When you’re a professional sportscaster as long as Jim Nantz has been, sometimes you feel like those pivotal moments are coming. Nantz tried to prepare viewers for one of those moments during Thursday’s game against the Detroit Lions, and he found himself in the crossfire for it.
The moment in question came near the end of the third quarter. With the Lions trailing by five points, kicker Michael Badgley came out to attempt a 29-yard field goal. Badgley never missed a field goal or point-by-point attempt all season, and it was Nantz’s job to inform viewers of that fact.
Knowing he would be blamed if Badgley missed the kick, Nantz ushered in the moment by saying, “Don’t talk to me about announcer jinx.” You already know what happened next.
Yes, Badgley missed his first field goal of the season. Nantz and Tony Romo responded appropriately. Nantz can be heard saying, “Oh my God. No.” Romo immediately apologized to the Lions fans, saying, “Lions fans I apologize because Jim … if I just talk about it, he gets in, but instead he didn’t want to discuss it and Buffalo have a five-point lead.” Nantes laughed while Romo teased him.
Did the Nantes really jinx Badgley, causing him to miss his first field goal of the season? No, don’t be silly. Jinx is not real. Legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully didn’t believe in Jenkins and called his fair share of hitters during his career.
If you disagree on this point, at least we can all agree that the sequence was funny. Nantz knew he’d get in trouble for mentioning Badgley’s previous success. To see that come to fruition so quickly was a moment worth the chef’s kiss.
Incredibly, Nantz has done it again. With 2:40 left in the contest, Bills kicker Tyler Bass lined up for an extra point that would make it a four-point game. He missed the kick, causing Romo to once again call Nantz, who had previously talked about Bass’ streak of consecutive extra points that he had. Nantz vehemently denied Jinxing Pass, telling Romo, “Oh no, it’s not on me.”
Jinx is still ridiculous. But if Nantz is a super-being with such power, he’s at least an equal-opportunity benefactor.
Badgley and Bass managed to shake off this fantasy jinx. Badgley made a field goal with 23 seconds left in the game. Bass then kicked a game winning field goal with two seconds left to give the Bills a 28-25 win.