Farewell, Leslie Michael Jasper

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Updated: August 13, 2012

The Bills cut Mike Jasper today, and with him, one of the more interesting folk tales in recent Bills memory. A quick oral history, narrated almost completely by me.

    • On the last day of the 2011 NFL draft, the Bills selected Jasper with their last pick. The fact that no one heard of him wasn’t really surprising, because at that point most fans are pretty much hoping their team drafts either a big school Saturday all star who’s physical talent wasn’t quite up to par, or perhaps a FBS guy with an absurd stat line. So when the Bills selection came in “Mike Jasper”, no one really gasped. However, after searching the indexes of 700-800 player draft bibles and Jasper’s name was still undiscovered, thats when the intrigue began.
    • Eventually some one decided to google him or something, and quickly found out the dude was 400 lbs and 6-4. And eventually it was pointed out that Jasper’s current weight was down 50 from what he played at during college.
    • If, on the same google search, you clicked “images”, you would have seen this:
    • A quick youtube scan found this. “Suck it, John Wendling!”
    • Suffice it to say, there was much more to talk about  than your standard 7th round pick. And if there’s anything Bills Fans love to do, it’s talk.
    • Quickly, this lead to a few, uh, optimists projecting how much our defensive tackle depth had improved, and how sick a potential line manned by both Jasper and Dareus could be.
    • Now as monolithic as some Bills fans can be (of course not yourself, because your reading this blog ;) ), even the juco Bills fan could realize the absurdity of these ideas. And everyone knows the best way to put out a ridiculous rumor, is with a ridiculous meme. So for a while, if you were curious to who had the inside track to the backup safety role, inevitably the answer would be “Jasper.” Those Jokers, BillsBoarders.
    • Unfortunately, Japser’s time on the field wasn’t as jolly. Moving from his college position of guard to defensive tackle, and back to guard after a couple of underwhelming preseason games. Big Mike’s athleticism was enough to get him a spot on the practice squad, where he rode out the rest of 2011.
    • But Jasper kept working hard this off season…
    • But ultimately it wasn’t enough when the Bills cut Jasper today, as Chan said that he basically wasn’t where they needed him to be.

So ends one of the stranger stories in Bills player history. I don’t know if there’s ever been a more popular player relative to complete lack of accomplishment on the field, but that’s half of what made him so endearing. But even if Jasper couldn’t cash in on the opportunity, he was a great guy by all accounts who will at least be missed in terms of characters. I hope this isn’t the end of the line for him, but in any event, best of luck, Jasper. It’s been fun.