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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Joining the club

     August 24, 1998 -- Buffalo officially became part of the Arena Football League's world on this date.

     The city was granted an expansion franchise by the league during its meetings, which were part of the AFL's championship league. It was the only team to gain entry to the Arena league.

     This was no surprise. The Destroyers were expected to gain admission. But they made a little news on the same day.

      Six players who had connections to the NFL's Buffalo Bills were among the first 14 players who signed letters of intent to join new Destroyers. Two of the ex-Bills were relatively well-known. Linebacker David White played for the Bills in 1995 and 1996. In addition, linebacker Sean Doctor was a sixth-round draft choice of the Bills in 1989.

     The Destroyers signed two quarterbacks on this day. Tom Beck was with Scotland in NFL Europe this fall, while Paul Kaiser was a rookie out of Central Missouri State. But it was Tony Kimbrough who started the team's first game in April, 1999.

--- Budd Bailey

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