Eric Wood has been blessed with a front-row seat for the Buffalo Bills’ ascension back to the top of the AFC.
The longtime Bills center was part of their first playoff team since 1999 in 2017, and called games for the Buffalo Bills Radio Network in 2019. He'll be back on the call this year.
But given all of the losing Wood endured — he played for the Bills from 2009-2017 — it’s fair to wonder whether he’s experiencing some F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out). On a recent edition of the “Ross Tucker Football Podcast" with Audacy Sports NFL insider Ross Tucker, Wood addressed that very question.
He says their success makes him ecstatic.
“I have nothing but joy for the organization, for the people up there,” Wood said. “The way my career ended, there’s no possibility of a return. I’m a Christian, I believe God got me out of the NFL at the right time, because I would’ve played until the wheels fell off. I would’ve never been able to play with my kids, I would’ve never been able to play golf, because I love it.”
Wood, who was the only Bills offensive player to be on the field for every snap in 2017, suffered a devastating neck injury at the end of the season that forced him to retire.
As a commentator, Wood says he can handle not being part of the action, but he misses the camaraderie with his teammates.
The Bills boast one of the best team cultures in the entire NFL.
“The hardest part is, when I’m up in Buffalo calling a game, knowing what that locker room is like,” Wood said. “And this is where I’m sick. Even after a win, or a loss, I know what it feels like to go the locker room, having gone to battle with the guys, go have a beer in the parking lot, wait for the traffic to die out.”
It’s not the head-smashing that Wood misses, but rather all of the off-field memories that come with being an NFL player. After having a limited role on the Bills Radio Network due to COVID-19 this past season, Wood is ready to get back to Orchard Park this year.
“For me, it’s not envy, it’s all joy,” he said. “There’s just a part of me that misses it. But honestly, all the guys within the Bills organization are first-class people, and I want nothing but success for them. They’ve earned it.”