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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: One step short

     January 1, 1967 -- The Buffalo Bills have had more than their share of disappointments. The one on this day ranks with any of them.

     The Bills were coming off yet another Eastern Division title in the 1966 regular season. They were set to play the Kansas City Chiefs for the AFL championship -- at home, no less. And the winner would have the honor of playing in the first Super Bowl.

     Not only did the Bills lose, but they played a stinker of a game -- a 31-7 loss.

     Buffalo was tied, 7-7, after a quarter, as Jack Kemp threw a touchdown pass to Elbert Dubenion. Then Len Dawson threw the second of two TD passes, Mike Garrett ran over for two scores, and the Bills were done like dinner.

     Buffalo finished with nine first downs and 40 rushing yards. It was the last gasp of a team that had won two straight AFL titles, and the rebuilding project was a long one. The Bills didn't return to a conference championship game for more than two decades.

     As for the Chiefs, they made history by playing the Packers in the Super Bowl. Kansas City kept it close for a half, but eventually lost the game, 35-10.

--- Budd Bailey

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