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This Day in Buffalo Sports History; August 26, 1968 -- A bad idea

When a snowball of bad news starts rolling down a hill, it's tough to keep it from gaining size and momentum. The 1968 Buffalo Bills knew about that.

The Houston Oilers had clobbered the Bills, 37-7, in a preseason game on Aug. 23. Buffalo was awful on offense, defense and special teams (0 for 3 on field goals). Coach Joel Collier wasn't at all happy, so he decided to have a full-scale scrimmage three days later.

Collier had better ideas during his long career. Sure enough, defensive end Ron McDole was blocked into quarterback Jack Kemp's knee during that workout. Kemp was injured and was lost for the season.

The practice and resulting injury didn't make owner Ralph Wilson very happy. Wilson fired Collier before the start of the season, replacing him with Harvey Johnson.

With Kemp out and Tom Flores recovering from his own injury, the Bills had no quarterback to speak of. They started four games that season. You can guess what sort of year it was for the Bills -- 1-12-1.

-- Budd Bailey

Sports Ink blog at

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