clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

1960: Buffalo Welcomes Bills With Parade, Inaugural AFL Game

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

Few people know that Buffalo hosted the very first American Football League game. On July 29, 1960, a reported 100,000 fans lined the streets welcoming the AFL Bills to Buffalo.

The next day, July 30, the Bills played host to the Boston Patriots at War Memorial Stadium in the inaugural pre-season game of the AFL in front of 16,474 customers.

Unfortunately, the first points scored in the AFL were on a Bills turnover. The Patriots’ Bob Dee recovered a Bills fumble in the end zone en route to a 28-7 Patriots win. Patriots quarterback Butch Songin threw two touchdown passes to lead the way for the future New England squad. Lou Saban, then coach of the Patriots, was so thrilled with the victory that he asked his entire squad to sign a ball commemorating the event. Saban would coach the Bills to two AFL Championships later in the 1960s, and returned to the Bills during the 1970s, overseeing O.J. Simpson's 2,000-yard season.

The AFL was formed on August 22, 1959, and the fact that the AFL was playing games less than a year from that date shows the commitment and desire of the "Foolish Club" of original eight AFL owners.

The Bills went on to a 5-8-1 record in 1960 and had the worst total offense, while the Patriots earned last place in the AFL East, going 5-9 with the worst scoring offense.