Rumblings Book Review: Joe D's Tales From The Buffalo Bills

"Back when I was playing, we used to take cabs to the game from the hotel when we traveled. One time, while we were playing the Patriots in Foxboro, a cabby almost spoiled our gameplan. The guy who picked up our quarterback, Joe Ferguson, was a huge Pats fan.

He recognized who he had in his cab, so instead of heading for Foxboro Stadium, he hijacked Joe and took him in the other direction. Joe had no reason to know the Boston area that well, and didn't realize that he was going the wrong way.

When he finally did realize what was going on, he jumped out of the cab and managed to get another one. This guy was more cooperative, and Joe got to the stadium in the nick of time. There were only 10 minutes left before kick off when he came running into our locker room screaming that he'd been kidnapped."

Let that be a lesson for you: never trust cabbies, unless it's this guy. Former Bills Pro Bowl guard and Hall of Fame member Joe DeLamielleure provides us with the material for the latest installment of Rumblings Book Review. Co-authored by Micheal Benson, Joe D's Tales From The Buffalo Bills follows Joe D from his early days at Michigan State, through his years with the Bills and finally ending with his trade to the Cleveland Browns. Joe doles out lots of love in this one, starting with some of the fellow rookies he came to the Bills with - guys like Merv Krakau, John Skorupan, and Joe Ferguson. He then talks about the fans of the Buffalo Bills and how great we are (which we of course know), and finally he talks an awful lot about "The Electric Company" and "The Juice" - and why not? That is a major part of Joe D's time with the Bills.

Joe DeLamielleure gives us a unique look into the life of an NFL player in the 1970s, detailing everything from the pitfalls of traveling in other cities (see above quote) to the different ways they would try to make extra spending cash between games and in the off season. He also seems to have a pretty good sense of humor, as there are plenty of comical stories to keep you amused.

Was it Worth it?
Like Steve Tasker's Tales From The Buffalo Bills, Joe D's books is priced at $19.95 US/$24.95 Canadian. Unlike Tasker's book, I would be more inclined to pay that for this book. If you want to know more about one of, if not the best offensive lineman in Bills history, as well as The Electric Company in general, you should start with this book. It isn't just a straight love-fest like Tasker's book, either. Joe D takes a few moments to speak his mind about some topics he fells strongly about, including the Players' Union, late Executive Director of the NFLPA Gene Upshaw, and former Bills coach Chuck Knox. Joe D was and still is someone who speaks his mind and isn't one to mince words, and that really comes through in this book - except when the topic of O.J. comes up. I don't think that Joe really knows what to say about that one; he struggles between the teammate that he loved and respected and the man who committed serious crimes and is jail because of them.

General Impression
Like Eddie Abramoski's book, I give Joe D's Tales From The Buffalo Bills an A-. This is another solid read for any Bills fan that chronicles a time that most of us just don't remember, either because we weren't born yet or are too old to do so. Also, I believe that there is a picture of Kurupt on page 38! Overall, this is a solid book that won't disappoint and one that most Bills fans should take a peek at.

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