The Buffalo Bills celebrate their 50th season in 2009. We'll celebrate 50 of their all-time greats! (Photo Source)
As part of the celebration of 50 years of Buffalo Bills football and the AFL, we here at Buffalo Rumblings thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the franchise's all-time greats. What better way to celebrate 50 years of our favorite team than by looking at 50 of the best players we've cheered for? There have been a number of superstars that have captured the hearts of Bills fans everywhere, including a handful of Hall of Famers. There have also been a number of long-time Bills that had very good, productive careers, earning the respect from those who watched their lengthy stays in Buffalo. Some Bills were great in short bursts, while some were good over a long period of time. I will attempt to honor these players for their on-field accomplishments and even educate the younger fans (including myself) about some of the long forgotten players of yesteryear.
Over the next three to four months, I plan to count down my list of the Top 50 Bills of All-Time by posting a brief biography, big moments, stats and hopefully a few highlights of each player. I've also found some great pictures of the old-time players that I will include, as well. There is no real timetable for the posting of each player, but I hope to add two or three per week.
I used the following criteria when developing this list:
* Must have played three seasons for the Bills
* Players only; no coaches, executives or other folks associated with the team
* Statistical production
* All-Pro selections and Pro Bowl appearances
* Longevity with the franchise and in the league
* Other honors (i.e. Bills Wall of Fame)
* Good old fashioned opinion
I know there might be a great deal of disagreement with how I ranked certain players, and who I left off, but please know this was a very subjective exercise. This was difficult for me as I only have about 20 years of first hand Bills knowledge to go with. The older players were before my time, so I'm basing my opinion of them on the opinions of others. The plan isn't to debate where the players are ranked, but rather to discuss these guys as players and how great they were. I'd love to hear some of your memories of them, what they meant to you when they played and any other stories or thoughts you'd like to add.
We've had a tough decade of Bills football, but it's always fun to remember the past and how this franchise has grown. This exercise is as much a history report as it is to branch out our topics for debate. I'm looking forward to learning more about some of the old players, remembering some of my favorites from my youth and comparing our recent players to those of years past. I hope you will find it as enjoyable as I will!
We'll get started on this series, entitled "50 All-Time Buffalo Bills". If you've got any suggestions for the series or just want to share your excitement and anticipation for something so awesome, leave it in the comments section!