It's that time again. Football season is upon us, exactly 11 hours away. I should be feeling ecstatic right now - one of my favorite sports is back for another season.
In truth, I'm not ready.
Last year, I wrote a post about hope. I wrote about the Bills making me want to believe again because I'm a fan, and that's what fans do.
This year, though, I'm not feeling very hopeful. The preseason was a disaster, and the game tonight against the Patriots looks to be no better. Sometimes I wonder if we weren't picked for this game just to show off Tom Brady's return to absolute dominance over teams on national television.
However, I don't want to be that person. I don't want to be the pessimist, the one who's week gets ruined by a bad game. I don't want to see my team struggle and sit back with nothing to do but yell at the screen and sink dejectedly into bed tonight after it's all over. I don't want to feel like the entire season is done if we have a poor showing tonight.
That's why I wish I could stop time right now, before kickoff - before Brady's first touchdown and Trent's 2,000th check-down.
I want to have hope. I want to believe. I want to think that maybe, with a little help from the divine intervention that always seems to go against us , the Bills can pull off one of the biggest upsets I would have ever seen.
I'm afraid that the start of the game will be the end of my hope for the season. So I'll cling to these last few hours of totally delusional optimism because they may be all I have left.
However, there's always that chance that some miracle could happen and totally delusional optimism could reign again in Buffalo after tonight. If there's one thing being a fan has taught me, it's to never let your faith disappear totally.
I'll still be there, watching and cheering, every game this season. I just want this team to give me a reason to keep coming back each week.