Buffalo Bills

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For the American bison hunter, see Buffalo Bill. For other uses, see Buffalo Bills (disambiguation).
Buffalo Bills
Current season

Established 1960
Play in and headquartered in Ralph Wilson Stadium
Orchard Park, New York

Regular Season Record (All-Time) 376-436-8 (.468)

Postseason Record (All-Time) 14-15 (.482)
Buffalo Bills logo
Logo
League/conference affiliations

American Football League (1960–1969)

  • Eastern Division (1960–1969)

National Football League (1970–present)

Current uniform
AFCE-Uniform-BUF.PNG
Team colors

Royal Blue, Red, White

              
Mascot Billy Buffalo
Personnel
Owner(s) Ralph Wilson Trust[1]
(Mary Wilson, chairwoman)[2][3]
CEO Russ Brandon
President Russ Brandon
General manager Doug Whaley
Head coach Doug Marrone
Team history
  • Buffalo Bills (1960–present)
Championships

League championships (2)

Conference championships (4)

Division championships (10)

Playoff appearances (17)
  • AFL: 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966
  • NFL: 1974, 1980, 1981, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999
Home fields

The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in Orchard Park, New York. They are members of the East Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Bills are the only team to win four consecutive conference championships, and are the only NFL team to play in four consecutive Super Bowl games, all of which they lost. The team was owned by Ralph Wilson from the team's founding in 1960, until his death in 2014 at the age of 95. They have featured many of the league's most prominent and popular players, including QB Jack Kemp, FB Cookie Gilchrist, Bob Kalsu, RB O.J. Simpson, DE Bruce Smith, QB Jim Kelly, RB Thurman Thomas, and WR Andre Reed.

Since 1972, the Bills have played home games at Ralph Wilson Stadium in the Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park. The Bills are the only NFL team that play their home games in New York state. (The New York Giants and New York Jets play in East Rutherford, New Jersey.) From 2008 to 2013, the Bills played one regular season home game per season in Toronto as part of the Bills Toronto Series.[4] The Bills conduct summer training camp at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, New York, an eastern suburb of Rochester.[5] In January 2013, Doug Marrone became the head coach of the Bills.[6] The Bills have the longest playoff drought in the NFL: they have not made the playoffs since 1999 (and thus are the only team so far to yet to appear in the playoffs in the 21st century). They also have the longest active streak of losing seasons: they have not finished .500 or better since 2004.

History[edit]

The Bills began competitive play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League and joined the NFL as part of the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.[7] The Bills won two consecutive American Football League titles in 1964 and 1965, but the club has not won a league championship since then.

Once the AFL–NFL merger took effect, the Bills became the second NFL team to represent the city; they followed the Buffalo All-Americans, a charter member of the league. Buffalo had been left out of the league since the All-Americans (by that point renamed the Bisons) folded in 1929; the Bills were no less than the third professional non-NFL team to compete in the city before the merger, following the Indians/Tigers of the early 1940s and another team named the Bills in the late 1940s.

Buffalo’s team in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) in 1946 was the Bisons. In 1947 a contest was held to rename the team, which was owned by James Breuil of the Frontier Oil Company. The winning entry suggested Bills, reflecting on the famous western frontiersman, Buffalo Bill Cody. Carrying the “frontier” theme further, the winning contestant further offered that the team was being supported by Frontier Oil and was “opening a new frontier in sports in Western New York.” When Buffalo joined the new American Football League in 1960, the name of the city’s earlier pro football entry was adopted.[8]

Logos and uniforms[edit]

Buffalo Bills uniform: 1975–1983
*solid red socks were worn from '82–'83
Buffalo Bills uniform: 1987–2001
Buffalo Bills uniform 2002–2010

The Bills' uniforms in its first two seasons were based on those of the Detroit Lions at the time.[9]

In 1962, the standing red bison was designated as the logo and took its place on a white helmet.[10] In 1962, the team's colors also changed to red, white, and blue. The team switched to blue jerseys with red and white stripes on the shoulders. the helmets were white with a red center stripe.[11] The jerseys again saw a change in 1964 when the shoulders stripes were replaced by a distinctive stripe pattern on the sleeves consisting of four stripes, two thicker inner stripes and two thinner outer stripes all bordered by red piping. By 1965, red and blue center stripes were put on the helmets.[12]

The Bills introduced red pants worn with the white jerseys in 1973, the last year of the standing buffalo helmet. The blue pants remained through 1985. The face mask on the helmet was blue from 1974 through 1986 before changing to white.

