When you’ve been a professional sports announcer as long as Jim Nantz, sometimes you feel those pivotal moments coming. Nantz tried to prepare viewers for one of those moments during the Detroit Lions game Thursday, and found himself in the crosshairs because of 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 had not missed a field goal or point-after attempt all season, and it was Nantz’s job to inform viewers of that fact.
Knowing, however, that he would be blamed if Badgley missed the kick, Nantz prefaced the moment by saying, “Don’t talk to me about an announcer’s jinx.” You already know what happened next.
Yeah, Badgley missed his first field goal of the season. Nantz and Tony Romo responded appropriately. Nantz could be heard saying, “Oh my gosh. No. No.” Romo immediately apologized to Lions fans, saying, “Lions fans I apologize because Jim … if you just talk about it, it goes in, but instead he didn’t want to discuss it and Buffalo with a five-point lead.” Nantz laughed as he was being teased by Romo.
Did Nantz actually jinx Badgley, causing him to miss his first field goal of the season? No, don’t be silly. Jinxes aren’t real. Legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully didn’t believe in jinxes and he called his fair share of no-hitters over his career.
If you disagree on that point, at least we can all agree that sequence was hilarious. Nantz knew he was going to get himself in trouble if he mentioned Badgley’s previous success. To see that pay off so quickly was a moment worthy of a chef’s kiss.
Incredible, Nantz did it again. With 2:40 left in the contest, Bills kicker Tyler Bass lined up for an extra point that would have made it a four-point game. He missed the kick, causing Romo to once again call out Nantz, who previously talked about Bass’ streak of consecutive extra points made. Nantz vehemently denied jinxing Bass, telling Romo, “Oh no, that’s not on me.”
Jinxes are still silly. But if Nantz is a supernatural being with that power, at least he’s an equal-opportunity jinxer.
Both Badgley and Bass were able to shed that fictional jinx. Badgley made a field goal with 23 seconds left to tie the game. Bass then hit a game-winning field goal with two seconds left on the clock to give the Bills a 28-25 win.