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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History; Jay Riemersma -- May 17, 1973

Bills' fans heard the name of Jay Riemersma quite a bit during the 2011 season. When Scott Chandler started catching touchdown passes, he was frequently called "the best Bills' tight end since Jay Riemersma."

You probably didn't know that Jay started his football career as a quarterback in college. In fact, he once replaced future Bill Todd Collins at the position during a game at the University of Michigan. But a rotator cuff injury ended Riemersma's hopes at that position.

So he became a tight end for the Wolverines, and was a pretty good one. The Indiana native was drafted in the seventh round by the Buffalo Bills in 1996.

It didn't take Riemersma long to become a starter, lining up with the first unit eight times in his rookie year. He stayed with the Bills until 2002, in spite of having eight surgeries. In 2001, he caught a career-high 51 passes.

Riemersma jumped to the Steelers in 2003, but hurt his Achilles tendon in 2004. He never played again, and ran for Congress in 2010.

-- Budd Bailey

Sports Ink blog at