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Worst Buffalo Bills moments, No. 15: Bob Kalsu killed in Vietnam

The worst moments in Buffalo Bills history include the tragic loss of their 1968 Rookie of the Year.

Memorial plaque for Bob Kalsu located at Ralph Wilson Stadium
Memorial plaque for Bob Kalsu located at Ralph Wilson Stadium

In terms of real-life impact, the death of Bob Kalsu in Vietnam was certainly more tragic than any other event on the list of worst moments in Buffalo Bills history. On the field, it was a big blow, too.

Kalsu was voted the Bills' offensive rookie of the year in 1968 after being the team's eighth round pick. He was selected to eventually replace Hall of Fame guard Billy Shaw, but instead started on the other side for nine games, beating out an entire roster of offensive rookies at quarterback, running back, fullback, and both receiver positions for the honor. It was his only season in the AFL.

Following the season, he answered the call up to the United States Army. He was killed in a mortar attack on a hill in Vietnam in 1970. We've extensively covered his story here at Buffalo Rumblings, and you can read more on that topic if you would like.

The Bills were bad enough in 1969 to get the first overall selection in the draft, and added O.J. Simpson in 1970. It would have been fun to watch Kalsu block for O.J. He had the work ethic and potential to be a star lineman for the team, especially with Simpson.

Best Moments in Bills History # Worst Moments in Bills History
1966 AFL All-Star Game 25 Thurman Thomas in teal and orange
"We want Scott" 24 The Pats losing streak
Miami turns down Ralph Wilson 23 "Just give it to 'em"
Jim Kelly's last-second plunge 22 The "Bickering Bills"
Roland Hooks' Hail Mary catch 21 Tom Cousineau chooses the CFL
Joe Ferguson guts it out 20 Rob Johnson vs. Doug Flutie
20 points in 77 seconds 19 1966 AFL Championship
Jerry Butler jets past NY 18 Drafting Mike Williams
Cookie Gilchrist grounds the Jets 17 Jim Kelly's concussion curtain call
NFL playoff win No. 1 16 Thurman Thomas' missing helmet

15 Kalsu killed in Vietnam