There’s madness of some variety happening today. We’re told it involves a bouncing ball, hardwood, brackets, locks, and Jayhawks. We’re also told that the focus of today’s madness is supposed to be squarely centered around a passionately followed game in America that was invented in Canada (#justsayin).

The fine people of Buffalo have a far different force guiding their sports focus today. His name is Mario, and if you force feed him a dandelion, he will not spit fire.

That was tweeted about an hour ago, so we can only assume that at this moment Mario Williams is sitting in a posh Buffalo restaurant, the only posh Buffalo restaurant.

This will be Williams’ second day in Buffalo, which is a rather long and rare length for a free agent visit. He was headed to leave on Wednesday, but then general manager Buddy Nix convinced him to stay for another day, with the obvious intention being to hammer out a contract.

I’m not sure what will be the stronger emotion out of the two possible outcomes of this dedicated desperation: the elation of Bills fans if Williams signs, or the crushing mental torture if another free agent is allowed to leave town, and only come back to beat the team he spurned. Buffalo has a intensely passionate fan base, but anguish has become the foundation for their following.

Losing is loathed in Buffalo, but it’s becoming routine, and living through the bitter disappointment of a Bills season is a rite of passage for the die-hards in upstate New York. Even during the excitement of a start that saw Buffalo win five of its first seven games this year, fans braced for the inevitable collapse. When those flood gates finally burst with seven straight losses starting in Week 9, there was disappointment at first, and then a shrug.

It was all too normal. That same cycle could repeat itself today in mid-March.

And the rest…

  • The brief Peyton Hillis era in Cleveland’s backfield officially ended last night. Much of Hillis’ demise during his time playing in the Mistake by the Lake can be pinned on his behavior, but the Browns are still left with the feeling that they “found lightning in a bottle, and tossed it in Lake Erie.” [Tony Grossi]
  • After the Browns’ cap situation is broken down they become a shining example of why have roughly $19 million in cap space isn’t nearly as good as it sounds. [Waiting for Next Year]
  • Jeremy Shockey would like to play for the Giants again. Sure, that reunion feels unlikely because of the blazing fire he left behind on all bridges that connected him to New York, but you’ll also recall similar pyrotechnics between the Giants and Plaxico Burress, who was brought in for a free agent visit last summer. [New York Daily News]
  • Former Giant Amani Toomer isn’t a big fan of Shockey’s desire to play in New York again, saying that he’s a “bad teammate and a worse person”. [Amani Toomer on Twitter]
  • Don’t worry, Amani, because there’s been no talks between the Giants and Shockey, which makes sense because they signed Martellus Bennett yesterday. [Mike Garafolo]
  • The Chiefs lost out on John Carlson, so they’ll be going after Kevin Boss today. [Arrowhead Addict]
  • LaRon Landry will be visiting with the Patriots this weekend. He’ll bring his muscles too. [Ian Rapoport]
  • The Cowboys spent big on Brandon Carr yesterday, but they may still draft a cornerback in the first round this year. [Blogging the Boys]
  • An, um, interesting reaction to the Calvin Johnson extension. [Pride of Detroit]
  • Can the 49ers make a push for Mike Wallace? [Niners Nation]
  • The Jets are still hunting for a safety, and they’ll be meeting with Brandon Meriweather. [Newark Star-Ledger]
  • To the surprise of no one, a lot of people watched a lot of TV on the first day of free agency, and NFL Network easily saw higher ratings than the opening day of the 2010 free agency period back in late July. [Canal Street Chronicles]