Jack the Ball with Bills T-Shirt donated to Talker by Dean Tucker.
For several years, we have publicized the unfortunate parting of ways between the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Jills, first in ESPN’s Four Falls of Buffalo and Vivid memories of the four year Super Bowl run and still jilted by the Jills.
In “Bring back the Jills”; Cheerleaders deserve their stage, we brought former Jills to the Otter Lodge in Brighton to meet fans and re-inflate and sign Jack the Ball, a football who is graced by signatures from legions of Jills over the span of many years.
Before the Bills made the 2017 playoffs, in No Jills; no playoffs for the Bills, we argued that the last few years of the then-18 year playoff drought was, at least partially, due to the unfair absence of the Jills.
We placed a curse. The undeserving Bills would not make the playoffs until they unjilted the Jills.
As seen in The Jills ball as talisman thwarted; the curse is back., the next week — upon reflection of my spontaneous rescindment of the curse — the spell was reinstated for the playoff game against Jacksonville.
The game was close at 10-3 Jaguars with 1:32 left. However, the curse took Tyrod Taylor out of the game with a head injury. In came Nathan Peterman — yes that Nathan Peterman — who inspired brief hope for Bills fans gathered at Jeremiah’s by getting two first downs.
But then the curse called Peterman for intentional grounding followed by an interception — yes an interception — followed by a pick to cornerback Jalen Ramsey with 23 seconds left.
Ramsey’s interception was not without drama as the play was reviewed to see if it was a true catch. I knew the call would stand. Although the ball appeared to shift in Ramsey’s arms as he hit the ground, the referees did not overturn, sealing the game for the Jaguars.
Bills fans know Peterman’s stats: 10 interceptions in 84 attempts including the playoffs, only one player since the merger has thrown more in fewer than 100 attempts, the historically bad passer rating of 31.4, the 0.00 passer rating in the Baltimore game and the pick six to lose the Texans game.
Peterman has become a the butt of jokes and a national punch line. Newspapers and websites have been merciless and sarcastic.
And, as Bills fans also, know, because of an injury to retread Derek Anderson, Peterman is starting Sunday. A little behind in the news, today The New York Times offered a warning:
By all accounts Peterman has taken his lumps with grace and equanimity. He dutifully and non-defensively stands before the press and calmly answers questions that must feel like nails in his coffin. Today, for the Peter Man — just for today — I am lifting the curse.
41 – 9 Bears. I lifted the curse to no avail. Peterman played poorly — three interceptions — but he was the victim of misfortune and his teammates played even worse.
See aslo, Chuck Pollock’s This Bills’ loss can’t be blamed on Peterman (11/05/18) in the Olean Times Herald. Nonethless, twitterverse still was blindly merciless as reported by For The Win in The NFL world continued to roast Nathan Peterman’s latest dreadful game (11/04/18). USA Today’s Jon Epstein was not so vicious but hardly charitable in Bills QB Nathan Peterman takes inauspicious place in NFL history in rout by Bears (11/04/18). And, a mean GoFundMe site beseeches, Nathan Peterman Please Retire.
I can only assume Jills Nation sent some bad juju the way of the Bills. At 41- 9, the Jills’ juju was far more powerful than my spell — rendering the poor wilting Peter Man impotent. Bills, please get on bended knee and beg the jilted Jills for forgiveness.