Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to navigation Jump to search National Football League franchise in Orchard Park, New York For the American showman, see Buffalo Bill. Not to be confused with Buffalo Bulls. For other uses, see Buffalo Bills (disambiguation) and Buffalo Bill (disambiguation).

Buffalo Bills Current season Established October 28, 1959; 62 years ago (October 28, 1959)[1]First season: 1960Play in Highmark StadiumOrchard Park, New York[2]Headquartered in the ADPRO Sports Training Center (Orchard Park, New York)[3] Logo Wordmark League/conference affiliations

American Football League (1960–1969)

Eastern Division (1960–1969)

National Football League (1970–present)

American Football Conference (1970–present) AFC East (1970–present) Current uniform Team colors Royal blue, red, white, navy blue[4][5][6]        Fight song ‘Shout’ Mascot Billy Buffalo Personnel Owner(s) Terry Pegula Kim Pegula General manager Brandon Beane Head coach Sean McDermott Team history Buffalo Bills (1960–present) Championships League championships (2) AFL championships (pre-1970 AFL–NFL merger) (2)1964, 1965 Conference championships (4) AFC: 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 Division championships (12) AFL Eastern: 1964, 1965, 1966 AFC East: 1980, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2020, 2021 Playoff appearances (21) AFL: 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966 NFL: 1974, 1980, 1981, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021 Home fields War Memorial Stadium (1960–1972) Highmark Stadium (1973–present)

The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo metropolitan area. The Bills compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league’s American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The team plays its home games at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. Founded in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League (AFL), they joined the NFL in 1970 following the AFL–NFL merger. The Bills’ name is derived from an All-America Football Conference (AAFC) franchise from Buffalo that was in turn named after western frontiersman Buffalo Bill. Drawing much of its fanbase from Western New York,[7] the Bills are the only NFL team that plays home games in that state.[a] The franchise is owned by Terry and Kim Pegula, who purchased the Bills after the death of original owner Ralph Wilson in 2014.[8]

The Bills won consecutive AFL Championships in 1964 and 1965, the only major professional sports championships from a team representing Buffalo. After joining the NFL, they became perennial postseason contenders during the late 1980s and 1990s. Their greatest success occurred between 1990 and 1993 when they appeared in a record four consecutive Super Bowls; an accomplishment often overshadowed by them losing each game. From 2000 to 2016, the Bills endured the longest playoff drought of the four major North American professional sports, making them the last NFL franchise and the last in the four leagues to qualify for the postseason in the 21st century.[9][10] They returned to consistent postseason contention by the late 2010s,[11] although the Bills have not returned to the Super Bowl. Alongside the Minnesota Vikings, their four Super Bowl appearances are the most among NFL franchises that have not won the Super Bowl.[12][b]

Contents 1 History 2 Logos and uniforms 3 Rivalries 3.1 Divisional rivalries 3.1.1 Miami Dolphins 3.1.2 New England Patriots 3.1.3 New York Jets 3.2 Other rivalries 3.2.1 Tennessee Titans 3.2.2 Jacksonville Jaguars 3.2.3 Kansas City Chiefs 4 Playoffs 5 Notable players 5.1 Retired numbers 5.2 Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Distinguished Service Award recipients 5.3 Wall of Fame 5.4 Pro Football Hall of Fame 5.5 All-time first round draft picks 5.6 Recent Pro Bowl selections 6 Coaching staff 6.1 Head coaches 6.2 Current staff 7 Current roster 8 Radio and television 9 Training camp sites 10 Mascots, cheerleaders and marching band 11 Supporters 12 In popular culture 13 See also 14 Notes 15 References 16 External links History[edit] Main articles: History of the Buffalo Bills and List of Buffalo Bills seasons

The Bills began competitive play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League led by head coach Buster Ramsey and joined the NFL as part of the AFL–NFL merger in 1970.[13] The Bills won two consecutive American Football League titles in 1964 and 1965 with quarterback Jack Kemp and coach Lou Saban, but the club has yet to win a league championship since.

Running back O. J. Simpson, the face of the Bills franchise for most of the 1970s, pictured breaking the NFL’s single-season rushing record in 1973

Once the AFL–NFL merger took effect, the Bills became the second NFL team to represent the city; they followed the Buffalo All-Americans, a charter member of the league. Buffalo had been left out of the league since the All-Americans (by that point renamed the Bisons) folded in 1929; the Bills were no less than the third professional non-NFL team to compete in the city before the merger, following the Indians/Tigers of the early 1940s and an earlier team named the Bills, originally the Bisons, in the late 1940s in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC).

Following the AFL–NFL merger, the Bills were generally mediocre in the 1970s, but featured All-Pro running back O. J. Simpson. After being pushed to the brink of failure in the mid-1980s, the collapse of the United States Football League and a series of highly drafted players such as Jim Kelly (who initially played for the USFL instead of the Bills), Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith and Darryl Talley allowed the Bills to rebuild into a perennial contender in the late 1980s through the mid-1990s, a period in which the team won four consecutive AFC Championships; the team nevertheless lost all four subsequent Super Bowls, records in both categories that still stand.

