Blake Bortles, Longtime The Good Place Punchline, Cut By the Jaguars

The football quarterback became one of the NBC sitcom’s longest-running jokes.

Nothing pure in this world seems to last very long these days. As a source of punchlines for one of TV’s funniest shows, so it must also be for the reign of Blake Bortles as the quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Over the last few seasons of “The Good Place,” the player became something of an avatar for Jason Mendoza (Manny Jacinto), one of the core group of characters stuck navigating the series’ specific version of the afterlife. From a rallying cry to tossing Molotov cocktails to the source of a dozen burning questions for an all-powerful being who knows all the secrets of existence, Bortles became a shorthand for every way that Jason’s Jacksonville roots and Earth-based aspirations seeped into his post-life behavior.

Read More:‘The Good Place’ Isn’t Just Asking Life’s Toughest Questions — It’s Answering Them

That era came to a close on Wednesday as the Jaguars released the quarterback, presumably to make way for free agent acquisition Nick Foles. (The least the team could do was sign a player with a two-syllable last name to preserve some continuity.) The long-running “Bortles” jokes took on a life of their own as the team made a deep run in the 2018 playoffs, coming within a single game of playing for a title.

Sadly, despite Jacinto and series writer Joe Mande’s rabid fandom, the team’s best chance at proving Ted Danson’s character Michael wrong ended up in an AFC Championship game loss. “The Good Place” is expected to return in the fall for a Season 4, so there’s theoretically time to work this darkest timeline into Jason’s ongoing arc. Of course, this isn’t the first time that a Michael Schur-led show and the sports world have collided: The final season of “Parks and Recreation” unwittingly predicted that the Chicago Cubs baseball team would win the World Series.

Sadly, a Super Bowl with Bortles at the helm will not be in the immediate future for the Jaguars franchise. But as last season’s “Jeremy Bearimy” episode taught the world, time has a funny way of looping back in ways you least expect.

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