Share this article

print logo

This Day in Bills History, Dec. 23: O.J. gets his due from the NFL

Dec. 23, 1973 – It’s not easy to become the most valuable player in the NFL. The Bills have only had a player of theirs win the award twice, and this day marks the first time it happened.

O.J. Simpson was clearly the dominant player in the league in 1973. You know all about his 2,003-yard season in only 14 games. That means Simpson averaged 143.1 yards per game.

Simpson averaged about six yards per carry and scored 12 touchdowns. He carried the Bills to their first winning season since 1966. Simpson won all sorts of awards after that season, including the big one from the NFL.

Here's how the voting went. Simpson received 74 votes. Rams quarterback John Hadl had two votes and so did one of his wide receivers, Harold Jackson. It wasn't unanimous, but it was a landslide win.

Thurman Thomas was the Bills’ other MVP winner. He took home the honor in 1991. However, Buffalo had two MVP’s in the American Football League. Cookie Gilchrist was the league’s best in 1962, and Jack Kemp won the award in 1965.

Budd Bailey is a retired sports reporter and editor at The Buffalo News. He is also the author of "Today in Buffalo Sports History." Learn more about the book here.

There are no comments - be the first to comment