The rise of the division rival New England Patriots under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, along with numerous failed attempts at rebuilding in the 2000s and 2010s, helped prevent the Bills from reaching the playoffs in seventeen consecutive seasons between 2000 and 2016, a 17-year drought that was the longest active playoff drought in all major professional sports at the time. On October 8, 2014, Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula received unanimous approval to acquire the Bills during the NFL owners’ meetings, becoming the second ownership group of the team after team founder Ralph Wilson.[8] Under head coach Sean McDermott, the Bills broke the playoff drought, appearing in the playoffs for four of the next five seasons. The team earned its first division championship and playoff wins since 1995 during the 2020 season, aided by Brady’s departure to Tampa Bay and out of the AFC East as well as the Bills’ own development of a core of talent including Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, and Tre’Davious White.

Logos and uniforms[edit] Bills logo, 1962–1973

For their first two seasons, the Bills wore uniforms based on those of the Detroit Lions at the time. Ralph Wilson had been a minority owner of the Lions before founding the Bills, and the Bills’ predecessors in the AAFC had also worn blue and silver uniforms.[4][14]

The team’s original colors were Honolulu blue, silver and white, and the helmets were silver with no striping. There was no logo on the helmet, which displayed the players’ numbers on each side.

In 1962, the standing red bison was designated as the logo and took its place on a white helmet.[4] In 1962, the team’s colors also changed to red, white, and blue. The team switched to blue jerseys with red and white shoulder stripes similar to those worn by the Buffalo Bisons AHL hockey team of the same era. The helmets were white with a red center stripe.[4] The jerseys again saw a change in 1964 when the shoulder stripes were replaced by a distinctive stripe pattern on the sleeves consisting of four stripes, two thicker inner stripes and two thinner outer stripes all bordered by red piping. By 1965, red and blue center stripes were put on the helmets.[15]

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.[16] The face mask on the helmet was blue from 1974 through 1986 before changing to white.

The standing bison logo was replaced by a blue charging one with a red slanting stripe streaming from its horn. The newer emblem, which is still the primary one used by the franchise, was designed by aerospace designer Stevens Wright in 1974.[5][17]

Quarterback Jim Kelly’s 1994 jersey displayed at the Pro Football Hall of Fame

In 1984, the helmet’s shell 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 Baltimore Colts, the Miami Dolphins, and the New England Patriots, who all also wore white helmets at that point. Ferguson said ‘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.'[18] (The Patriots have worn silver helmets since 1993, the Colts have since been realigned to the AFC South, and in 2019 the New York Jets have since switched back to green-colored helmets, after playing 20 years with white ones.)

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.[19][20]

Buffalo sporadically wore white at home in the 1980s, including all eight home games in 1984, but stopped doing so beginning in 1987. On November 6, 2011, against the New York Jets, the Bills wore white at home for the first time since 1986. Since 2011, the Bills have worn white for a home game either with their primary uniform or a throwback set.

The Bills’ uniform received minor alterations as part of the league’s new uniform contract with Nike. The new Nike uniform was unveiled on April 3, 2012.[21]

On November 12, 2015, the Bills and the New York Jets became the first two teams to participate in the NFL’s Color Rush uniform initiative, with Buffalo wearing an all-red combination for the first time in team history.[22]

A notable use of the Bills’ uniforms outside of football was in the 2018 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, when the United States men’s national junior ice hockey team wore Bills-inspired uniforms in their outdoor game against Team Canada on December 29, 2017.[23]

On April 1, 2021, the team announced they will wear white face masks during the upcoming season and beyond.[24]


The Bills have rivalries with their three AFC East opponents, and also have had historical rivalries with other teams such as the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts (a former divisional rival), Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars,[25] and Dallas Cowboys.[26] They also play an annual preseason game against the Detroit Lions.

The Cleveland Browns once shared a rivalry with the Bills’ predecessors in the All-America Football Conference. The current teams have a more friendly relationship and have played sporadically since the AFL–NFL merger.[27]

Divisional rivalries[edit] Miami Dolphins[edit] Main article: Bills–Dolphins rivalry Bills placekicker Dan Carpenter attempts a kick against the Dolphins in 2014.

This is often considered Buffalo’s most famous rivalry. Though the Bills and Dolphins both originated in the American Football League, the Dolphins did not start playing until 1966 as an expansion team while the Bills were one of the original eight teams. The rivalry first gained prominence when the Dolphins won every match-up against the Bills in the 1970s for an NFL-record 20 straight wins against a single opponent (the Bills defeated the Dolphins in their first matchup of the 1980s). Fortunes changed in the following decades with the rise of Jim Kelly as Buffalo’s franchise quarterback, and though Kelly and Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino shared a competitive rivalry in the 1980s and 1990s, the Bills became dominant in the 1990s. Things have since cooled down after the retirements of Kelly and Marino and the rise of the New England Patriots, but Miami remains a fierce rival of the Bills, coming in second place in a recent poll of Buffalo’s primary rival,[28] and the two teams have typically been close to each other in win–loss records. Miami leads the overall series 61–54–1 as of 2021, but Buffalo has the advantage in the playoffs at 3–1, including a win in the 1992 AFC Championship Game.[29]

New England Patriots[edit] Main article: Bills–Patriots rivalry Bills RB C. J. Spiller rushing against the Patriots in 2013

The rivalry with the New England Patriots began when both teams were original franchises in the American Football League (AFL) prior to the NFL–AFL merger, but did not gain notability until the emergence of New England’s Tom Brady in 2001. The teams were very competitive prior to the 2000s. However, the arrival of Patriots quarterback Brady led to New England dominating the AFC East, including the Bills, for two decades. As a result, the Patriots replaced the Dolphins as Buffalo’s most hated rival.[28][30] The Bills have taken a 4–1 edge since Brady’s departure in 2020, which included consecutive AFC East titles from 2020 to 2021 and a series sweep of the Patriots in the former. During the latter season, the Bills dominated in a 47–17 victory against the Patriots in the rivalry’s first playoff matchup in 59 years, which saw the Bills score a touchdown on every offensive drive throughout the entire game and as such is the only ‘perfect offensive game’ in NFL history.[31][32] Overall, the Patriots lead the series 77–47–1, though by only a razor-thin 45–44–1 margin without Brady on the field.[33]

The rivalry is also noted for several players being a member of both teams during their careers, including Drew Bledsoe, Doug Flutie, Lawyer Milloy, Brandon Spikes, Scott Chandler, Chris Hogan, Mike Gillislee, and Stephon Gilmore.

