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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History; Phil Hansen -- May 20, 1968

It's fair to say Phil Hansen is the best player to come out of Oakes, N.D. Come to think of it, he might be the most famous person ever to come out of Oakes, a town of 1,856 at the last census.

Hansen played college football at North Dakota State University. It's clear that he made an impact, with 41 sacks. He contributed to two national championships at Division II.

Scouts usually don't make it to Fargo, but the Bills obviously completed that trip. He was selected in the second round of the 1991 NFL draft.

He spent 11 seasons as a member of the Bills, retiring after the 2001 season. Hansen was a solid member of some very good Buffalo teams, including three Super Bowl squads and four other teams that made the postseason. Hansen finished with 61.5 sacks, which ranks third on the team's all-time list, and had 10 in 1995. He is the most recent Bills' player to be inducted on the Bills' Wall of Fame.

He was recently seen during the NFL draft, announcing the Bills' selection of Cordy Glenn.

Hansen has different goals now that he's in retirement. He lives in Minnesota and is running for the State Senate this year.

-- Budd Bailey

Sports Ink blog at