Do you want the keys to this car?
I know, I know. You do a lot of push-ups and you’re super tough. You have big arms. You’re an alpha dog. You want the ball in your hands when the shot clock is winding down. You eat pressure like Paula Deen eats S’mores.
But, here’s the deal. One second after Roger Goodell reads your name off of a card, 50% of a city is going to hate you and call you a failure. Before you even throw a practice pass in the National Football League or run around an orange cone, they’ll believe you’re a failure. Some of them aren’t even being obnoxious, either. It’s reactionary. They’ll just assume.
Sure, the other half of the city will love you. A lot of people are going to buy your jersey and pat you on the back. Some grade school class is going to write you letters to wish you luck. Women are going to want to sleep with you because, duh. But, this half of the city does not love you unconditionally. There are many conditions on this love.
You can’t suck. Especially early, don’t even suck for a single play. We’re like bees. We smell suck. Read the frickin’ playbook and don’t say anything stupid. Practice throwing out first pitches. And, for the love of God, do not say anything about our hotels.
Your first game is going to be against the Patriots and we’re going to lose that game because, math. It’s not fair. It’s probably not going to be your fault. We blame you, though. How could you lose that game? It’s like you’re not even trying.
If it was 10 years ago, you’d have a little rope. You would suck and we’d tolerate it for a season or two. We’d make excuses about the coaching staff. Today, I don’t know. I’d give you a preseason game or two, if that. It’s bad here. We’re a bit anxious.
On Sunday, we’re going to watch everything you do. I’m not even talking about the time you’re on the field. If you sit on the bench and you look down, a lot of people are going to assume you’re looking down because you believe you’re a failure and you’re overwhelmed. They won’t care that you’re making sure your shoelaces are tied. They’ll see a failure. No pressure, though. Have fun out there.
The good news is, if you’re awesome, the city will burn (in a good way) and we’ll all rendezvous downtown, forming a massive ball of nakedness. You’ll never buy another beer for the rest of your life. People are going to name their kids after your jersey number.
Oh, and don’t be a guard. If you’re a guard, hold out until they trade you to Denver.
Greg Bauch is the author of ‘Frank Dates’ and he hopes that the Bills do good.