New York Jets[edit] Main article: Bills–Jets rivalry Bills’ running back Joe Cribbs ( middle) rushes the ball against the Jets in the 1981 AFC Wild Card.

The Bills and Jets were both original AFL teams, and both represent the state of New York, though the Jets (since 1984) actually play their games in East Rutherford, New Jersey. While the rivalry represents the differences between New York City and Western New York, it has historically not been as intense as the Bills’ rivalries with the Dolphins and Patriots, and the teams’ fanbases either have grudging respect or low-key annoyance (stemming more from the broader upstate-downstate tensions than the teams or sport) for each other when the teams are not playing one another. Oftentimes the Bills-Jets rivalry has become characterized by ugly games and shared mediocrity, but it has had a handful of competitive moments. The series heated up recently when former Jets head coach Rex Ryan became the Bills’ head coach for two seasons, and had become notable again as Bills quarterback Josh Allen and former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, both drafted in the same year, maintained a friendly rivalry with one another.[34] Buffalo leads the series 67–56 as of 2021, including a playoff win in 1981.[35]

Other rivalries[edit] Tennessee Titans[edit] Main article: Bills–Titans rivalry

The Tennessee Titans (formerly the Houston Oilers) share an extended history with the Bills, both teams being original AFL clubs in 1960 and rivals in that league’s East Division before the AFL-NFL merger. Matchups were intense in the 1990s with quarterback Warren Moon leading the Oilers against Jim Kelly’s Bills.[36] Memorable playoff moments between the teams include The Comeback, in which the Frank Reich-led Bills overcame a 35–3 deficit to stun the Oilers 41–38 in 1992,[36] and the Music City Miracle, in which the now-Titans scored on a near-last-minute kickoff return with a controversial lateral pass ruling to beat the Bills 22–16 in 1999.[37] The Music City Miracle was notable for being Buffalo’s last playoff appearance until 2017.[38] The Titans currently lead the series 30–19.[39]

Jacksonville Jaguars[edit]

A brief rivalry emerged between the Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars after former Bills head coach Doug Marrone, who had quit on the team after the 2014 season, was hired as a coaching assistant for Jacksonville and eventually rose to become the Jaguars’ head coach.[25] Since then, the series has featured a Bills loss to the Jaguars in London,[40] an ugly, low-scoring playoff game in 2017,[41] trash talk from former Jaguars players such as Jalen Ramsey, and a brawl between the teams in Buffalo in 2018.[42][43] Prior to this, Jacksonville had handed Buffalo its first playoff loss in Bills Stadium in 1996 before years of concurrent bottom feeding in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

Kansas City Chiefs[edit] See also: 2021 AFC Divisional playoff game (Buffalo–Kansas City)

The Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs were also original teams in the AFL and have had a long history against each other, despite never being in the same division. Buffalo currently leads the series 27–24–1, which has included five playoff meetings, three of which were AFL/AFC championship games; Kansas City won the 1966 AFL Championship game that determined the AFL’s representative in the first Super Bowl, going on to face the Green Bay Packers,[44] in addition to 2020 the AFC Championship game that saw the team advance to its second straight Super Bowl appearance,[45] while Buffalo defeated Kansas City in the 1993 AFC championship game to advance to its fourth straight Super Bowl appearance.[46] Despite a lull in the series in the 2000s and 2010s, the rivalry gained attention nonetheless as the Bills and Chiefs met in nine of ten years from 2008 to 2017.[47] After a 2-year hiatus in the series, four high-profile matchups occurred between the Bills and Chiefs in 2020 and 2021, including the aforementioned 2020 championship game and the 2021 Divisional round game, which is now considered one of the greatest playoff games of all time.[48] A rivalry between Josh Allen and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has also developed, drawing comparisons to Jim Kelly’s rivalry with Dan Marino as well as the rivalry between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.[49]