The standing bison logo was replaced by a blue charging one with a red slanting stripe streaming from its horn. The newer emblem, which is still the primary one used by the franchise, was designed by aerospace designer Stevens Wright in 1974.[13]

In 1984, the helmet's background color was changed from white to red, primarily to help Bills quarterback Joe Ferguson distinguish them more readily from three of their division rivals at that time, the Indianapolis Colts, the Miami Dolphins, and the New England Patriots, who all also wore white helmets at that point. Ferguson said that "Everyone we played had white helmets at that time. Our new head coach Kay Stephenson just wanted to get more of a contrast on the field that may help spot a receiver down the field."[14] (The Patriots now use a silver helmet, the Colts have since been realigned to the AFC South, and the New York Jets, who switched to green helmets after the 1978 season, have since switched back to white helmets.)

In 2002, under the direction of general manager Tom Donahoe, the Bills' uniforms went through radical changes. A darker shade of blue was introduced as the main jersey color, and nickel gray was introduced as an accent color. Both the blue and white jerseys featured red side panels. The white jerseys included a dark blue shoulder yoke and royal blue numbers. The helmet remained primarily red with one navy blue, two nickel, two royal blue, two white stripes, and white face mask. A new logo, a stylized "B" consisting of two bullets and a more detailed buffalo head on top, was proposed and had been released (it can be seen on a few baseball caps that were released for sale), but fan backlash led to the team retaining the running bison logo. The helmet logo adopted in 1974—a charging royal blue bison, with a red streak, white horn and eyeball—remained unchanged.

In 2005, the Bills revived the standing bison helmet and uniform of the mid-1960s as a throwback uniform.

The Bills usually wore the all-blue combination at home and the all-white combination on the road when not wearing the throwback uniforms. They stopped wearing blue-on-white after 2006, while the white-on-blue was not worn after 2007.

For the 2011 season, the Bills unveiled a new uniform design, an updated rendition of the 1975–83 design. This change includes a return to the white helmets with "charging buffalo" logo, and a return to royal blue instead of navy.

Buffalo sporadically wore white at home in the 1980s, but stopped doing so before their Super Bowl years. On November 6, 2011, against the New York Jets, the Bills wore white at home for the first time since 1986 and did it again on November 15, 2012, against the Miami Dolphins. Buffalo has wore white twice during the 2013 season. First on September 15, 2013, against the Carolina Panthers, and again on November 3, 2013, against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Playoffs[edit]

    • Playoff record 14 wins, 15 losses[15]

Players[edit]

Current roster[edit]

Buffalo Bills roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists
  • Currently vacant


Rookies in italics
Roster updated July 27, 2014
Depth ChartTransactions

90 Active, 0 Inactive

AFC rostersNFC rosters

Retired numbers[edit]

Buffalo Bills retired numbers
Player Position Tenure Notes
12 Jim Kelly QB 1986–96[16] Previously worn by Joe Ferguson, QB, 1973–84, and Daryle Lamonica, QB, 1963–66.

The only number officially retired is the #12 worn by Kelly, although the Bills have other numbers no longer issued to any player or in reduced circulation:[17]

Unofficially retired:
Reduced circulation:[17]

Since the earliest days of the team, the number 31 was not supposed to be issued to any other player. The Bills had stationery and various other team merchandise showing a running player wearing that number, and it was not supposed to represent any specific person, but the 'spirit of the team.' The tradition was broken in 1969 when reserve running back Preston Ridlehuber was issued number 31 for one game while his normal number 36 jersey was repaired by equipment manager Tony Marchitte. The number 31 was not issued again until 1990 when first round draft choice James (J.D.) Williams wore it for his first two seasons. The number has since been released for use by any player and was recently worn by starting free safety Jairus Byrd. Byrd had used number 32 in college, but switched to 31 because the team does not issue Simpson's former number 32.[17]

