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definition - Buffalo Bills

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Buffalo Bills

                   
Buffalo Bills
Current season
Established 1959
Play in and headquartered in Ralph Wilson Stadium
Orchard Park, New York
Buffalo Bills logo
Logo
League/conference affiliations

American Football League (1960–1969)

  • Eastern Division (1960–1969)

National Football League (1970–present)

Current uniform
AFCE-Uniform-BUF.PNG
Team colors Royal Blue, Red, White

              

Mascot Billy Buffalo
Personnel
Owner(s) Ralph Wilson
CEO Russ Brandon
President Ralph Wilson
General manager Buddy Nix
Head coach Chan Gailey
Team history
  • Buffalo Bills (1960–present)
Championships
League championships (2)

0

Conference championships (4)
Division championships (10)
Playoff appearances (17)
  • AFL: 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966
  • NFL: 1974, 1980, 1981, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999
Home fields

The Buffalo Bills are a professional football team based in Buffalo, New York. They are members of the East Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). Starting in 1973 they have played their home games in the suburb of Orchard Park. Since the 2008 NFL season the Bills have played one regular season home game per season in Toronto as part of the Bills Toronto Series.[1]

The Bills began competitive play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League and joined the NFL as part of the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.[2] The Bills won two consecutive American Football League titles in 1964 and 1965, but the club has not won a league championship since then. Buffalo is also the only team to win four consecutive American Football Conference Championships, the only team in either conference to play in four consecutive Super Bowl games, and the only team ever to lose those four consecutive Super Bowls, consequently to the NFC East.

The Bills were named as the result of the winning entry in a local contest by Michael Doucas, which named the team after the AAFC Buffalo Bills[3], a previous football franchise from the All-America Football Conference that merged with the Cleveland Browns in 1950. That team was named after the historic "Buffalo Bill" Cody. The Bills' cheerleaders are known as the Buffalo Jills. The official mascot is Billy Buffalo; Cody is not used in the team's iconography at all.

They are the only New York NFL team to play their home games within New York state proper. Both the New York Giants and the New York Jets play in East Rutherford, New Jersey, nine miles from their headquarters in New York City. With the inception of the original 5-year Bills Toronto Series deal in 2008, which was recently extended through 2017, they are the only NFL team to play a home game in Canada and one of only two (the St. Louis Rams, with their regular hosting of the NFL International Series in London, being the other) to play home games outside the United States. The Bills conduct summer training camp at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, New York, an eastern suburb of Rochester.[4]

Contents

  History

  Logos and uniforms

  Buffalo Bills uniform: 1975-1983
*solid red socks were worn from '82-'83
  Buffalo Bills uniform: 1987-2001
  Buffalo Bills uniform 2002-2010

The Bills' uniforms in their first three seasons were based on the Detroit Lions' colors.

In 1962, the standing red bison was designated as the logo and took its place on a white helmet.[5] In 1962, the team's colors also changed to red, white, and blue. The team switched to blue jerseys with red and white stripes on the shoulders. the helmets were white with a red center stripe.[6] By 1965, red and blue center stripes were put on the helmets.[7]

The Bills introduced blue pants worn with the white jerseys in 1973, the last year of the standing buffalo helmet. The blue pants remained through 1985. The face mask on the helmet was blue from 1974 through 1986 before changing to white.

In 1974, the standing bison logo was replaced by a blue charging one with a red slanting stripe streaming from its horn. In 1984, the helmet's background color was changed from white to red, primarily to help Bills quarterback Joe Ferguson distinguish them more readily from three of their division rivals at that time, the Indianapolis Colts, the Miami Dolphins, and the New England Patriots, who all also wore white helmets at that point. Ferguson said that "Everyone we played had white helmets at that time. Our new head coach Kay Stephenson just wanted to get more of a contrast on the field that may help spot a receiver down the field."[8] (The Patriots now use a silver helmet, the Colts have since been realigned to the AFC South, and the New York Jets, who switched to green helmets after the 1978 season, have since switched back to white helmets.)

