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December 31, 2017 is the best day of my adult life. Is that hyperbolic? Maybe. I don’t think so. The Buffalo Bills are going to the playoffs for the first time since 1999. It’s actually happening! I still can’t believe it.

The playoff drought has ended. I can’t stop repeating this phrase.

Everything went right yesterday. The Bills won a must-win, the Ravens lost a must-lose, and now the Bills are in the playoffs for the first time since I was 6 years old. This is something I’m not prepared to deal with, physically or emotionally, despite the Bills playoff berth being my number one wish. I can’t stop randomly laughing or crying just thinking about it. I’m giddy, still in shock, still processing.

It’s no secret that 2017 has been a rough year for the good guys. So what does it mean to end it like this?

To use a quote from The Last Jedi, (another major life event which occurred in December of 2017), “We are the spark that will light the fire that will burn the First Order down.” Well, in this case, the “spark” is the Bills. The world needed to believe in the impossible, ragtag team with terrible odds against them. And the First Order (bad guys) in this scenario are the Patriots, who are also a metaphor for our current state of affairs?

Everything in 2017 seemed pretty bad, oppressive, and unbeatable.

And then… the Bills made the playoffs.

Hold on, let me say it again: The Buffalo Bills MADE THE MOTHER EFFING PLAYOFFS.

In the waning hours of 2017, the Cincinnati Bengals marched downfield to score a touchdown and take the lead against the Ravens. By then, the Bengals were already out of playoff contention. So what were they fighting for?

PRINCESS LEIA: *extremely digitally de-aged voice* Hope.

So, does a miraculous event like the Bills making the playoffs make up for 2017 being a pretty shit year altogether? The answer for me, is yes. I’m not saying this will erase 2017. Trump is still our president. Global warming is VERY real. Our country still doesn’t have safe gun laws. The year was a doozy, there’s no diminishing that.

But the Bills clinching a playoff spot has brought such a bright light into my heart and soul, it’s going to be hard for me to feel bitter or mad about anything for the next week. It’s nice to not be in pain for once talking about the Bills, and I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

2018 is already better than 2017, since a Bills playoff date is on the calendar.

Who knows what will happen in Jacksonville next week. It doesn’t really matter to me, as I can now say I lived to see the Bills make the postseason—something I really didn’t think was going to happen in my lifetime. I’m never going to forget December 31, 2017—despite staying out until 4 A.M. like a true Buffalonian.

Happy 2018, Go Bills, and May the Force be with You!

Erin Vail

Erin is the 2003 West Reading Elementary Geography Bee champion, a TV obsessive, and never not thinking about Buffalo sports.

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