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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Bob Chandler

     (Born April 24, 1949) -- Bob Chandler wasn't the fastest player on a football field at a given moment. He certainly wasn't the biggest. All he did was catch every pass that was thrown to him.

     The wide receiver, who cleared 6-foot-7 as a high school high jumper, first gained a national reputation during his time at the University of Southern California. There he was the Most Valuable Player in the Rose Bowl, and was the team's leading receiver in his senior season.

     Pro scouts were a little dubious, though, so he went unselected until the seventh round of the 1971 draft. The Bills weren't too confident that he'd even make the team, and offered him a three-year contract worth a total of $52,500. He took it, and then went about the business of earning some playing time.

     Chandler had a couple of good seasons in 1972 and 1973, times when the Bills usually were more concerned about handing the ball to O.J. Simpson. He blossomed in 1975, catching a total of 220 passes in that time.

     In 1979, the Bills traded Chandler to the Raiders for Phil Villapiano, and his career had yet another act. He caught four passes during the Raiders' Super Bowl win in 1981.

     Upon retiring, Chandler moved smoothly to the world of broadcasting. Sadly, he developed a nagging cough in 1994 that was later diagnosed as lung cancer. He continued his work on Raiders' broadcasts, but died in 1995.

--- Budd Bailey

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