In 2002, under the direction of general manager Tom Donahoe, the Bills' uniforms went through radical changes. A darker shade of blue was introduced as the main jersey color, and nickel gray was introduced as an accent color. Both the blue and white jerseys featured red side panels. The white jerseys included a dark blue shoulder yoke and royal blue numbers. The helmet remained primarily red with one navy blue, two nickel, two royal blue, two white stripes, and white face mask. A new logo, a stylized "B" consisting of two bullets and a more detailed buffalo head on top, was proposed and had been released (it can be seen on a few baseball caps that were released for sale), but fan backlash led to the team retaining the running bison logo. The helmet logo adopted in 1974 -- a charging royal blue bison, with a red streak, white horn and eyeball -- remained unchanged.

In 2005, the Bills revived the standing bison helmet and uniform of the mid-1960s as a throwback uniform.

The Bills usually wore the all-blue combination at home and the all-white combination on the road when not wearing the throwback uniforms. They stopped wearing blue-on-white after 2006, while the white-on-blue was not worn after 2007.

For the 2011 season, the Bills unveiled a new uniform design, an updated rendition of the 1975–83 design. This change includes a return to the white helmets with "charging buffalo" logo, and a return to royal blue instead of navy.

Buffalo sporadically wore white at home in the 1980s, but stopped doing so before their Super Bowl years. On November 6, 2011 against the New York Jets, the Bills wore white at home for the first time since 1986.

  Playoffs

  • Playoff record 10 wins, 16 losses [9]

  Players of note

O.J. Simpson, Jack Kemp, Joe Ferguson, Joe DeLamielleure, Jim Kelly, Fred Smerlas, Kent Hull, Darryl Talley, Jim Ritcher, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Steve Tasker, Bruce Smith, Booker Edgerson, Phil Hansen, Cookie Gilchrist, Elbert Dubenion, Cornelius Bennett.

  Current players

Buffalo Bills roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists
  • Currently vacant


Rookies in italics
Roster updated May 30, 2012
Depth ChartTransactions

89 Active, 0 Inactive, 1 Unsigned

More rosters

  Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Distinguished Service Award Recipients

  Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame

  Pro Football Hall Of Fame[15]

  Retired numbers

  • 12 Jim Kelly, QB, 1986–96[16]; previously worn by Joe Ferguson, QB, 1973–84

Unofficially retired

  • 32 O.J. Simpson, RB, 1969–77
  • 34 Thurman Thomas, RB, 1988–99; Cookie Gilchrist, RB, 1962–64
  • 78 Bruce Smith, DE, 1985–99 (although guard Ruben Brown used 78 as his practice jersey; he wore 79 on the field)

Reduced circulation[17]

Since the earliest days of the team, the number 31 was not supposed to be issued to any other player. The Bills had stationery and various other team merchandise showing a running player wearing that number, and it was not supposed to represent any specific person, but the 'spirit of the team.' The tradition was broken in 1969 when reserve running back Preston Ridlehuber was issued number 31 for one game while his normal number 36 jersey was repaired by equipment manager Tony Marchitte. The number 31 was not issued again until 1990 when first round draft choice James (J.D.) Williams wore it for his first two seasons. The number has since been released for use by any player and is currently being worn by starting free safety Jairus Byrd. Byrd had used number 32 in college, but switched to 31 because the team does not issue Simpson's former number 32.[17]

Number 94 is also in reduced circulation, and for reasons unknown went unissued until the 1987 season, when two replacement players wore the number during the players' strike that year. It has traditionally been reserved for quality defensive players; among those that have worn it include special teams standout Mark Pike, defensive end Bryce Fisher, defensive end Aaron Schobel, and current user, defensive end Mario Williams.[18]

  All-time first round draft picks

  Recent Pro Bowl selections

  Coaches of note

  Head coaches

  Current staff

Buffalo Bills staff
Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

 

Defensive Coaches

Special Teams Coaches

Strength and Conditioning


Coaching Staff
Management
More NFL staffs


  Radio and television

The Buffalo Bills Radio Network is currently flagshipped at WGR, AM 550 in Buffalo. John Murphy is the team's current play-by-play announcer; he was a color commentator alongside, and eventually succeeded, longtime voice Van Miller after Miller's retirement at the end of the 2003 NFL season. Mark Kelso serves as the color analyst. The Bills radio network has approximately seventeen affiliates in upstate New York and one affiliate, CJCL 590AM (The Fan) in Toronto. As of early 2012, it is composed mostly of WGR, Entercom's sister stations WCMF (96.5 FM) and WROC-AM 950 in Rochester, and a fleet of independent AM and FM stations across upstate New York from Jamestown east to Albany. Previous flagship Citadel Broadcasting was purchased by Cumulus Media, who in turn ceased carrying Bills games at the end of the 2011 season, leaving the network without affiliates in Syracuse, Binghamton, and Erie.