Number 94 is also in reduced circulation, and for reasons unknown went unissued until the 1987 season, when two replacement players wore the number during the players' strike that year. It is currently worn by Mario Williams.[18]

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Distinguished Service Award Recipients[edit]

Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame[edit]

Pro Football Hall Of Fame[25][edit]

All-time first round draft picks[edit]

Recent Pro Bowl selections[edit]

Coaches of note[edit]

Head coaches[edit]

Current staff[edit]

Buffalo Bills staff
Front Office
  • Owner – Ralph Wilson Trust
    • Controlling Trustee – Mary McLean Wilson
    • Trustee/VP of Strategic Planning – Mary Owen
    • Trustee/CFO – Jeff Littman
    • Trustee – Eugene Driker
  • President/CEO – Russ Brandon
  • General Manager – Doug Whaley
  • Senior Vice President of Football Administration – Jim Overdorf
  • Special Assistant – Buddy Nix
  • Director of Pro Personel - Jim Monos
  • Director of Pro Personel – Tom Gibbons
  • Director of College Scouting – Kelvin Fisher
Head Coaches
Offensive Coaches
 
Defensive Coaches
Special Teams Coaches
Strength and Conditioning
  • Head Strength and Conditioning – Eric Ciano
  • Assistant Head Strength and Conditioning – Hal Luther
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Dan Liburd

Coaching Staff
Management
More NFL staffs

AFC East
BUF
MIA
NE
NYJ
North
BAL
CIN
CLE
PIT
South
HOU
IND
JAX
TEN
West
DEN
KC
OAK
SD
NFC East
DAL
NYG
PHI
WAS
North
CHI
DET
GB
MIN
South
ATL
CAR
NO
TB
West
ARI
STL
SF
SEA

Radio and television[edit]

The Buffalo Bills Radio Network is flagshipped at WGR, AM 550 in Buffalo. John Murphy is the team's current play-by-play announcer; he was a color commentator alongside, and eventually succeeded, longtime voice Van Miller after Miller's retirement at the end of the 2003 NFL season. Mark Kelso serves as the color analyst. The Bills radio network has approximately seventeen affiliates in upstate New York and one affiliate, CJCL 590AM (The Fan) in Toronto. As of early 2012, it is composed mostly of WGR, Entercom's sister stations WCMF (96.5 FM) and WROC-AM 950 in Rochester, and a fleet of independent AM and FM stations across upstate New York from Jamestown east to Albany. Previous flagship Citadel Broadcasting was purchased by Cumulus Media, who in turn ceased carrying Bills games at the end of the 2011 season, leaving the network without affiliates in Syracuse, Binghamton, and Erie. (The Syracuse affiliations were later picked up by Galaxy Communications.)

Buffalo is one of ten teams that is contracted with Compass Media Networks to syndicate selected games nationwide.

During the preseason, most games are televised on Buffalo's ABC affiliate, WKBW-TV channel 7, with several other affiliates in western New York. These games are simulcast on sister stations WTVH in Syracuse, WICU in Erie, WHAM-TV in Rochester, and beginning in 2008, CITY-TV in Toronto. Ray Bentley, a former Bills linebacker, does play by play, while CBS analyst and former Bills special teams player Steve Tasker does color commentary on these games. WHAM-TV sports anchor Mike Catalana is the sideline reporter. Since 2008, preseason games have been broadcast in high definition.

In the event that regular season or, should the situation arise, postseason games are broadcast by a cable outlet (ESPN or NFL Network), the Bills' local broadcast outlet since the 2012 season has been WBBZ-TV, whose upstart sports department is under the supervision of former Empire Sports Network general manager Bob Koshinski.

Training camp sites[edit]

[32]

Mascots, cheerleaders and marching band[edit]

The Bills' official mascot is Billy Buffalo, an eight-foot tall, anthropomorphic blue American bison who wears the jersey "number" BB.

The Bills do not have cheerleaders. The Bills employed the Buffalo Jills, an independent organization, from 1967 to 2013; the Jills suspended operations prior to the 2014 season due to legal actions.[33]

The Attica High School Marching Band is the official marching band of the Buffalo Bills. Along with the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Redskins, the Bills are one of only three teams in the NFL to designate an official marching band. The Marching Band performs a yearly pregame. However, the Bills have also used the marching bands from the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University at home games in recent years.

