Ladies and gentleman, we have news. Big news, in fact. On Sunday night, the Buffalo Bills, for the second time in the last three years, clinched an actual NFL playoff spot. Sure, sure, if you're a Patriots or Saints or Seahawks fan, this hardly registers as a blip on your radar. It's not an accomplishment. It's an expectation. But these are the Buffalo Bills we're talking about. The same team who lost three Super Bowls in the 90s. The same team who has been an AFC East doormat for the past twenty years. To Bills fans this is a very, VERY big deal, and they proved it on Sunday night, waiting outside Buffalo Niagara International Airport in 25-degree weather until 2 a.m. to welcome their beloved Bills back from a Wild Card-clinching road win like they just returned from war in the South Pacific. The Bills might be 10-4, but Bills Mafia remains undefeated.
We repeat: This is just for the Bills clinching a WILD CARD spot. Can you imagine what will happen if they win the AFC East? The Super Bowl? It will make Philadelphia greasing light poles with Crisco look positively sane by comparison. People will put folding tables on the deck of the Maid of the Mist and try to swan dive off Niagara Falls onto them. Global Labbatt reserves will evaporate. Winged buffalo will go extinct. It will be chaos—nay, PANDEMONIUM—and we are extremely here for it.
Though the Super Bowl might be a stretch, the AFC East is not out of the question just yet. The Bills currently sit a game back of the Patriots in the AFC East, with the teams' second head-to-head matchup of the season looming on Sunday. Win that one, beat the Jets, and hope Miami can pull off another miracle, and the Bills could claim their first division title since 1995. Bills fans know better than to get their hopes up—nothing would be more Bills that beating the Pats next week only to lose to the Jets in Week 17—but even so, next week's game will be the latest the AFC East has been contested head to head since 2008, and the latest the Bills have been involved since 1998.
But no matter what happens, the good, hearty folk of Western New York deserve a medal for their commitment, and are liable to be just as unafraid of the Houston Texans or Tennessee Titans come Wild Card weekend as they are about frostbite and a TSA taser to the crotch.