The Picture will be the lasting image.
In the afterglow of the Buffalo Bills breaking a nearly two decade long streak of failure, of finally making the playoffs since the last season of the previous millennium, two big burly boys are flexing shirtless in the visitors locker room at Hard Rock Stadium. Under the words “Not this team right?!?!,” Eric Wood, with an arm wrapped around fellow veteran Kyle Williams, sent the tweet that ended up defining the mood of an entire fan base.
Not this team, right? Wrong. And Eric Wood was a big part of that.
Only one Bill played one hundred percent of the snaps on either side of the ball in 2017, and that was Wood. He was graded the number 16 center in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus, but occasionally its ok to ignore the rankings.
The man from Louisville was drafted to be a rock in the middle of an ever-shifting offensive line, and after injury plagued seasons at the beginning of his career, Wood played in all 16 games in four of last five seasons.
It’s difficult to write much more about Wood until we get final word. After news broke that he will be addressing the future of his career on January 29th in a tweet after his name was identified as the injured Buffalo player, it appears that everything is set. Most fans never get to appreciate the intricacies of offensive line play, and the biggest compliment the casual observer can pay is rarely, if ever, does a player’s last name and an expletive slip from our lips on a Sunday afternoon. Over the past nine years, this was the case with the redheaded center.
As the 2018 season comes calling, the Buffalo Bills will be entering it without their most tenured offensive player. Since 2009, Wood has been a pillar not just on the field, but also in the community. Any media or charitable request featuring the Bills seemed to have him associated with it. So for the man to continue in life, he has to say goodbye to the game.