the Vikings. He flew the plane, he leaped over a 6-foot-5 Pro Bowl linebacker, he soared like Superman to the sideline pylon for a spectacular diving TD during which he was clocked on land at 20.6 mph, the fourth fastest touchdown run by any NFL player last week. A 6-5 quarterback.

Josh’s receivers are a No. 1 who has dropped as many as he has caught and who doesn’t appear to be playing for the benjamins in his contract year; a No. 2 who disappears for entire games and has trouble holding onto the ball even when he catches it; a No. 3 whose best attribute as a wide receiver is that he is good on special teams; a No. 4 who wasn’t drafted because he didn’t even start in college; and a No. 5 who, well, there is no No. 5. The Bills released him when he was their No. 2 or No. 3.

Imagine what he could do with the Chiefs, Bucs, Steelers, Rams, Eagles, Falcons or even the Vikings skill players?

Allen did everything you could hope for and much more. He threw short, medium and long. He threw left, right and center. He ran, scrambled and dove for two touchdowns. He faked, ball-handled and play-actioned extremely proficient. He drew away coverage with his eyes and pumps. He noticed hot reads and threw instantly on target. He gunned, lobbed and floated accurate passes. He commanded the offense, huddle and even the defense on the sidelines. He led by actions on and off the field, before, during and after the game. He was cool under pressure during the play and then fiery on the field and off it right after the play.

On the downside, he missed an open bomb to Robert Foster by about five yards, and had one ill-conceived scramble where he temporarily lost his head and the ball, but we and he quickly recovered both. But that’s about it.

We are living here in Allentown.

Watching a Bills quarterback not only have this ability but clearly show it on the field — as a rookie ... in real games ... in only his second start ... with these receivers ... against one of the best defenses in the league ... on the road — is, well, sheer joy as a fan.

Especially because it is now much easier to envision endless more games of this euphoric feeling if we have indeed found our franchise guy.

On defense, havoc-wreaker Jerry Hughes was shot out of a cannon from the first snap to the last. He is tied for the most pressures in the league with Khalil Mack by the analytics guys, who suck when they show our guys to suck, but are awesome and geniuses when their numbers say we are awesome and geniuses.

One needs to just accept that as fact if one is a fan.

Matt Milano, on a good day, used to have a couple highlight reel plays sandwiched around very mediocre if not bad ones. Against the Vikings, he had four highlight reel plays, surrounded by a game full of other solid ones, and was rightly rewarded as the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

In fact, all of the defensive newcomers sparkled. Trent Murphy was disruptive, as was Star Lotulelei, as was Tremaine Edmunds, as was Ryan Lewis, who rose from total obscurity into the starting lineup and looked like he might belong there.

No one expected this. The Vikings game was Bizzaro World. Upside-down week. For one glorious Sunday, we were them and they were us. The Vikings made all the Billsy plays we normally do. Everything predicted went the exact opposite way.

The sheer joy of the last six quarters of Bills football, counting the second half of the Chargers game, is why we do it. Put up with it. Spend our time and treasure. Spill our blood and break our tables if they must go.

That pure bliss is the lifeblood of a fan, and has erased most of the utter dread of the first six. And that juxtaposition makes most of us look forward even more to this coming Sunday at Lambeau; praying that this latest incarnation of our beloved Bills is the true or lasting one.

Outside of making it to the playoffs or winning the Super Bowl, it doesn’t get any better than last Sunday enjoying the near flawless game, this week recalling and reliving it, and right now itching for the next one.

It is the sheer joy of fandom.

Pete Rosen is a screenwriter in Los Angeles, lifetime Buffalo fan and may be found blathering daily at twobillsdrive.com.

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