Playoffs[edit] 1963 AFL Eastern Division Playoff: Boston Patriots 26, Buffalo Bills 8 1964 AFL Championship: Buffalo Bills 20, San Diego Chargers 7 1965 AFL Championship: Buffalo Bills 23, San Diego Chargers 0 1966 AFL Championship: Kansas City Chiefs 31, Buffalo Bills 7 1974 Divisional Playoffs: Pittsburgh Steelers 32, Buffalo Bills 14 1980 Divisional Playoffs: San Diego Chargers 20, Buffalo Bills 14 1981 wild card game: Buffalo Bills 31, New York Jets 27 1981 Divisional Playoffs: Cincinnati Bengals 28, Buffalo Bills 21 1988 Divisional Playoffs: Buffalo Bills 17, Houston Oilers 10 1988 AFC Championship: Cincinnati Bengals 21, Buffalo Bills 10 1989 Divisional Playoffs: Cleveland Browns 34, Buffalo Bills 30 1990 Divisional Playoffs: Buffalo Bills 44, Miami Dolphins 34 1990 AFC Championship: Buffalo Bills 51, Los Angeles Raiders 3 Super Bowl XXV: New York Giants 20, Buffalo Bills 19 1991 Divisional Playoffs: Buffalo Bills 37, Kansas City Chiefs 14 1991 AFC Championship: Buffalo Bills 10, Denver Broncos 7 Super Bowl XXVI: Washington Redskins 37, Buffalo Bills 24 1992 AFC Wild Card Round: Buffalo Bills 41, Houston Oilers 38OT 1992 AFC Divisional Playoffs: Buffalo Bills 24, Pittsburgh Steelers 3 1992 AFC Championship: Buffalo Bills 29, Miami Dolphins 10 Super Bowl XXVII: Dallas Cowboys 52, Buffalo Bills 17 1993 Divisional Playoffs: Buffalo Bills 29, Los Angeles Raiders 23 1993 AFC Championship: Buffalo Bills 30, Kansas City Chiefs 13 Super Bowl XXVIII: Dallas Cowboys 30, Buffalo Bills 13 1995 Wild Card Round: Buffalo Bills 37, Miami Dolphins 22 1995 Divisional Playoffs: Pittsburgh Steelers 40, Buffalo Bills 21 1996 Wild Card Round: Jacksonville Jaguars 30, Buffalo Bills 27 1998 Wild Card Round: Miami Dolphins 24, Buffalo Bills 17 1999 Wild Card Round: Tennessee Titans 22, Buffalo Bills 16 2017 Wild Card Round: Jacksonville Jaguars 10, Buffalo Bills 3 2019 Wild Card Round: Houston Texans 22, Buffalo Bills 19OT 2020 Wild Card Round: Buffalo Bills 27, Indianapolis Colts 24 2020 Divisional Playoffs: Buffalo Bills 17, Baltimore Ravens 3 2020 AFC Championship: Kansas City Chiefs 38, Buffalo Bills 24 2021 Wild Card Round: Buffalo Bills 47, New England Patriots 17 2021 Divisional Playoffs: Kansas City Chiefs 42, Buffalo Bills 36OT

Playoff record: 17 wins, 19 losses.[50]

Notable players[edit] Retired numbers[edit]

The Buffalo Bills have retired three numbers in franchise history: No. 12 for Jim Kelly, No. 34 for Thurman Thomas and No. 78 for Bruce Smith. Despite the fact that the Bills have retired only three jersey numbers, the team has other numbers no longer issued to any player or in reduced circulation.[51][52]

Buffalo Bills retired numbers No. Player Position Tenure Retired 12 Jim Kelly QB 1986–1996[51] November 19, 2001 34 Thurman Thomas RB 1988–1999[53][54] October 30, 2018 78 Bruce Smith DE 1985–1999[52] September 15, 2016 Reduced circulation: [51] 44 Elbert Dubenion, WR, 1960–1968 66 Billy Shaw, OL, 1961–1969 83 Andre Reed, WR, 1985–1999 (Lee Evans III wore No. 83 by special permission)

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.’ In the first three decades of the team’s existence, the number 31 was only seen once: in 1969, when reserve running back Preston Ridlehuber damaged his number 36 jersey during a game, equipment manager Tony Marchitte gave him the number 31 jersey to wear while repairing the number 36. 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; it has since been returned to general circulation, with safety Damar Hamlin wearing the number in 2021.

Number 32 had been withdrawn from circulation, but not retired, after O. J. Simpson. Former owner Ralph Wilson insisted on not reissuing the number, even after Simpson’s highly publicized murder case and later robbery conviction. The number was placed back into circulation in 2019 with Senorise Perry wearing the number that year; as of 2021, it was worn by practice squad cornerback Rachad Wildgoose.[55]

Number 15 was historically only issued sparingly after the retirement of Jack Kemp,[51] but was later returned to general circulation. Receiver Jake Kumerow wears the number as of 2021.

Number 1 has also only rarely been used, for reasons never explained. While there is no proper explanation, Tommy Hughitt was a player-coach for the early Buffalo teams in the New York Pro Football League and NFL from 1918 to 1924 and was both a major on-field success and a fixture in Buffalo culture after his retirement as a politician and auto salesman. Hugitt was reported to wear number 1 during this time. Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is the most recent Bill to wear the number; prior to his arrival in 2021, it had been 19 years since it had been worn in the regular season, when kicker Mike Hollis wore it in 2002.

See also  Who Is the Best Team Historically in the AFC East?

Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Distinguished Service Award recipients[edit] 1986 – Ben Williams 1987 – Joe DeLamielleure 1988 – Steve Freeman 1989 – Jerry Butler 1990 – Tim Vogler 1991 – Joe Ferguson 1992 – Ken Jones 1993 – Booker Edgerson 1994 – George ‘Butch’ Byrd 1995 – Tony Greene 1996 – Frank Lewis 1997 – Steven Paganelli 1996 – Roland Hooks 1997 – Jim Ritcher, Charley Ferguson 1998 – Stew Barber, Ed Rutkowski 1999 – Fred Smerlas, Reggie McKenzie 2000 – Darryl Talley, Ernie Warlick 2001 – Steve Tasker, Kent Hull 2002 – Don Beebe 2003 – Thurman Thomas 2004 – Paul Maguire 2005 – Frank Reich 2006 – Phil Hansen 2007 – Lou Piccone, Denny Lynch 2008 – Mark Kelso 2009 – Andre Reed 2010 – Ruben Brown 2011 – Scott Norwood[56] 2012 – Chris Mohr 2013 – Al Bemiller 2014 – Russ Brandon[57] Wall of Fame[edit] Quarterback Jim Kelly was the first Bills player to have his number retired Hall of Fame WR Andre Reed Hall of Fame RB O. J. Simpson Defensive end Bruce Smith holds the NFL record for quarterback sacks Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame Inducted No. Name Position Tenure 1980 32 O. J. Simpson RB 1969–1977 1984 15 Jack Kemp QB 1962–1969 1985 – Pat McGroder ContributorGM 1961–19831983 1987 70 Tom Sestak DT 1962–1968 1988 66 Billy Shaw OG 1961–1969 1989 – Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Owner 1959–2014 1992 12 The 12th Man Fans 1960–present 1993 44 Elbert Dubenion WR 1960–1968 1994 58 Mike Stratton LB 1962–1972 1995 12 Joe Ferguson QB 1973–1984 1996 – Marv Levy HCGM 1986–19972006–2007 1997 68 Joe DeLamielleure OG 1973–19791985 1998 20 Robert James CB 1969–1974 1999 – Edward Abramoski Trainer 1960–1996 2000 61 Bob Kalsu G 1968 26 George Saimes S 1963–1969 2001 12 Jim Kelly QB 1986–1996 76 Fred Smerlas DT 1979–1989 2002 67 Kent Hull C 1986–1996 2003 56 Darryl Talley LB 1983–1994 2004 51 Jim Ritcher C/G 1980–1993 2005 34 Thurman Thomas RB 1988–1999 2006 83 Andre Reed WR 1985–1999 2007 89 Steve Tasker WR 1986–1997 2008 78 Bruce Smith DE 1985–1999 2010 24 Booker Edgerson DB 1962–1969 2011 90 Phil Hansen DE 1991–2001 2012 – Bill Polian GM 1984–1992 2014 – Van Miller Broadcaster 1960–19711977–2003 2015 – Lou Saban Coach 1962–19651972–1976 2017 34 Cookie Gilchrist RB 1962–1964 Pro Football Hall of Fame[edit] Buffalo Bills Hall of Famers Players No. Name Position Tenure Inducted 32 O. J. Simpson RB 1969–1977 1985 66 Billy Shaw OG 1961–1969 1999 12 Jim Kelly QB 1986–1996 2002 80 James Lofton WR 1989–1992 2003 68 Joe DeLamielleure OG 1973–19791985 2003 34 Thurman Thomas RB 1988–1999 2007 78 Bruce Smith DE 1985–1999 2009 83 Andre Reed WR 1985–1999 2014[58] 81 Terrell Owens WR 2009 2018 Coaches and Executives Name Position Tenure Inducted Marv Levy Head coachGeneral Manager 1986–19972006–2007 2001 Ralph Wilson Owner 1959–2014 2009 Bill Polian General Manager 1984–1992 2015 16 Tom Flores Asst. Coach 1971 2021 All-time first round draft picks[edit] Main article: List of Buffalo Bills first-round draft picks Recent Pro Bowl selections[edit] Main article: List of Buffalo Bills Pro Bowl selections Coaching staff[edit] Head coaches[edit] Main article: List of Buffalo Bills head coaches Current staff[edit] Buffalo Bills staff v t e Front office Owner/CEO – Terry Pegula Owner/president – Kim Pegula General manager – Brandon Beane Director of college scouting – Terrance Gray Senior vice president of football administration – Jim Overdorf Assistant director of college scouting – Lake Dawson Director of pro personnel – Malik Boyd Director of football administration – Kevin Meganck Director of football operations – Brendan Rowe Senior personnel advisor – Brian Gaine Senior personnel advisor – Matt Bazirgan Head coach Head coach – Sean McDermott Assistant head coach/defensive coordinator – Leslie Frazier Offensive coaches Offensive coordinator – Ken Dorsey Quarterbacks – Joe Brady Running backs – Kelly Skipper Wide receivers – Chad Hall Assistant wide receivers/game management – Marc Lubick Tight ends – Rob Boras Offensive line – Aaron Kromer Assistant offensive line – Ryan Wendell Senior offensive assistant – Mike Shula   Defensive coaches Defensive line/senior defensive assistant – Eric Washington Assistant defensive line – Marcus West Linebackers – Bobby Babich Defensive backs/passing game coordinator – John Butler Safeties – Jim Salgado Defensive quality control – Jaylon Finner Defensive quality control – Kyle Shurmur Coaching assistant – Leonard Johnson Special teams coaches Special teams coordinator – Matthew Smiley Assistant special teams – Cory Harkey Strength and conditioning Head strength and conditioning – Eric Ciano Assistant strength and conditioning – Hal Luther Assistant strength and conditioning – Will Greenberg Strength and conditioning assistant – Jason Oszvart Strength and conditioning assistant – Nick Lacy

→ Coaching staff → Management → More NFL staffs

AFC East BUF MIA NE NYJ North BAL CIN CLE PIT South HOU IND JAX TEN West DEN KC LV LAC NFC East DAL NYG PHI WAS North CHI DET GB MIN South ATL CAR NO TB West ARI LAR SF SEA Current roster[edit] Buffalo Bills roster view talk edit Quarterbacks 17 Josh Allen 11 Matt Barkley 18 Case Keenum

