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ESPN documents Buffalo Bills’ Super Bowl heartbreak in new ‘30 for 30’

Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly celebrates the

Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly celebrates the Bills' first touchdown against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXV in Tampa on Jan. 27, 1991. Credit: AP / Lennox McLendon

ESPN has used the time slot after the Heisman Trophy presentation for some past “30 for 30” documentaries that it wanted to provide with an extra-visible showcase.

This year is no exception, and the film in question certainly is worthy of the attention.

“Four Falls of Buffalo,” one of the better entries in the six-year-old franchise, focuses on the Bills of the early 1990s, who have evolved from a punch line for losing four Super Bowls in a row to a team appreciated for its achievement.

The documentary, which premieres Saturday night and was produced by NFL Films, features interviews with most of the key players of the era, notably quarterback Jim Kelly and kicker Scott Norwood, who tears up during a rare interview about his wide-right kick in Super Bowl XXV.

Speaking of that game, Giants fans will enjoy nostalgic moments of the happy variety recalling what went down that night in Tampa. Among other things, their then-defensive coordinator, Bill Belichick, weighs in on the strategy that derailed the Bills.

Another highlight of the show is former Bills stars Bruce Smith and Thurman Thomas sitting on a couch and watching it all go wrong on old recordings of the Super Bowl flops.

“You’d be hard pressed for people to remember Super Bowl losers from any particular year, but ask them about the 1990s Bills and people’s eyes light up,” director Ken Rodgers told “If we had made this film 15 years ago, it would have been about the biggest tragedy in the history of the game.

“Instead, with the passage of time, I think it’s now a tale of epic heroism in the face of failure. If there’s a way for a sports documentary to be heroically tragic, this is it.”

New York Sports