The Bills have several theme songs associated with them. One is a variation of the Isley Brothers hit Shout, which served as the Bills' official promotional song throughout the 1980s and 1990s. It was officially replaced circa 2000 with "The Power of the Bills," although "Shout" remains in use. The Bills' unofficial fight song, "Go Bills," was penned by Bills head coach Marv Levy in the mid-1990s on a friendly wager with his players that he will write the song if the team won a particular game.[34]

Supporters[edit]

The Bills Backers are the official fan organization of the Buffalo Bills. It has over 200 chapters across North America, Europe and Oceania.[35] Also notable is the Bills Mafia, a collection of Bills fans that organized via Twitter beginning in 2010.[36]

In the bone-chilling winter, it is not uncommon to see shirtless fans painted with Bills decals, especially the "B-I-L-L-S" lettering.

In popular culture[edit]

Buffalo's rivalry with the Miami Dolphins is referenced on Steve Martin's 1979 album Comedy Is Not Pretty! on the track "How To Meet A Girl." On the track, Martin simulates chatter about football at a party and one "partier" expresses disbelief that Buffalo could beat Miami – at the time of the album's release, the Dolphins had won 18 straight games over the Bills.

In the 2007 "Doctor Who" episode titled "The Sound of Drums", a man watching television—while wearing a #12 Jim Kelly Buffalo Bills jersey—is attacked by a spherical alien.

In the 1996 X-Files episode "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man", the titular character, a member of a shadowy government cabal, states that the Buffalo Bills will not win a Super Bowl while he lives.

The Buffalo Bills were featured on the direct-to-TV movie Second String, and in the Vincent Gallo drama Buffalo 66.

The Buffalo Bills are mentioned in the 1995 movie Heavyweights. The character Josh (Shaun Weiss) says, "Perkis caved like the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl", referring to their string of four straight Super Bowl losses in the early 1990s.

On the show Malcolm in the Middle, you can spot a Buffalo Bills 'football field' rug in the boys' bedroom.

In the first episode of season four of the television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, titled "Lord of the Flys", Clark picks up a blue Buffalo Bills hat with the Charging Buffalo emblem in the center and uses it to help disguise himself. Dean Cain, who played Clark Kent/Superman, had previously tried out for the Bills. In a later episode, he lets it be known that the Metropolis Mammoths were playing the Bills.

The Bills are one of the favorite teams of ESPN announcer Chris Berman, who picked the Bills to reach the Super Bowl nearly every year in the 1990s. Berman often uses the catchphrase "No one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills!" Berman gave the induction speech for Bills owner Ralph Wilson when Wilson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009. The Bills were also the favorite team of late NBC political commentator Tim Russert, a South Buffalo native, who often referred to the Bills on his Sunday morning talk show, Meet the Press. Actor Nick Bakay, a Buffalo native, is also a well-known Bills fan; he has discussed the team in segments of NFL Top 10.

In an April 2011 episode of the television series 30 Rock, titled "100", Alec Baldwin's character Jack Donaghy discovers that, in an alternate future, he would not only be wealthier and more successful, but he would also be the owner of a "New York football team." He later is disappointed to learn that the team is not the New York Giants or New York Jets, but the Buffalo Bills.

The Bills are the team that eventually unseats the Orlando Breakers, the fictional NFL team that serves as the focus of the sitcom Coach in later seasons, in the playoffs.

In the movie Wind, one of Will Parker's crew members is seen wearing a Buffalo Bills hat.

Several former Buffalo Bills players have earned a name in politics after their playing careers had ended, almost always as members of the Republican Party. The most famous of these was quarterback Jack Kemp, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Western New York in 1971—two years after his playing career ended and remained there for nearly two decades, serving as the Republican Party nominee for Vice President of the United States under Bob Dole in 1996. Kemp's backup, Ed Rutkowski, served as county executive of Erie County from 1979 to 1987. Former tight end Jay Riemersma, defensive tackle Fred Smerlas and defensive end Phil Hansen have all run for Congress, though all three either lost or withdrew from their respective races. Quarterback Jim Kelly and running back Thurman Thomas have also both been mentioned as potential candidates for political office, although both have declined all requests to date.

