the pain of a long-distance relationship — with the Buffalo Bills

It is good that I live in Stockholm, not Buffalo, not San Francisco.

I couldn’t take the sports pain. I couldn’t take actually watching all my teams choke away their seasons.  Here, there is no water cooler talk, no sports radio.  If I did not have internet access, all would be well.

Living far from home is weird with sports, especially if you like American sports, which Europeans generally do not.

You yearn to watch, in my case, football and baseball, and American basketball and hockey. Yet you also get perspective on football and baseball.  We live up the street from the Swedish national soccer stadium, also home to one of the biggest soccer clubs.  AIK is kind of like the Mets in New York.  They are rich and draw lots of fans, but they generally suck, winning only one championship in the last 50 years, though they also have hooligans who fight in the park across the street and who I hate, hate, hate.

But people in this town love their AIK, flying flags, wearing sweatshirts, all that.  And I think it is a little silly.  I mean, who cares about AIK?

Yes, I did ask for a Buffalo Bills sweatshirt for Christmas. Why do you ask?

Really, though. Why do I care?  Why do I waste my time on a team that can not win a big game and represents a city I left when I was seven years old?  Why do I wake up on a Monday morning, rush to the computer and groan when I see that the Bills lost to Miami in a game in Toronto?

I can watch the NFL here.  For my birthday last year, my wife got me the sports channel that carries the NFL.  But we only get one game at a time, which means I watched Atlanta play New Orleans on Sunday.  I feel like I keep seeing Tennesee, Baltimore and New Orleans over and over again.  Please, save me …

But that’s a different pain. That implies that deep down I actually want to watch the Bills play. Or the San Francisco Giants or the Golden State Warriors or the Buffalo Sabres, losers all.

It is tough that one of my primary emotional attachments to home is so negative. I want release.  I can see freedom from these chains here. The longer I am here, the more I can watch a game purely for its own sake, for the beauty of the sport.

As long as it is my team that is beautiful.  Go Bills!!!

4 thoughts on “the pain of a long-distance relationship — with the Buffalo Bills

  1. I suggest Now I Can Die in Peace by Bill Simmons.

    It touches on the very reasons why we put ourselves through the agony of cheering for losers.

    And its damn funny.

  2. I read Simmons on espn.com sometimes, and he is funny, if long. I will definitely check out the book. You know, expat loser sports fan therapy.

  3. I feel your pain. Did I ever mention I was from Cincinnati? Reds & Bengals…enough said. I think Ralph Wilson and Mike Brown sit together at the owner’s meetings.

  4. Ralph got this lucky reprieve when the Bills won all those games in the 90s. And everyone gets all grateful he hasn’t moved the team. But, please … the Bills are the Bengals, with maybe two more wins a season …

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