Tonawanda News

August 23, 2012

MENDOLA: Ready for the games to begin

By Nick Mendola
The Tonawanda News

— — Hold onto your hats football fans, but the story topping football news Thursday was the following:

Tim Tebow threw a football into a garbage can.

Now I can't comment on whether it was Rubbermaid or your standard issue New Jersey Department of Sanitation refuse bin — nor can I dare to imagine what Tebow had for breakfast — but aren't football stories starting to carry the feelings normally reserved for "Real Housewives of Niagara Wheatfield" or whatever's on cable these days?

Number me among the many, many Buffalonians counting the days until our area's National Football League team takes the field for what is the most anticipated Bills season in years, if not a full decade back to Drew Bledsoe's arrival in Orchard Park.

Yet do I deserve to have my membership in the worldwide community of sports fans revoked if I would gladly abolish the feverish daily updates from preseason practice? The following "news stories" have been pawned off on football fans in the past 24 hours like they were hand-delivered Dead Sea Scrolls:

• Bills moving toward improvement.

• Wide receivers fighting for No. 2 job.

• Bills simulating regular season preparations.

Now I don't want to blow your minds, sports fans, but is it possible these plot lines have unlocked the keys to the Super Bowl aspirations of the 2012 Buffalo Bills? Why, it appears they are practicing, trying to do it well and hoping they can do it well enough to be on the team!

Next thing you know, we'll be reading stories about how the Bills will need to score more points than their opponents to win. We'll be discussing whether one player's practice jersey sweat patterns are an indication he's switched to Old Spice. Perhaps — and oh, what a glorious thing it would be — we'll learn that the team's favorite TV show is "Storage Wars."

For a sport that thrives on its reputation as the manliest of athletic endeavors built for the toughest of males, its fans sure carry a "Teen Beat" approach to their favored gladiators. OMG! Did you hear that Stevie Johnson is giving away meal-used silverware to his 110,000th Twitter follower?

Holy moly! It's bad enough that the Bills have forced their way into my silly earthly "needs" to the point that I feel funny if I'm watching the game on DVR, four seconds behind my brother across town, but do I now need to receive text messages from my local news outlet informing me whether the offense or defense looked better in the latest practice?

To be fair, it's not just sports. Guess the featured story right now on arguably the biggest international news website in the world?

Romney v. Obama? Nope. New HIV-like virus striking Asia? Nay. A potential link between older dads and autistic children? Not even close.

Your answer: Florida strip clubs looking to cash in on GOP convention with Sarah Palin lookalikes.

Maybe it's the recent anniversary of my birth that carried me "over the hill," but I would do near anything to go back to a pop culture where the closest thing to reality TV was "60 Minutes" and breaking sports news was the score of the Bills versus Dolphins.

Then again, exactly how big was that trash can?

Respond to contributor Nick Mendola via scoreboard@tonawanda-news.com, or follow him on Twitter @NicholasMendola.