Last, but not least, Brian Galliford from Buffalo Rumblings gives us his view of T.O.'s impact on the fanbase as well as well as a general sense of how fans are feeling about the season.
The first three Bills games for this season have sold out which is usually a good sign. How much of a factor has T.O. had on the fans? Do you sense a renewed feeling of optimism? Finally, what have you seen with this year's organization that warrants this optimism? (From Dave)
I don't think Owens has had as much of an impact on ticket sales as most people say he has. Buffalo had more season ticket holders at this point last year than they do now, by a difference of about four thousand season ticket holders. Owens' presence has certainly helped avoid a bigger dip in ticket sales, particularly in this economy. But it's not as important as most people would like you to believe for a story's sake.
There is certainly renewed optimism, though I would also mention that it hasn't reached the point of delusion. There is plenty of skepticism floating around Bills country as well, and for plenty of good reasons. But I believe that a degree of optimism is warranted, simply because Owens is the type of player that makes his teammates much better - particularly quarterbacks. Lee Evans has been waiting for a legitimate threat opposite him for three seasons; we definitely have one of those now. Trent Edwards finally has enough weapons to make significant strides in attempting to establish himself as our franchise quarterback. Add in a re-tooled offensive line with hungry, tough young players, dash in a couple of rookie defenders with play-making potential in DE Aaron Maybin and FS Jairus Byrd, and there are plenty of reasons to be excited about the Bills' future.
But until the Bills can erase the stench of a 2-8 close to the 2008 season and an 0-6 mark in the AFC East, no move will completely eradicate the skepticism in Buffalo. It's been nine years since we made the playoffs; as I mentioned above, we have no delusions. There's a lot that this team has to prove. But that doesn't mean we can't be excited about the team's prospects while waiting for the Bills to get that chance to prove themselves.
I think Brian has a very realistic view of T.O.'s impact. He may be a star player, but he's one cog in the machine his comment about Lee Evans is spot on. Very cool writeup. For my answer to his questions about Vince Wilfork check out Buffalo Rumblings.