Running backs

35 Raheem Blackshear 28 James Cook 41 Reggie Gilliam FB 22 Duke Johnson 25 Taiwan Jones 20 Zack Moss 26 Devin Singletary

Wide receivers

80 Jamison Crowder 13 Gabriel Davis 14 Stefon Diggs 87 Tanner Gentry 16 Isaiah Hodgins 15 Jake Kumerow  6 Isaiah McKenzie 82 Neil Pau’u 10 Khalil Shakir  5 Marquez Stevenson 81 Malik Williams

Tight ends

 8 O. J. Howard 88 Dawson Knox 85 Quintin Morris 89 Tommy Sweeney 84 Jalen Wydermyer Offensive linemen 70 Alec Anderson T 71 Ryan Bates C 65 Ike Boettger G 79 Spencer Brown T 66 Jacob Capra G 73 Dion Dawkins T 72 Tommy Doyle T 74 Cody Ford G 68 Bobby Hart T 63 Derek Kerstetter G 62 Greg Mancz C 60 Mitch Morse C 75 Tanner Owen T 77 David Quessenberry T 76 Rodger Saffold G 67 Luke Tenuta T 64 Will Ulmer T

Defensive linemen

51 Eli Ankou DT 55 Carlos Basham Jr. DE 98 C. J. Brewer DT 93 Brandin Bryant DT 94 Prince Emili DT 57 A. J. Epenesa DE 59 Kingsley Jonathan DE 92 DaQuan Jones DT 96 Daniel Joseph DE 90 Shaq Lawson DE 56 Mike Love DE 91 Ed Oliver DT 97 Jordan Phillips DT 50 Gregory Rousseau DE 99 Tim Settle DT Linebackers 43 Terrel Bernard OLB 53 Tyrel Dodson OLB 49 Tremaine Edmunds MLB 42 Joe Giles-Harris OLB 52 Marquel Lee OLB 44 Tyler Matakevich MLB 58 Matt Milano OLB 40 Von Miller OLB  9 Andre Smith OLB 54 Baylon Spector OLB

Defensive backs

47 Christian Benford CB 24 Kaiir Elam CB 32 Travon Fuller CB 37 Olaijah Griffin CB 31 Damar Hamlin FS 29 Tim Harris CB 23 Micah Hyde SS 46 Ja’Marcus Ingram CB 30 Dane Jackson CB  4 Jaquan Johnson SS  7 Taron Johnson CB 39 Cam Lewis CB 38 Nick McCloud CB 33 Siran Neal CB 21 Jordan Poyer FS 36 Josh Thomas FS 27 Tre’Davious White CB

Special teams

19 Matt Araiza P  2 Tyler Bass K 69 Reid Ferguson LS  3 Matt Haack P

Rookies in italics

Roster updated May 18, 2022

Depth chart Transactions

89 active

→ AFC rosters → NFC rosters Radio and television[edit] Main article: List of Buffalo Bills broadcasters See also: Buffalo Bills Radio Network Map of radio affiliates

The Buffalo Bills Radio Network is flagshipped at WGR AM 550 in Buffalo, with sister station WWKB AM 1520 simulcasting all home games. 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. Former Bills center Eric Wood serves as the color analyst.

In 2018, the team signed an agreement with Nexstar Media Group to carry Bills preseason games across its network of stations in the region. As of 2020, WIVB-TV serves as the flagship station of the network, which includes WJET-TV in Erie, WROC-TV in Rochester, WSYR-TV in Syracuse, WUTR in Utica, WETM-TV in Elmira and WIVT in Binghamton.[59] Steve Tasker does color commentary on these games; the play-by-play position is rotated between Andrew Catalon and Rob Stone. WROC-TV reporter Thad Brown is the sideline reporter. Since 2008, preseason games have been broadcast in high definition.

Beginning in the 2016 season, as per a new rights deal which covers rights to the team as well as its sister NHL franchise, the Buffalo Sabres, most team-related programming, including studio programming and the coach’s show, was re-located to MSG Western New York—a joint venture of MSG and the team ownership. Preseason games will continue to air in simulcast on broadcast television.[60]

In the event regular-season games are broadcast by ESPN, in accordance with the league’s television policies, a local Buffalo station simulcasts the game. From 2014 to 2017, WKBW-TV held the broadcast rights to that contest, with the station having won back the rights to cable games after WBBZ-TV held the rights for 2012 and 2013.[61]

Training camp sites[edit] 1960–1962 Roycroft Inn, East Aurora, New York 1963–1967 Camelot Hotel, Blasdell, New York 1968–1980 Niagara University, Lewiston, New York 1981–1999 State University of New York at Fredonia, Fredonia, New York 2000–present, St. John Fisher College, Pittsford, New York


Mascots, cheerleaders and marching band[edit]

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

The Bills currently do not have cheerleaders. The Bills operated a cheerleading squad named the Buffalo Jills from 1967 to 1985; from 1986 to 2013, the Jills operated as an independent organization sponsored by various companies. The Jills suspended operations prior to the 2014 season due to legal actions.[63] The Bills and Jills were previously involved in a legal battle, in which the Jills alleged they were employees, not independent contractors, and sought back pay.[64][65] On March 3, 2022, a settlement was reached where the Bills agreed to pay the Jills $3.5 million, while Cumulus Media paid $4 million in stock options of the company while admitting no wrongdoing.[66]

The Bills are one of six teams in the NFL to designate an official marching band or drumline (the others being the Baltimore Ravens, Washington Commanders, New York Jets, Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks). Since the last game of the 2013 season, this position has been served by the Stampede Drumline, known outside of Buffalo as Downbeat Percussion.[67][68] The Bills have also used the full marching bands from Attica High School, the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University at home games in recent years.

