This offseason, fans of the Buffalo Bills have had a lot to talk about when it comes to the home of their beloved team. While a new stadium and what it means for the team and community is exciting, that’s all down the road. The Bills are (potentially) overdue for another change to the stadium: An addition to the Wall of Fame.
Started in 1980, the Wall of Fame is intended to “honor former players, administrators and coaches who have played significant roles in the team’s history.” The first name added was O.J. Simpson, who was a lot less controversial of a choice 41 years ago. Since then, notable names have included Hall of Famers like Jim Kelly and Marv Levy—as well as other significant players and coaches such as Booker Edgerson and Lou Saban. On the contributor side we have recognizable icons such as Van Miller and even you dear reader, as part of the 12th Man (added in 1992).
To see the full list of 31 additions, check out the official list right here. You may have already done the quick math and realized that 31 names is a lower number than the 41 years of the Wall’s existence. If so, you’re on to the next subject which is how often we can expect a new name to be added.
The easy math is “less than one per year.” Looking at trends, it’s not uncommon for the team to skip a year or even two. The longest “drought” was four years, between Simpson and the second addition, Jack Kemp. The most recent addition was Cookie Gilchrist—in 2017—four year ago.
So we could be “due.” Below is a short list of worthy nominees. Feel free to reminisce about the names you see here, or feel free to add your own nominees. Unless you’re part of the “distinguished panel composed of club personnel and media members,” your opinion (and mine) won’t technically matter, but it’ll be fun anyway. Promise.
After being selected by the Indianapolis Colts, the team and Cornelius Bennett couldn’t come to terms on a deal. A rarely seen three-way trade brought Bennett to the Bills where he’d remain from 1987-1995. Bennett’s career included five Pro Bowls, three All-Pros (first ballot), and the AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1988. Bennett is considered worthy of Hall of Fame consideration and was a critical part of the Bills’ glory years. For many he’d be a welcome addition to the Wall. A sexual assault conviction may be a reason Bennett has missed out on the Wall.
The Buffalo Bills’ first-round selection in 1996, Eric Moulds joined a team with established receivers that included Andre Reed. Moulds exploded in year three to the tune of 1,368 yards. Moulds would unfortunately become the face of some overall lousy teams, but managed to climb to second place in receiving yards (9,096) and receiving touchdowns (48) behind only Reed. Moulds is tenth in team history for scoring, but six players ahead of him are kickers. Only Reed, Thurman Thomas, and O.J. Simpson trump Moulds for skill position players.
Moulds might have represented the face of the team through overall lousy years, but Brian Moorman anchored teams that often weren’t even deserving of a face. Moorman made the Pro Bowl and was named First-Team All-Pro in 2005 and 2006. Despite being mostly known as a punter, Moorman had two consecutive seasons with a perfect passer rating (2008, and 2009). Of the list, Moorman arguably has maintained the closest ties to the fanbase through the charity he founded P.U.N.T. Pediatric Cancer Collaboration.
Of all the names on the list, Kyle Williams gets the distinction of being the only one to play solely for the Bills. Six Pro Bowls, three All-Pros (two first-team inclusions), and effusive praise from Bill Belichick all add up to a heck of a resume. Kyle Williams is perhaps the most iconic drought era member of the Bills. Luckily for Williams, he finally got to taste the playoffs under head coach Sean McDermott, though admittedly that game could have gone better.
The ultimate underdog, Fred Jackson made his way to Western New York after playing indoor football and a season in NFL Europa. Fan favorite Jackson made his way to third all-time for the team in rushing yards with 5,646. Jackson hit this major milestone mostly through tenacity and longevity as most of his time with Buffalo was spent as part of a committee. Jackson was never down for long, and made for a good rallying point for the plucky fanbase.
Who would you add to the Wall of Fame?
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