Wall of Fame
The Buffalo Bills announced this weekend that Bill Polian will have his name added alongside the greatest in Buffalo Bills history on the team's Wall of Fame. In 2010, we last ran a poll identifying who we thought the choice should be. Polian won that poll, and his selection now leaves us in need of a new favorite going into 2013.
Here are a few options with their biographies, Bills fans. Read them all and then cast your vote after the jump.
Cookie Gilchrist: Gilchrist was only a member of the organization for three seasons from 1962 to 1964, but in each of those seasons he was named to the AFL All-Star squad. After starring in the CFL, Gilchrist signed with the Bills and proceeded to be named the AP Player of the Year after leading the AFL in rushing yards (becoming the first AFL running back to top 1,000 yards) and touchdowns, while scoring the second-most points in the league that year. He was named to the All-AFL team in both 1962 and 1964. In 1963, Gilchrist rushed for a professional football record 243 yards and five touchdowns in a single game against the . His 4.5 yards per rush is third in Bills history. Gilchrist was selected as the fullback on the All-Time AFL Team in 1970. Despite being the first member of the Bills Hall of Fame, Gilchrist's name is still not on the Wall of Fame. It's been speculated that Ralph Wilson is keeping the running back's name off, but the two reconciled the week before Gilchrist's death in 2011.
Lou Saban: Saban is the only coach in Buffalo Bills history to win the last game of the playoffs - and he did it twice, winning both the 1964 and 1965 AFL Championships. He served two stints as Bills head coach from 1962-1965 and 1972-1976. His combined winning percentage is .602, with 68 wins, both second in Bills history to Marv Levy's .615 and 112. In the mid-'70s stint, he is credited with helping O.J. Simpson achieve greatness, and was the head coach during Simpson's 2,000-yard campaign in 1973. His rift with Ralph Wilson over his two abrupt departures are what has kept Saban off the Wall of Fame all this time and is likely to keep him off until the Bills have a new owner.
Butch Byrd: Butch Byrd holds the Bills' career records for interceptions (40), interception touchdown returns (5), and interception return yards (666). He played in 98 games for Buffalo from 1964 to 1970 after being the Bills' fourth-round pick, and starred at the cornerback position opposite Wall of Famer Booker Edgerson. Byrd's 0.40 interceptions per game is considerably higher than any Bills player that's played more than 14 games. He was a five-time AFL All-Star, and was named to the All-AFL team three times. He recorded seven interceptions in a season twice - his rookie year and 1969. He is best known for his plays in the 1965 AFL Championship game where he held WR Don Norton to one catch before knocking him unconscious with a block at the line. Later in the game, Byrd took a punt back 74 yards for a touchdown. He is a member of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, was voted to the All-AFL second team, and is a member of the Bills' 50th anniversary team.
Pete Metzelaars: The current Buffalo Bills tight end coach joined the team as a free agent in 1986. Over the next decade he became a favorite target of Jim Kelly, amassing 302 catches for 2921 yards and 25 touchdowns. He ranks first among tight ends in team history in every one of those categories. He's a member of the Bills' 50th anniversary team but never made the Pro Bowl.
Cornelius Bennett: Originally drafted in 1987 by the , Cornelius Bennett held out until Polian traded for the linebacker during the season. "Biscuit" started 128 games for the Bills from 1987-1995, amassing 751 tackles (third in team history), 52.5 sacks (fourth), 22 forced fumbles (second) and 19 recovered fumbles (first). He was named to the Pro Bowl five times, the All-Pro team in 1988, and is a member of the Bills' 50th anniversary team.
Steve Christie: Christie is by far the leading scorer in Bills history, with 1,011 points. is next with 878 points, followed by Scott Norwood with 622 and Andre Reed and Thurman Thomas fittingly tied at 522. He recovered his own onside kickoff in the greatest comeback in NFL history, and booted through the winning points in overtime. He is second in Bills history in field goal percentage with 78.3% accuracy. Christie also holds the Bills' record for longest field goal (59 yards) and longest field goal in Super Bowl history (54 yards, Super Bowl XXVIII). His 140 points in 1998 is the most in franchise history for a single season. He is No. 44 on the Buffalo Rumblings list of the Top 50 All-Time Bills and the kicker on the Bills' 50th anniversary team.
Brown was drafted 14th overall in the 1995 NFL Draft by the Bills and played in 136 regular season games for Buffalo over nine seasons. Following his rookie season, Brown was named to eight consecutive Pro Bowls and was named the team's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner in 1999, 2001 and 2002 for his contributions off the field. He was a member of the Bills' 50th anniversary team and recipient of the Ralph C. Wilson Distinguished Service Award by the Monday Quarterback Club in 2010.
Moulds their first round pick in 1996 and after contributing as a kick returner during his first two seasons had a breakout year in 1988. He made three Pro Bowls during his ten seasons in Buffalo and ranks second in team history behind Andre Reed in career games, catches, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and yards per game. He had four thousand-yard season, narrowly missing the feat a fifth time, and holds team record for catches and yards in a season. He is a member of the Bills' 50th anniversary team and his last NFL season was 2007 with the Tennessee Titans.The Bills made
Schobel has put comeback rumors to bed and, while still a recent retiree, could get a look for the Wall of Fame in the near future. He spent his entire nine-year career in Buffalo after being selected 46th overall in the 2001 NFL Draft. His 78 career sacks are second in team history behind Hall of Famer Bruce Smith and he's third in team annals in forced fumbles. He was named to the Pro Bowl twice and had four seasons of double-digit sacks.
Current Members: The current Wall of Fame members are ("*" denotes a non-player): O.J. Simpson, Billy Shaw, Jack Kemp, Pat McGroder*, Tom Sestak, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.*, The 12th Man*, Elbert Dubenion, Mike Stratton, Joe Ferguson, Marv Levy, Joe DeLamielleure, , Ed Abramoski*, Bob Kalsu, George Saimes, Jim Kelly, Fred Smerlas, Kent Hull, Darryl Talley, Jim Ritcher, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Steve Tasker, Bruce Smith, Booker Edgerson and Phil Hansen.
Who will be the next member of the Buffalo Bills' Wall of Fame?
Cookie Gilchrist (255 votes)
Lou Saban (131 votes)
Butch Byrd (53 votes)
Pete Metzelaars (40 votes)
Cornelius Bennett (304 votes)
Steve Christie (73 votes)
Ruben Brown (55 votes)
Eric Moulds (66 votes)
Aaron Schobel (25 votes)
Other (share in comments) (13 votes)
1015 total votes