The Bills have several theme songs associated with them. The most popular is a variation of the Isley Brothers hit ‘Shout’, recorded by Scott Kemper,[69] which served as the Bills’ official promotional song from 1987 through 1990s. It can be heard at every Bills home game following a field goal or touchdown and at the end of the game if the Bills win. The Bills’ unofficial fight song, ‘Go Bills’, was penned by Bills head coach Marv Levy in the mid-1990s on a friendly wager with his players that he will write the song if the team won a particular game.[70]

Supporters[edit] ‘Bills Mafia’ redirects here. Not to be confused with Buffalo mafia.

The ‘Bills Backers’ are the official fan organization of the Buffalo Bills. It has over 200 chapters across North America, Europe and Oceania.[71] Also notable is the ‘Bills Mafia”, organized via Twitter beginning in 2010 by Del Reid, Leslie Wille, and Breyon Harris;[72] the phrase ‘Bills Mafia’ had by 2017 grown to unofficially represent the broad community surrounding and encompassing the team as a whole, and players who join the Bills often speak of joining the Bills Mafia. Outsiders often treat the Bills’ fan base in derogatory terms, especially since the 2010s, in part because of negative press coverage of select fans’ wilder antics.[73] In 2020, the Bills filed to trademark the ‘Bills Mafia’ name.[74]

Bills fans are particularly well known for their wearing of Zubaz zebra-printed sportswear; so much is the association between Bills fans and Zubaz that when a revival of the company opened their first brick-and-mortar storefront, it chose Western New York as its first location.[75] They are also well known for jumping off of elevated surfaces (often cars or RVs) into folding tables during the pre-game tailgate.[76][better source needed]

Despite their known boisterous behavior, Bills fans have also been noted for their generosity; after the Bills received help in breaking their 17-year playoff drought on a last-minute Cincinnati Bengals victory, Bills fans crowdfunded the charities of Bengals players Andy Dalton and Tyler Boyd with hundreds of thousands of dollars as a gesture of thanks.[77][78] Also in 2020, following a November 8 upset win over the Seattle Seahawks led by one of the best career performances by quarterback Josh Allen,[79] news emerged that Allen had elected to take the field after having been given the option to sit out the contest as he had received news of his grandmother’s death only the night before. Fans showed support for their team and community by donating nearly $700,000 to the Oishei Children’s Hospital, an organization supported by Allen throughout his time in Buffalo.[80][81] Following the Bills’ defeat of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2020–21 NFL playoffs and an injury to Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson late in that game, Bills fans crowdfunded his favorite charity, Blessings in a Backpack.[82]

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 the favorite team 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. (His son, Luke, is also a notable fan of the team.) CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, also a Buffalo native, has proclaimed he is also a fan,[83] as has CBS Evening News lead anchor and Tonawanda native Jeff Glor and DNC Chairman Tom Perez.[84][85]

ESPN anchor Kevin Connors is also a noted Bills fan, dating to his time attending Ithaca College. Actor Nick Bakay, a Buffalo native, is also a well-known Bills fan; he has discussed the team in segments of NFL Top 10. Character actor William Fichtner, raised in Cheektowaga, is a fan,[86] and did a commercial for the team in 2014.[87] In 2015, Fichtner also narrated the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the Bills’ four Super Bowl appearances, ‘Four Falls of Buffalo’. Former Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders (an in-law to former Bills kicker Todd Schlopy) has professed her fandom of the team. Actor Christopher McDonald, who was raised in Romulus, New York, is a fan of the team.[88]

Persons notable almost entirely for their Bills fandom include Ken ‘Pinto Ron’ Johnson, whose antics while appearing at every Bills home and away game since 1994 earned enough scrutiny that his tailgate parties were banned from stadium property on order of the league;[89] John Lang, an Elvis impersonator who carries a large guitar that he uses as a billboard;[90] Marc Miller, whose professional wrestling promo-style interview with WGRZ prior to Super Bowl XXVII (distinguished by the line ‘Dallas is going down, Gary!’ and picked up at the time by The George Michael Sports Machine) was rediscovered in 2019;[91] and Ezra Castro, also known as ‘Pancho Billa,’ a native of El Paso, Texas who wore a large sombrero and lucha mask in Bills colors. Castro was diagnosed with a spinal tumor that had metastasized in 2017; he was invited on stage during the 2018 NFL Draft to read one of the Bills’ selections.[92] Castro died on May 14, 2019.[93]

In popular culture[edit]

Several former Buffalo Bills players earned a name in politics in the late 20th century after their playing careers had ended, nearly always as members of the Republican Party. The most famous of these was quarterback Jack Kemp, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Western New York in 1971—two years after his playing career ended and remained there for nearly two decades, serving as the Republican Party nominee for Vice President of the United States under Bob Dole in 1996.[94][95] Kemp’s backup, Ed Rutkowski, served as county executive of Erie County from 1979 to 1987.[96] Former tight end Jay Riemersma, defensive tackle Fred Smerlas and defensive end Phil Hansen have all run for Congress, though all three either lost or withdrew from their respective races.[97][98] Quarterback Jim Kelly and running back Thurman Thomas have also both been mentioned[by whom?] as potential candidates for political office, although both have declined all requests to date.

