Best Moments in Bills History, No. 25: 1966 AFL All-Star Game

This is part of our countdown of the 25 best moments in Buffalo Bills History. Check out the complete list, as well as the 25 worst moments in team history, right here.

Trying to be innovative, the AFL came up with a brand new format for the annual All-Star game following the 1965 season. (It should be noted that Bills owner Ralph Wilson, Jr. was the AFL Commissioner that oversaw the change.) That year, the AFL Champion Buffalo Bills played the best players in the AFL and had the All-Stars on the ropes until a legend-in-the-making took over.

The Bills rushed out to an early lead in the first half while the other top AFLers struggled. George Saimes returned a fumble for a touchdown, and kicker Pete Gogolak kicked a short field goal to give Buffalo a 10-0 lead. At the half, the Bills led 13-6 after another Gogolak field goal and two kicks by Patriots kicker Gino Cappiletti.

AFL Rookie of the Year Joe Namath came in at the start of the second half and led his team on four straight scoring drives, including three touchdowns. Lance Alworth caught two of those touchdowns and was knocked unconscious on the second. He had to be carried from the field.

With the Bills down 30-13, Joe Collier replaced Jack Kemp with Daryle Lamonica, who led the team down for their final score. A Wray Carlton TD catch made the final score 30-19. Kemp's legacy from the game isn't a win, but one of the most iconic photos in team history. (Note the All-Star jersey on San Diego's Earl Faison chasing Kemp.) If the AFL hadn't changed their format for this season, Kemp may not have been in that game at all - and if he was, he would have been wearing an East All-Star jersey.

The Bills were the only team to receive this honor, as the AFL reverted to the traditional East vs. West format the following year. In 1970, it became the NFC vs. the AFC when the two leagues merged. Each member of the 1965 Bills is credited with playing in the All-Star game, and for most it was their only trip.

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