Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Is curse the source of Bills' woes?

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- It has been so long since the Buffalo Bills made the playoffs, Thurman Thomas is starting to buy into the theory the franchise just might be cursed.

"Yeah, it could be that. I've mentioned it to a couple of people at 1 Bills Drive about it," the Hall of Fame running back said, referring to the team's headquarters. "I tell you what, ever since we were let go on 'Black Thursday,' they haven't been to the playoffs."

Thomas meant a day regarded by Bills fans as among the worst in team history. On Thursday, Feb. 10, 2000, the Bills parted with the last core members of their AFC championship teams by releasing Thomas, Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith and receiver Andre Reed.

The Bills haven't been to the post-season since.

A curse? Why not.

There has been enough amiss in Buffalo to include numerous explanations how a once-proud team owns the NFL's longest active playoff drought. The streak reached 14 years after the Bills (5-9) were eliminated last weekend.

There is -- as has become the mantra in Buffalo -- always next year.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 22, 2013 B7

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