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

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


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 Nate Peterman — was eerily reminiscent of the ’96 Jags/Bills playoff game when Kelly was carted off and Todd 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.

Bills 4 me

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.

Jills 1

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


Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, January 8th, 2017


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

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.


Like what you see on our site? We’d appreciate your support. Please donate today.

Featured Posts