In an March 2014 episode of the television series Family Guy entitled "3 Acts of God", Peter Griffin—along with his family and friends—attends a game between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts—a game in which the Bills win. The episode also features animated C.J. Spiller and Mario Williams characters with their actual voices used.[37]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Koshinski, Bob (May 5, 2014). Perspective Buffalo Bills’ Owner Needs 3 Trustee Votes For Winning Bid. WBBZ-TV. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  2. ^ Buscaglia, Joe (3 April 2014). "Mary Wilson Named Controlling Owner of the Bills". WGR. 
  3. ^ "Mary Wilson becomes controlling owner of the Buffalo Bills". BuffaloBills.com. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Five-year extension of Buffalo Bills' Toronto series approved". NFL.com. NFL.com. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Training Camp". Buffalobills.com. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ Garafolo, Mike (January 6, 2013). "Bills hire Syracuse's Doug Marrone". USA Today. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  7. ^ "History: History of NFL franchises, 1920–present". Profootballhof.com. February 7, 2010. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  8. ^ http://www.profootballhof.com/history/nicknames.aspx#sthash.fZkeALva.dpuf
  9. ^ Warner, Gene. "Bills logo was artist's crowning achievement," The Buffalo (NY) News, Tuesday, April 9, 2013.
  10. ^ "Elbert Dubenion – 1960". Hometown.aol.com. Retrieved December 30, 2010. [unreliable source?]
  11. ^ http://hometown.aol.com/bkbubco/62-Buf.html[dead link]
  12. ^ Billy Shaw & Tom Sestak – 1965[dead link]
  13. ^ http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9682706/uni-watch-remembering-stevens-wright-created-buffalo-bills-logo-much-more
  14. ^ "Untold uniform stories: Fergie behind helmet color change". Buffalo Bills. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  15. ^ NFL Record and fact Book ISBN 978-1-60320-833-8
  16. ^ Buffalo Bill Retired Numbers at NFL team history
  17. ^ a b c Brown, Chris (June 17, 2011). The untouchable numbers. BuffaloBills.com. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
  18. ^ Gaughan, Mark (May 22, 2012). Super Mario will wear No. 94 with Bills; fresh uniform start for Buffalo's prized free-agent acquisition. The Buffalo News. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  19. ^ By Mark Gaughan *2012 – Chantz Taylor (August 6, 2010). "The billboard: A daily dose from Bills training camp – Bills & NFL". The Buffalo News. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Bruce Smith named to Bills Wall of Fame". BuffaloBills.com. NFL.com. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  21. ^ New Wall of Famer named
  22. ^ Steady Hansen will go on Bills' Wall of Fame
  23. ^ Polian named Bills 28th Wall of Famer
  24. ^ Pollock, Chuck (May 18, 2014). Time for Van to join Bills’ Wall of Fame. Olean Times Herald. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  25. ^ "Bills Pro Football Hall of Fame Players". Buffalobills.com. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  26. ^ Maiorana, Sal (Jan 7, 2011). "Buffalo Bills DT Kyle Williams named to Pro Bowl". rocnow.com. Retrieved January 9, 2011. 
  27. ^ Brown, Chris (Jan 29, 2009). "Lynch headed to Pro Bowl". Buffalo Bills.com. Retrieved January 30, 2009. 
  28. ^ "2008 Pro Bowl rosters". Nfl.com. February 4, 2008. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  29. ^ "2007 Pro Bowl rosters". MSNBC.com. February 10, 2007. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  30. ^ "2005 AFC Pro Bowl roster". ESPN. February 7, 2006. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  31. ^ "2004 Pro Bowl Roster – AFC". Football.about.com. June 14, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  32. ^ Buffalo Bills Training Camp History
  33. ^ http://bigstory.ap.org/article/buffalo-bills-cheerleaders-halt-season-after-suit
  34. ^ Mooshil, Maria (December 1, 2006). "10 more things to know about Bears fight song". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 9, 2013. 
  35. ^ Bills Backers info page on BuffaloBills.com
  36. ^ BillsMafia information page.
  37. ^ "Bills make primetime appearance on Family Guy". buffalobills.com. 17 March 2014. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 

External links[edit]