Posted on April 03 2020
Back when the American Football League was brand-new, the seventh team to be admitted was the Buffalo Bills. In 1959, Ralph C. Wilson was awarded the franchise. Both frustration and dominance have been experienced by the team since then.
Love or hate the Bills, one has to admit that they have produced any number of formidable players throughout the years. They've experienced heartbreak with kicker Scott Norwood and reveled in plays executed by Bruce Smith, Jim Kelly, and other greats. Few Buffalo Bills fans, in fact, few NFL fans in general, are unfamiliar with Norwood's failure to clinch Super Bowl XXV with what would have been a 47-yard game-winning field goal. With eight seconds left in the game, he missed, and so did the Bills!
But the Bills have enjoyed many good years with players whose names are cemented in NFL history as some of the best around.
The Early Years
In 1963, the Bills’ fourth season, though they lost a playoff game to the Boston Patriots, they at least tied for the AFL Eastern Division crown. They won their division in 1965 and 1964, defeating the San Diego Chargers both years. After the ‘65 season, however, AFL coach of the year Lou Saban left the team.
The first Super Bowl ever played did not include the Buffalo Bills having lost, in 1966, to the Kansas City Chiefs. The next five seasons were dismal for the Bills. But in 1972, Saban returned to his coaching position. Helping to make the Bills competitive once again, Saban put running back O.J. Simpson to good use. In 1973, Simpson set a rushing record with 2,003 yards. Those were the days!
Nothing Lasts Forever – Apparently
Once again, the Bills, in 1976, lost Coach Saban. But Chuck Knox, their new coach, in 1980, helped the Buffalo Bills win the AFC Eastern Division title. Though they lost to Cincinnati, they made the playoffs in 1981. In the mid-80s however, things did not go well.
In 1986, Mark Levy took over the team coaching position. 1988 marked an upturn for the Buffalo Bills as numerous AFC Eastern titles were won, year after year. In 1991, a single-season attendance record of 635,889 was enjoyed by the NFL's Buffalo Bills.
In 2014, Kim and Terry Pegula purchased the team, becoming only the second owners in the history of the Buffalo Bills.
Here's a quick timeline of affiliations for the Buffalo Bills:
- 1970 to present – AFC East, American Football Conference, National Football League
- 1960 to 1969 – Eastern Division, American Football League
Team colors for the Buffalo Bills consist of navy blue, white, red, and royal blue. Their mascot, Billy Buffalo, can be seen at many games encouraging crowds to sing their fight song "Shout".
Two home fields have been used by the Buffalo Bills. They are as follows:
- 1973 to present – New Era Field
- 1960 to 1972 – War Memorial Stadium
Some of the Greatest Buffalo Bills in History
This is a brief list, and it's only the tip of the iceberg, of some of the Buffalo Bill’s greatest:
- Thurman Thomas – running back
- Jim Kelly – quarterback
- Bill Shaw – guard
- Tom Sestak – defensive tackle
- Cookie Gilchrist – fullback
- Jack Kemp – quarterback
- J. Simpson – running back (regardless of his later life experiences, he was a force to be reckoned with on the football field)
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