Buffalo is one of ten teams that is contracted with Compass Media Networks to syndicate selected games nationwide.

During the preseason, most games are televised on Buffalo's ABC affiliate, WKBW-TV channel 7, with several other affiliates in western New York. These games are simulcast on sister stations WTVH in Syracuse, WICU in Erie, WHAM-TV in Rochester, and beginning in 2008, CITY-TV in Toronto. Ray Bentley, a former Bills linebacker and current AFL on ESPN analyst, does play by play, while CBS analyst and former Bills special teams player Steve Tasker does color commentary on these games. WHAM-TV sports anchor Mike Catalana is the sideline reporter. Since 2008, preseason games have been broadcast in high definition.

In the event that regular season or, should the situation arise, postseason games are broadcast by a cable outlet (ESPN or NFL Network), the Bills' local broadcast outlet beginning in the 2012 season will be WBBZ-TV, whose upstart sports department is under the supervision of former Empire Sports Network general manager Bob Koshinski.

  Training camp sites

[26]

  Mascots, cheerleaders and marching band

The Bills' official mascot is Billy Buffalo, an eight-foot tall, anthropomorphic blue American bison who wears the jersey "number" BB.

The Bills' cheerleaders are known as the Buffalo Jills. The Jills are not owned by the Bills, but instead are a separate organization funded primarily by the Buffalo Bills Radio Network, a subsidiary of Entercom.

The Attica High School Marching Band is the official marching band of the Buffalo Bills. Along with the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Redskins, the Bills are one of only three teams in the NFL to designate an official marching band. The Marching Band performs yearly pregame.

In the bone-chilling winter, it is not uncommon to see shirtless fans painted with Bills decals, especially the "B-I-L-L-S" lettering.

  In popular culture

Howard University's mascot, the Bison, is designed identically to the Buffalo Bills' "charging buffalo" logo.

In the 1996 X-Files episode "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man", the titular character, a member of a shadowy government cabal, states that the Buffalo Bills will not win a Super Bowl while he lives.

The Buffalo Bills were featured on the direct-to-TV movie, Second String and in the Vincent Gallo drama Buffalo 66. The Buffalo Bills are mentioned in the 1995 movie Heavyweights. The character Josh (Shaun Weiss) says, "Perkis caved like the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl", referring to their string of four straight Super Bowl losses in the early 1990s.

In the 1996 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman episode S04E01, "Lord of the Flies", Clark picks up a blue Buffalo Bills hat with the Charging Buffalo emblem in the center and uses it to help disguise himself. Dean Cain, who played Clark Kent/Superman, had previously tried out for the Bills. In a later episode, he lets it be known that the Metropolis Mammoths were playing the Bills.

The Bills are one of the favorite teams of ESPN announcer Chris Berman, who picked the Bills to reach the Super Bowl nearly every year in the 1990s. Berman often uses the catchphrase "no one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills!" Berman gave the induction speech for Bills owner Ralph Wilson when Wilson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009. The Bills were also a favorite of late NBC political commentator Tim Russert, a South Buffalo native, who often referred to the Bills on his Sunday morning talk show, Meet the Press. Actor Nick Bakay, a Buffalo native, is also a well-known Bills fan; he has discussed the team in segments of NFL Top 10.

1n an April 2011 episode of the television series 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin's character Jack Donaghy discovers that, in an alternate future, he would not only be wealthier and more successful, but he would also be the owner of a "New York football team." He later is disappointed to learn that the team is not the New York Giants or New York Jets, but the Buffalo Bills.

