ESPN’s “Four Falls of Buffalo” and “Vivid memories of the four year Super Bowl run” and still jilted by the Bills

ESPN’s “Four Falls of Buffalo” and “Vivid memories of the four year Super Bowl run” and still jilted by the Bills

Ball signed by the Buffalo Jills.

As described by the Buffalo News’ Alan Pergament, ESPN’s “Four Falls of Buffalo” is the ultimate guy flick. (Or a similar term rhyming with chick flick). ’30 for 30′ film is a poignant love letter to the Bills, their fans and Buffaloespn (airing 9:30 p.m. Saturday)

As the documentary on the Bills’ glory days “plays like a love letter to Buffalo”, the more nostalgic fans might “bring along a box of Kleenex.” Pergament adds: “The tears have long since dried since Scott Norwood’s 47-yard field goal in Super Bowl XXV went wide right, but ‘Four Falls’ likely will move Bills fans in ways far more powerful than any missed kick.”

clip 2Pergament concludes: “‘Four Falls’ has a fantastic ending in more ways than one that will give some fans ‘a twinge in their heart.'”

Tissues in hand, I will be there Saturday on the couch. Hoping the flick will help mend my broken football heart of another sort.

For those new to Talker, in August in Vivid memories of the four year Super Bowl run (below), I wrote about an old football I had signed by the Buffalo Jills cheerleaders at St. John Fisher and at Zebbs in Brighton and how the football brought back vivid memories of the Bills’ four year Super Bowl run (including one at the now gone Half Dollar Gentlemen’s Club).

I also mentioned that because the Jills have disbanded, I could not get the latest signed installment. Or could I?

Feeling sorry for “Jack” the dusty, partially deflated ball sitting idly and lonely in the attic, I determined to track down some former Jills who could re-inflate and sign Jack.

First I contacted Zebb’s where the Jills had appeared and sports radio host John DiTullio who hosted the event. Alas, they tried but could not help.

So, on the Bring Back The Buffalo JILLS facebook page, I explained I was looking to contact former Jills for a signing appearance in Rochester, one that could help publicize their current plight (as far as I understand, they are still involved with a lawsuit against the Bills).

After several weeks, I received a response from an unnamed woman, perhaps a former Jill herself.

What follows pained me to reread: the roller coaster ride from euphoria–I know many of the ladies  well and Love to be there too!–to despair as the thread abruptly ended.

Oh, Jill! I’ve yet to break the news to the ball, fearing it might set Jack off. Both of us are getting tired of using that bicycle tire hand pump.

Oh, Jill!  Its not too late. There are still four games left in the season. And then the playoffs! And then the Super Bowl!

Hope it’s not just me the tissues and deflated Jack on that couch Saturday night watching “Four Falls.”

  • September 14
  • jills
    I can help with contacts. I know many of the ladies well. I’m looking for a legitimate contact for Pegula Sports to pitch a proposal with no success.
  • September 14
    David Kramer
    9/14, 5:24am
    That would be great! As I mentioned, I am just looking for a few of the ladies–ideally any who live in Rochester–to come to a bar/restaurant and sign the ball. I will then write about it in my Democrat and Chronicle  blog.
  • September 15


    9/15, 3:40pm
    I’ll pass this on! Love to be there too!
    David Kramer
    9/15, 4:20pm
    Fantastic. Let’s get it together. I have some venues in mind. The more Jills the better. And what a photo op for my blog! Do any of the girls live in the Rochester area?

Vivid Memories of the four year Super Bowl runball signed by jills

August 8, 2015

Eleven years ago, I took my old Wisconsin Badger football to the Bills Camp at St. John Fisher College to be autographed. The lines were too long, so instead, noticing that the Buffalo Jills cheerleaders were signing items in the activity tent, I had the young women inscribe the ball. Almost every year since, I have repeated the ritual.

In ’06, Nicole offered, Cheers!  In ’10, Hannah, XOXO.  In ’07, Sarah Michelle wrote to my middle aged friend, Dean, Your the future bills quarterback!  In ’12, Julie beckoned to my elderly father and his elderly friend, See you boys at the Game!   That same year, I was pleased that Meghan went one further, Dave, see you after the game!   My favorite is *Kelly, Buffalo Jills, Rochester, NY 8/26/04.


signed by Kelly

For years now, I have held the now deflated Rawlings triumphantly, telling any one who will listen; “See, I went to Bills Camp and I got KELLY  [Jim  Kelly was the Bills quarterback during the run] to sign my ball!” And it is true. Photographs don’t lie. Ultimately, the plan is to donate the ball to the WXXI auction (if it will gain any bids) or better yet to the Hunter’s Hope Foundation

This year when I go back to Fisher, although I will not be able to get the next Jills installment, like all the faithful, I will fantasize whether this year can be that elusive fifth Super Bowl. This time of year memory often slips back to those four glorious years (although I was in Wisconsin for two). Of the many remembrances, three stand out vividly.

I remember during the blacked out Frank Reich comeback game against Houston walking through the snow to Jeremiahs 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.

Against the Giants, I was at a University of Buffalo Department of English party in Amherst. There a collection of feminist scholars and literary deconstructionists–the least likely of Bills fans-held hands in a silent circled vigil as Norwood’s foot swung. From now on, it is January, not April, that is the cruelest month.

The last may be a bit unsavory. In 1991 I went — I admit — to the Half Dollar to watch a Playboy  vs. Penthouse  run off in which one performer represented each magazine. The girls offered prizes if you voted for them. For example, you could enter a raffle to be invited to their personal Super Bowl party. Also, the performance was during the early stages of Gulf War I. The girls walked the stage carrying American flags, rallying the crowd with, We are going to kick some ass in Iraq! At the time, I had grown a beard. In the bathroom, someone brusquely said to me, Iraqi go home. The next day I shaved. To this day I don’t know if I did the right thing. I also did not win the raffle to be invited to the personal Super Bowl party of either the Playboy  or Penthouse  girl.

taylor ray

With Taylor Ray (left). Technically wearing a body suit, Taylor is not nude under NYS law. The now defunct Half Dollar, Rochester, NY, January 1991


My father, Eugene, was also there. “Gene” is misspelled “Jene.”  Spelling is not one of Taylor’s chief assets.

More on football heartbreaks (yes, same ball)

Art and a fumbled football merge at Rochester Contemporary


About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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