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Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey is a retired reporter and editor from The Buffalo News. He has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 40 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, and public relations staffer. Budd has had nine books published.


Bills

Dec. 31, 1997 – Marv Levy sure knew how to spoil a New Year’s Eve party. Bills fans certainly didn’t feel like celebrating after the greatest coach in team history announced his retirement. Levy was the focus of an emotional, hourlong news conference in which the coach discussed the end of a 12-year tenure with the team. Levy won more games than any coach in Bills’ h…

Bills

Dec. 30, 1985 – The Bills were just about ready to leave the wilderness, thanks to a hiring made on this day. Buffalo was coming off consecutive 2-14 seasons at that point. That might have made it the worst franchise in the NFL at the time. It was no surprise, then, when Bills’ owner Ralph Wilson fired General Manager Terry Bledsoe and replaced him with Bill Polian. …

Bills

Dec. 29, 1996 – Bruce Smith no doubt was still disappointed a day after a playoff loss to Jacksonville. At least he received some news that must have brought a smile to his face. Smith was named the NFL’s defensive player of the year by the Associated Press. Smith’s total of 13.5 sacks, the most in the AFC, impressed the voters. Kevin Greene of Carolina finished second …

Bills

Dec. 28, 1996 – The Super Bowls had stopped coming for the Bills by this time, and the nucleus of great players that made many great moments possible was starting to go its separate ways. A playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars turned out to be one of those moments when it became obvious that the “glory days” were about gone. The Bills had beaten the Chiefs in t…

Bills

Dec. 27, 1981 – National Football League playoff games are supposed to be dramatic. Buffalo’s first appearance in the 1981 postseason was all of that, and then some. The Bills reached the playoffs for the second straight year and earned a trip to frozen Shea Stadium to play the New York Jets. Buffalo couldn’t have asked for a better start. Charles Romes picked up a fumb…

Bills

Dec. 26, 1964 – Professional sports championships haven’t exactly been common in Western New York. Therefore, it’s fun to remember the ones we’ve had. The Bills won their first American Football League championship with a 20-7 win over the San Diego Chargers. The 40,242 in War Memorial Stadium no doubt enjoyed almost every minute of it. It was a typical blue-collar p…

Bills

Dec. 24, 1971 – The Bills had gone through another terrible season in 1971, finishing last in the overall standings. A sign of hope was needed that better times were coming. Santa Claus came through with a Christmas Eve gift that was more than welcome for the football fans in Western New York. The Bills announced that Lou Saban was coming back to coach the team. The …

Bills

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. Simp…

Bills

Dec. 22, 1974 – O.J. Simpson wasn’t completely shut out of the playoffs during his fabulous NFL career. Still, his one game didn’t go particularly well. The Bills reached the postseason in 1974 and had to go to Pittsburgh. The Steelers were in their “Steel Curtain” era; the Pro Football Hall of Fame is filled with players from that Pittsburgh team. Buffalo led the ga…

Bills

Dec. 21, 1980 – Division titles seemed to be for other teams as far as fans of the Bills were concerned by 1980. The Bills hadn’t won that particular honor since 1966, when they were in the American Football League. There was hope entering the 1980 season, since coach Chuck Knox was putting together a solid team, but Bills’ backers knew not to get their hopes up too hig…

Bills

Dec. 20, 1964 – Fans of the Bills of the American Football League in 1960 weren’t sure how their new favorites would do. They were a brand-new team in a brand-new league, and everyone was starting from scratch. No doubt those fans were hoping for more from the team in its early years. The Bills missed the playoffs in 1960, 1961 and 1962. They tied for the AFL East title…

Bills

Dec. 19, 1948 – The Buffalo Bills had the chance to play for a championship on this date. The other Buffalo Bills, that is. Western New York's entry in the All-America Football Conference won the East with a mediocre 7-7 record. Then the Bills beat the Baltimore Colts in the first round of the playoffs. The reward for all that was a date with the Cleveland Browns, the m…

Bills

Dec. 18, 2016 – There was a little drama circulating around the Buffalo Bills’ game with the Cleveland Browns at this time last year. Considering that the lowly Cleveland Browns were coming to town with an 0-13 record, that was surprising. Reports had started to circulate in the media that Rex Ryan was on his way out as coach of the Bills. Buffalo took a 6-7 record into…

Bills

Dec. 17, 2000 - This was not a day for the faint of heart among Buffalo Bills' fans. It was a historically bad day at Rich Stadium. We're talking snow, 45 mph winds and a minus-1 degree wind chill. It was called one of the worst weather days in Bills' history. Naturally, Buffalo went into overtime in its game with the New England Patriots. The Bills didn't even send …

Bills

Dec. 16, 1973 – The score of the Bills’ final game of the 1973 season has been forgotten. It didn’t help the Bills reach the playoffs. Yet it turned out to be one of the most famous games in the history of the team. The Bills played the Jets in Shea Stadium in New York. Not only did O.J. Simpson break Jim Brown’s record for rushing yardage in a season (1,863), but he be…