The Jills ball as talisman thwarted; the curse is back.

Bills 2 Jordan (McCoy) and Diane (Williams) cropped

At Jeremiah’s on Monroe Avenue. Jordan (McCoy), left, and Diane (Williams) 1/7/17

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Former Jill Jean Zydell inflating Jack the Ball at the Otter Lodge. From “Bring back the Jills:” Cheerleaders deserve their stage

In Bills make the playoffs without the Jills; remembering Jacksonville vs. Buffalo in ’96, we explained how we put a curse on the Bills because they jilted the Jills, Buffalo’s cheerleading squad.  Due to a labor impasse, the Jills disbanded and have not been on the sidelines for several years. We even brought the Jills to a meet-and-greet at the Otter Lodge to generate public support for their unfair situation.

However, in the last minutes of last week’s game against the Bengals, we lifted the curse.  We allowed Andy Dalton to complete a 4th and 12 and then throw a 49 yard touchdown pass. Western New York, you are welcome.

At the same time, we knew today’s playoff game against Jacksonville would require extra magical intervention on our behalf.  Knowing the talismatic properties of Jack the Ball who is signed by dozens of Jills over the years, we brought him to the Otter Lodge and Jeremiah’s Tavern so Bills fans could hold, caress and rub him for good luck.

Bills 3 Theodore Ruff

Theodore Ruff with Jack. Ted made a playoff prediction. He said, 13 – 7, Packers. Close enough. Otter Lodge. See Bills make the playoffs without the Jills; remembering Jacksonville vs. Buffalo in ’96

First, we went back to the Otter where Theodore Ruff cradled Jack for good luck. One man remembered when the Jills had been at the Otter two years ago.

Then we visited Jeremiah’s.  Jermiah’s has a legendary Bills watching history.  In Vivid memories of the four year Super Bowl run, I remembered during the ’93 blacked out Frank Reich comeback game against Houston walking through the snow to the Tavern where they had the game on the dish.  There was no room in the bar so we stood outside catching a little on the big screens through the windows and listening to Van Miller on the radio.  Frozen fools, we cheered madly when the Bills won in overtime.

Bills 1 Tony, Paige and Mike

At Jeremiah’s Tavern. (left to right) Tony, Paige and Mike.

But today there would be no miracle comeback.  The last stage of the game — when Taylor was knocked out and replaced by Peterman — was eerily reminiscent of the ’96 Jags/Bills playoff game when Kelly was carted off and Collins could not rally.

As for today’s game, at the end of the first half, I feared that Jack was still displeased, despite his fondling, caressing and holding.  It was bad the Bills had to settle for a field goal when Dennison called for a pass on first and goal resulting in offensive pass interference on Benjamin. But even worse when McDermott failed to manage the clock and allowed the Jaguars to make a tying field goal. I believe if the Bills had led 7 – 0  or even 3 -0 at halftime they would have had unstoppable momentum.  I was holding the talisman and yelling at the TV to no avail.

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As much as I held the “lucky” Jills ball, we could not overcome McDermott’s bad decisions at the end of the first half.

Jack and the Jills are not placated. The curse holds.

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Jack the Ball signed by the Jills. From Vivid memories of the four year Super Bowl run

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Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, January 8th, 2017

SEE

Bills make the playoffs without the Jills; remembering Jacksonville vs. Buffalo in ’96

Vivid memories of the four year Super Bowl run

Remembering how gory were the glory days

As the University of Rochester’s Fauver Stadium moves forward, its rich football tradition lives on