As anticipated, the signing of Terrell Owens this off-season has increased the national appeal of our small-town gridiron heroes. The formerly uninteresting, middle-of-the-pack nobodies are now one of the teams slated to be showcased on the NFL’s opening weekend. Partly because they are one of the original AFL teams, and the NFL is celebrating the AFL’s 50th anniversary this season, but mostly because of T.O.
Get your popcorn ready, North America.
Think what you will about T.O. – selfishness, “Me Only” attitude, bashing teammates (especially QBs) – he definitely commands attention. Dick Jauron can’t stop parroting his stats in press conferences. His new coach is obviously impressed. And so are season ticket holders. Increased sales and renewals are a direct result of signing just this one player. The Bills Store has also seen an amazing demand for Owens jerseys. The guy commands attention.
The Bills have at least one more showcase game already. They will be on the national stage once again when they play their second game across the border in Toronto, Ontario. (Also known by the locals as, “T.O.” That won’t be exploited at all…) The early talk is that the Bills could play Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in that game. Other possibilities include Tampa Bay and New Orleans.
But I really don’t think that will be the end of it. Thanks to the T.O. factor, NFL fans across the country (and beyond) should be seeing our Buffalo Bills many times this season.
I really like the first game for Buffalo, too. Think about it. The return of Tom Brady. T.O.’s first game. The losing streak is beginning to rival that dreaded Oh-for-the-70s streak against the hated Miami Dolphins. What better litmus test for this T.O.-powered offense (and the whole team in general) than the one team they just can’t beat? (The one possible flaw being the likely absence of star RB Marshawn Lynch, who should be serving the first game of a suspension whose length – and actuality – is yet to be determined.)
The NFL powers that be have decided the Bills are worth watching. Most Bills fans are equally intrigued. If nothing else, you have to admit, Bills’ GM (and former marketing guy) Russ Brandon really knows how to market his team.
So we now have a date. September 14th at 7:00pm EDT.
Get your popcorn ready.