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This Day in Buffalo Sports History; December 23, 1966 -- Shooting star

Remember Mike Garrett, the elusive halfback from Southern California who went on to a fine pro career with the Kansas City Chiefs? Bobby Burnett of the Buffalo Bills was better than Garrett in their rookie season of 1966.

Burnett, himself a halfback, was honored as the rookie of the year in the American Football League on this day. Burnett ran for 766 yards and four touchdowns, and he also caught 34 passes. Burnett was selected for the AFL All-Star team.

Wray Carlton added 696 yards rushing as a fullback, so the Bills had a good 1-2 combination at running back that season.

Sadly, Burnett was more like a comet than a star. He suffered a knee injury a year later. The Arkansas product ran for only 96 yards in 1967, and finished his career with five carries for Denver in 1969.

As for Garrett, he played on an AFL champion as a rookie, as his Chiefs' team went on to lose to the Packers in the first Super Bowl. Garrett later won a championship ring when the Chiefs won Super Bowl IV in Jan. 1970.

-- Budd Bailey

Sports Ink blog at

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