One of the rookies was a defensive lineman from Ohio State named Birtho Arnold. He weighed well over 300 pounds. We had to weigh him on the scale at the Griggs & Ball Feed Store because he was too heavy for our scales in the training room.
He was so fat; he had to roll out of bed onto the floor, and then push himself up. His thighs were so huge, they rubbed together and chafed when he ran.
One day Birtho came into the training room looking for something to put on the sores on the inside of his thighs.
I said, "What's the problem? Jock itch?" "No," he said. "Meat burns."
Tale Of The Tape, A History of the Buffalo Bills from the inside, by Eddie "Abe" Abramoski and Milt Northrop, is a fun read. "Abe" takes you on a ride down memory lane, starting with his early years when he would help out the Detroit Lions as a game day helper to the trainer (which is where he first met Buster Ramsey) to the founding of the Bills, and finally stopping at his retirement in 1997. You don't get a ton of on-field stories from Abe; instead, you get a great big helping of stuff like the above quote - but don't let that deter you. Abe gives some great insight into head coaches like Lou Saban and Buster Ramsey, as well as some guys who many Bills fans haven't heard that much about, like former equipment manager Tony Marchitte, and former team doctor Dr. Joe Godfrey.
When reading this book you almost get the feeling you're sitting down with Abe as he goes through his thoughts. Some chapters start with one topic, and end on a completely different note as if something about the original story reminded Abe of something else and he goes off in a totally new direction. Tale of The Tape has some great photos in it as well. There is a picture on page 34 of Daryle Lamonica, Cookie Gilchrist and Elbert Dubenion which is terrific.
Was it Worth it?
The price on the cover is $10.95, and I would suggest to anyone who can get their hands on this book for that price to go for it - you won't be disappointed. It was published in 2002, and some of you might have a difficult time finding it in stores or online. I got my copy used through Amazon.com, and paid $9.50 with shipping. Mine came complete with the signature of former Buffalo Bill and politician Ed Rutkowski next to his picture. This was a very enjoyable read and I would highly suggest it to anybody who wants to learn more about not just the Bills, but the inception and the creation of the franchise we love so dearly.
I give Tale of the Tape, a history of the Buffalo Bills from the Inside, a very respectable A-. At just under 130 pages it won't take forever to read; it has great stories and pictures, and is jam packed with some great Bills history. Some of you will find the Epilogue very amusing, as Abe gives his thoughts on the upcoming season (2002) for the Bills, and all of the excitement surrounding the Bills' two newest acquisitions, Drew Bledsoe and Mike Williams.
The back of the book has a quote from former Bills coach Lou Saban that says it all about this book:
"Fabulous Abe...the glue that kept our team together. I enjoyed the book, it is a "must-read" for true Bills fans."