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Engineers (men’s and women’s ice hockey) Roberts Wesleyan Redhawks (women’s bowling) RIT Tigers (men’s and women’s ice hockey) St. Bonaventure Bonnies St. Francis (Brooklyn) Terriers St. John’s Red Storm St. Lawrence Saints (men’s and women’s ice hockey) Siena Saints Stony Brook Seawolves Syracuse Orange Union Dutchmen and Dutchwomen (men’s and women’s ice hockey) Vassar Brewers (men’s and women’s fencing) Wagner Seahawks Yeshiva Maccabees (men’s and women’s fencing) College athletics(NCAA Division II) Adelphi Panthers Daemen Wildcats Dominican Chargers Dowling Golden Lions D’Youville Saints Le Moyne Dolphins Mercy Mavericks Molloy Lions NYIT Bears Nyack Warriors Pace Setters Queens Knights Roberts Wesleyan Redhawks Saint Rose Golden Knights St. Thomas Aquinas Spartans Staten Island Dolphins College athletics(NCAA Division III) Alfred Saxons Alfred State Pioneers Bard Raptors Baruch Bearcats Brockport Golden Eagles Brooklyn Bulldogs Buffalo State Bengals Canton Roos Cazenovia Wildcats 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Dutchmen and Dutchwomen Utica Pioneers Vassar Brewers Wells Express William Smith Herons Yeshiva Maccabees York Cardinals College athletics(USCAA) Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Panthers Berkeley College Knights Bryant & Stratton College, Albany Bobcats Bryant & Stratton College, Buffalo Bobcats Bryant & Stratton College, Greece Bobcats Bryant & Stratton College, Syracuse Bobcats Culinary Institute of America Steels Five Towns College Sounds The King’s College Lions Paul Smith’s College Bobcats SUNY ESF Mighty Oaks Vaughn College Warriors Villa Maria College Villa Knights Word of Life Bible Institute Huskies College athletics(NJCAA Division I) Globe Institute of Technology Knights Monroe College Mustangs ASA College Avengers College athletics(NJCAA Division II) SUNY Erie Kats Genesee Community College Cougars Jamestown Community College (Jamestown) Jayhawks Jamestown Community College (Olean) Cattaraugus Jaguars Monroe Community College Tribunes Niagara County Community College Thunderwolves SUNY Orange Colts SUNY Sullivan Generals Hudson Valley Community College Vikings College athletics(NJCAA Division III) SUNY Adirondack Wolves Borough of Manhattan Community College Panthers Bronx Community College Broncos SUNY Broome Community College Hornets Cayuga Community College Spartans Clinton Community College Cougars Columbia-Greene Community College Twins Corning Community College Red Barons Dutchess Community College Falcons Fashion Institute of Technology Tigers Finger Lakes Community College Lakers Fulton–Montgomery Community College Raiders Genesee Community College Cougars Herkimer County Community College Generals Hostos Community College Caimans Jefferson Community College Cannoners Mohawk Valley Community College Hawks Nassau Community College Lions North Country Community College Saints Onondaga Community College Lazers Queensborough Community College Tigers Rockland Community College Fighting Hawks Schenectady County Community College Royals Suffolk County Community College Sharks SUNY Sullivan Generals Tompkins Cortland Community College Panthers SUNY Ulster Senators See also: Sports in New York City, Sports in Buffalo, Sports in Rochester, Sports in Syracuse, and Sports in New York’s Capital District v t e Buffalo All-Americans / Buffalo Bisons / Buffalo Rangers Defunct National Football League club (1915–1929) Based in Buffalo, New York The franchise Franchise All-Americans Players Bisons Players Rangers Players Owners Barney Lepper Warren D. Patterson Frank McNeil Tommy Hughitt Head coaches Tommy Hughitt Walt Koppisch Jim Kendrick Dim Batterson Al Jolley Stadiams Buffalo Baseball Park Canisius College Bison Stadium Seasons 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1929 Lore Brunswick-Balke Collender Cup Staley Swindle Buffalo Bills New York Pro Football League v t e Sports in Buffalo Professional Buffalo Bandits Buffalo Beauts Buffalo Bills Buffalo Bisons Buffalo Sabres FC Buffalo FC Buffalo Women Collegiate Buffalo Bulls Buffalo State Bengals Canisius Golden Griffins D’Youville Saints Erie Kats Venues All-High Stadium Alumni Arena Buffalo Niagara Convention Center Buffalo RiverWorks Buffalo State Sports Arena Burt Flickinger Center Demske Sports Complex Highmark Stadium KeyBank Center Koessler Athletic Center LECOM Harborcenter Sahlen Field Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel UB Stadium Portals: American football New York (state) Authority control General ISNI 1 VIAF 1 WorldCat National libraries United States Retrieved from ‘ https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Buffalo_Bills&oldid=1091066982’ Categories: Buffalo Bills American football in Buffalo, New York American Football League teams American football teams in New York (state) National Football League teams Pegula Sports and Entertainment American football teams established in 1960 1960 establishments in New York (state) Western New York Hidden categories: CS1 maint: url-status CS1 maint: archived copy as title All articles with dead external links Articles with dead external links from November 2018 Articles with permanently dead external links Articles with dead external links from December 2018 Webarchive template wayback links Articles with dead external links from June 2019 Articles with short description Short description matches Wikidata Use mdy dates from January 2021 All articles lacking reliable references Articles lacking reliable references from December 2021 Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from March 2022 Commons category link is on Wikidata Pages using navbox columns without the first column Articles with ISNI identifiers Articles with VIAF identifiers Articles with WORLDCATID identifiers Articles with LCCN identifiersafc east teams

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