Several former Buffalo Bills players have earned a name in politics after their playing careers had ended, almost always as members of the Republican Party. The most famous of these was quarterback Jack Kemp, who was elected to Congress from Western New York almost immediately after his playing career ended and remained their for nearly three decades, serving as the Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States under Bob Dole in 1996. Kemp's backup, Ed Rutkowski, served as county executive of Erie County from 1979 to 1987. Former tight end Jay Riemersma, defensive tackle Fred Smerlas and defensive end Phil Hansen have all run for Congress, though Riemersma lost in a primary and Smerlas withdrew; Hansen's campaign is, as of 2012, ongoing. Quarterback Jim Kelly and running back Thurman Thomas have also both been mentioned as potential candidates for political office, although both have declined all requests to date.

  See also

  External links

  Notes and references

  1. ^ "Five-year extension of Buffalo Bills' Toronto series approved". NFL.com. NFL.com. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82943e05/article/fiveyear-extension-of-buffalo-bills-toronto-series-approved. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  2. ^ http://www.profootballhof.com/history/stats/franchises.aspx
  3. ^ "Buffalo Bills History". BuffaloBills.com. NFL.com. http://www.history.buffalobills.com/Buffalo+Bills+History. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  4. ^ http://www.buffalobills.com/team/training-camp/index.html
  5. ^ "Elbert Dubenion - 1960". Hometown.aol.com. http://hometown.aol.com/bkbubco/60-Buf.html. Retrieved 2010-12-30. [unreliable source?]
  6. ^ http://hometown.aol.com/bkbubco/62-Buf.html[dead link]
  7. ^ Billy Shaw & Tom Sestak - 1965[dead link]
  8. ^ "Untold uniform stories: Fergie behind helmet color change". Buffalo Bills. http://www.buffalobills.com/news/article-2/Untold-uniform-stories-Fergie-behind-helmet-color-change/363e8e60-8573-42ac-8f4a-2bb56169e127. Retrieved 2011-06-24. 
  9. ^ NFL Record and fact Book ISBN 978-1-60320-833-8
  10. ^ By Mark Gaughan (2010-08-06). "The billboard: A daily dose from Bills training camp - Bills & NFL". The Buffalo News. http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/bills-nfl/article95278.ece. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  11. ^ "Bruce Smith named to Bills Wall of Fame". BuffaloBills.com. NFL.com. http://www.buffalobills.com/news/article-1/bruce-smith-named-to-bills-wall-of-fame/88336f5b-b1da-4a7d-8234-52e1406fa864. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  12. ^ New Wall of Famer named
  13. ^ Steady Hansen will go on Bills' Wall of Fame
  14. ^ Polian named Bills 28th Wall of Famer
  15. ^ http://www.buffalobills.com/team/team-profootball-hall-of-fame.html
  16. ^ Buffalo Bill Retired Numbers
  17. ^ a b Brown, Chris (2011-06-17). The untouchable numbers. BuffaloBills.com. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
  18. ^ Gaughan, Mark (May 22, 2012). Super Mario will wear No. 94 with Bills; fresh uniform start for Buffalo's prized free-agent acquisition. The Buffalo News. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  19. ^ Maiorana, Sal (Jan 7, 2011). "Buffalo Bills DT Kyle Williams named to Pro Bowl". rocnow.com. http://rocnow.com/article/bills/2011101070331. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  20. ^ Brown, Chris (Jan 29, 2009). "Lynch headed to Pro Bowl". Buffalo Bills.com. http://www.buffalobills.com/news/article-1/lynch-headed-to-pro-bowl-/388a14b3-9fca-4148-9415-ac41532f87fc. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  21. ^ "2008 Pro Bowl rosters". Nfl.com. 2008-02-04. http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d8053b226&template=without-video&confirm=true. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  22. ^ 3:37 a.m. ET (2007-02-10). "2007 Pro Bowl rosters". MSNBC.com. http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/16287024/. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  23. ^ "2005 AFC Pro Bowl roster". ESPN. 2006-02-07. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2267705. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  24. ^ "2004 Pro Bowl Roster - AFC". Football.about.com. 2010-06-14. http://football.about.com/cs/history/a/afcprobowl2004.htm. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  25. ^ "AFC Pro Bowl squad". ESPN.com. 2003-01-31. http://static.espn.go.com/nfl/probowl03/s/afcprobowl03.html. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  26. ^ Buffalo Bills Training Camp History
   
               

 

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