© 2023 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Before enjoying super success, the Bills first need to 'reverse the curse'

Photo of Challenger columnist Greg
Greg Brown
/
Greg Brown is a sports columnist with The Challenger

Despite participating in four of the 56 Super Bowls, the Buffalo Bills have yet to win the NFL championship game. For those fans searching for answers, Greg Brown, sports columnist for the Challenger, says it's due to a curse that dates back to 1966.

"It is said that the curse was put upon Buffalo after that shabby treatment of Ernie Warlick," Brown explained. "Some say it's just urban legend; others say there is certainly truth to it."

The Bills were back-to-back winners of the championship of the American Football League in 1964 & 1965, the years prior to the start of what is now the Super Bowl.

"In fact, he (Warlick) was one of the key contributors. He was the starting tight end and he caught a key touchdown pass against the Chargers and Buffalo won (the championship game) in an upset victory."

According to Brown, Warlick arrived to training camp the following year needing to play one more game to qualify for an AFL pension. That game never came.

"Ralph Wilson (owner of the Buffalo Bills) cuts him. The story was that because Ernie Warlick was one game from his pension, Ralph would save some money and get a younger, cheaper player."

Brown says it's part of the mixed legacy of Ralph Wilson who was often criticized throughout his many years as team owner for cost-cutting moves.

"But the interesting thing about him was that at his demise he left these incredible fortunes both to the city of Buffalo and the city of Detroit," Brown pointed out.

"That was an incredibly generous and loving gesture."

Bills fans, of course, would love to win a Super Bowl. Brown says that's why it's time to 'reverse the curse.'

"It would be a wonderful thing for the Bills. It would at least clear the way of any supernatural forces that could stand in their way. But it would also be a good opportunity for this city to come together in support of a cause that is near to everyone and that is the Bills making it to--and winning--Super Bowl LVII," said Brown who is calling on the expanding membership of the Bills Mafia to join him in this quest.

What if the curse were to be reversed and the Bills were to win the Super Bowl?

"I think it would change the rotational axis of the Earth. I think it would be big for Buffalo. I think the city has been on the rebound but I think it would give it some added boost. I think it will make this region feel even better about itself," Brown said.

"I think that the Bills will be an emblem for the kind of heart, guts and moxie that they have shown, but has really been a reflection of this community."

Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. - 10 a.m.