Are the Buffalo Bills Cursed?
Many Bills fans think so. The problem for fans who believe this is that they cannot agree on which curse is “the one.”
The Boston Red Sox had The Curse of the Bambino. The Cubs? The Curse of the Billy Goat.
The Buffalo Bills? Take your choice: There’s The Flutie Curse, The Curse of Billy Buffalo and The St. John Fisher Curse.
The Flutie Curse
Everything was sunshine and roses when Doug Flutie first came to Buffalo. In 1998, he won eight games under center for the Bills. The team finished 10-6 and lost to the Dolphins in a Wild Card matchup. Flutie earned a Pro Bowl berth and was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
In 1999, Doug Flutie played in 15 games, leading the team to a 10-5 record. Rob Johnson started the regular season finale against the Colts and led the Bills to a 31-6 victory. It was a nice win by Johnson, but the QB who led the Bills to 10 wins would surely be starting in the playoffs for the Bills, right? Wrong.
Doug Flutie sat on the sidelines and watched Rob Johnson start against the Tennessee Titans. With 16 seconds remaining, the Bills led 16-15. Then it happened. The Music City Miracle. Lorenzo Neal took the Bills kickoff and handed the ball to Frank Wycheck. The tight end proceeded to throw the ball across the field to Kevin Dyson who returned it for a touchdown. Final score: Titans 22-Bills 16.
Yes, I know it was reviewed and there have been sports features done that have shown it wasn’t a forward pass, but I’ll go to my grave believing it was. The Titans returned the kick for a touchdown and the Bills haven’t been back to the playoffs since.
Is Flutie part witch? Did he concoct some sort of potion with Flutie Flakes that cursed the Bills? Unlikely, but I did make a picture of what it could have looked like.
In all seriousness, this is the most popular “curse” of the Bills. Ever since Wade Phillips made the decision to play Johnson over Flutie, the Bills have had little success on the field.
They’ve only had one winning season since this game and no playoff appearances. The Flutie Curse even gained some recognition on the NFL Network:
ColdHardFootballFacts.com has more on the curse if you’re a glutton for punishment. Sigh… Let’s move on to the next curse of the Buffalo Bills.
The Curse of Billy Buffalo
What’s blue, goofy and almost ruined a franchise? Mr. Freeze in Batman and Robin.
Mr. Freeze may be the best answer to this question, but Billy Buffalo comes in second place.
Mike Sullivan has the tale of Billy Buffalo on TheKickIsGood.com and I urge you to read it. Here is a piece from the article on Buffalo’s record before and after adding Billy Buffalo:
In the 14 seasons BEFORE Billy Buffalo was named the team mascot:
Winning Percentage: .605
Regular Season Wins: 135
Bills Head Coaches: 3
Bills Starting QBs: 5
Playoff Appearances: 10
Super Bowl Appearances: 4
In the 14 seasons SINCE Billy Buffalo was named the team mascot:
Winning Percentage: .344
Reg Season Wins: 77
Bills Head Coaches: 7
Bills Starting QBs: 174
Playoff Appearances: 0
Super Bowl Appearances: Please
Billy Buffalo is killing this team! Seriously, go read Mike’s article. He’s one of the funniest guys I know and his humor will ease the pain.
The Curse of St. John Fisher
The Buffalo Bills have changed their training camp venue a few times in their history. Their current “home away from home” is St. John Fisher College. The Pittsford location has been their home since 2000. The last time the Bills were in the playoffs of course was 1999. Look up at the stats that Mike Sullivan mentioned about Billy Buffalo. The “since” stats also hold true for St. John Fisher.
Now I love travelling to St. John Fisher College. It gives me a reason to go to Rochester and eat garbage plates as well as visit the Strong National Museum of Play with my kids. That said, the Bills haven’t played well since changing their venue.
Are the Buffalo Bills Cursed?
No. As fun as it is to talk about, the Bills aren’t cursed. Simply put, the team hasn’t been good enough to make the playoffs in years. The last time they had an opportunity, they blew it and lost to a group of backups in Pittsburgh. Don’t confuse poor play with a curse.
As soon as Kiko Alonso went down with a season ending injury, the curse tweets came out. Yes, the Bills lost a big piece in Kiko Alonso, but this is the deepest the roster has been in ages. The fate of the 2014 Buffalo Bills hasn’t been written.
Hopefully, this year’s roster ends Buffalo’s playoff drought. If it happens, all of the supposed curses will be broken.