The Bills Head to the Super Bowl!
~ Amy Lignor
Yes, this is a real headline. I know you may not remember, but the Bills ‘headed’ there many a time, guys and gals. This is the team (the ONLY team) to win four consecutive AFC conference championships. This is the part of the story that’s forgotten, because – like that guy from ‘Mad Men’ – they are also the only ones to lose four consecutive Super Bowls. However, you can’t lose if you don’t go. Therefore…the Bills accomplished an amazing feat.
Tom Brady. Peyton Manning. Dan Marino. Troy Aikman, Steve Young. Joe Montana. Terry Bradshaw. Yes…there are a list of the ‘best of the best’ QBs ever to play this game. And, by the way, they were players who did not have to be listed on an exempt list, because they decided one day to just beat on their families. (Keep that in mind, as well). There was another, however. His name was and still is, Jim Kelly. This is a man who hooked up with a wide receiver by the name of Andre Reed for 65 touchdowns during their time together. They are on the premier list that includes the Young & Rice duo, as well as the Manning and Marvin Harrison team.
Jim Kelly is someone who should be praised in the QB column. He ran the Bills’ “K-Gun” no-huddle offense which made the game a whole lot of fun. Defenses were denied the time to think, and Kelly was more than talented at throwing the ball as fast as possible and making sure everyone was kept off-balance. This is the key to getting to four Super Bowls. This offense was one of the most exciting to watch because of the man behind the ball. After each play was completed, the Bills would line up for the next play where Kelly, expertly, read the defense and audibled the play. Goal? Outshine the rest of the AFC. Goal was…achieved. In the 1990s, the Bills became one of the NFL’s most successful teams, because their offense shone. Again…do not give me the ‘well, they lost all of them,’ when what you seem to forget is ‘they played in all of them!”
In 1983, Jim was the third QB taken in the draft (John Elway was the first). And Kelly proved that his role as the ‘master of the shotgun’ was rightfully bestowed. Although some may laugh or wave the Bills’ being a danger from their NFL outlooks every year, that team is hot right now. And they have a glowing history. From 1991 to 1994, they were atop the apex of the NFL. No AFC team could touch them. Even in his very first year of being eligible, Jim Kelly saw his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as well as his own jersey number (12) being the only number ever retired in the history of the team.
Perhaps everyone is already set on Manning coming back and proving that last year was a total fluke. There are some saying that there is a new ‘mystery man’ in the NFL that will rise and become the ‘best of ANY QB’ to ever play…but I doubt it. Johnny Manziel will prove himself, sure, but for now the bench is his home. Tom Brady may grab a fourth ring before saying, ‘so long’ to the whole darn thing. Or, maybe even Kap of the 49ers will head back to the Super Bowl in only his third year in order to show exactly why he deserves as much money as his contract will earn him. Aaron in Green Bay has something to say…but what will it be?
In the end, the season is brand new and ALREADY there have been surprises on the field; even though we seem to be sticking with the off-field mess (and rightfully so, although if it had been taken care of immediately, we could at least be hearing about actual football right about now). And, again, news that should be remembered: a majority of players making up each and every team out there, are good guys who want to play the game and BE the hero’s for kids who are looking toward a future in sports.
Jim Kelly is one of those hero’s. In addition, he had to go through tough times, dealing with cancer and operations, as well as a cancer-free time, a recurrence of the disease and, as of August 20th, 2014, another cancer-free diagnosis. God bless.
It’s odd to see how surprised people are that the Buffalo Bills are 2-0. In fact, people brush off the Bills as a ‘has-been’ without realizing that there are newcomers who know how to play football and do have the talent to knock some ‘haughty’ people off their proverbial high horses this year. So…if a headline appears that states: ‘The Bills Head to the Super Bowl,’ don’t be surprised.
They want it. They will work for it. And, most of all, they are DUE!