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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: London Fletcher

     (Born May 19, 1975) -- No one can say that London Fletcher doesn't put in his dues on the job, no matter where he is. The linebacker has played for three teams over the course of his career, and once he was finished with his rookie season he's missed one start in 13 years.

     Fletcher's real name is actually Fletcher-Baker, with the Baker used to honor his late grandmother. Then it was on to John Carroll University, and was the nation's top Division III linebacker as a senior. But the odds seemed long that he'd make any impact in the pros.

     Fletcher proved everyone wrong. He signed with the St. Louis Rams as a free agent, and not only made the team but played 16 games as a first-year player. Then he moved into the starting lineup, and played with a Super Bowl champion in Super Bowl XXXIV.

     In 2002, Fletcher jumped to the Bills as an unrestricted free agent, and made an immediate impact. He set a team record for tackles with 209, breaking Chris Spielman's mark. Fletcher maintained a high standard of play for five seasons here.

     Then he jumped to Washington, and continued to play well. He was picked as an alternate in the Pro Bowl 11 times, and actually made it to Hawaii twice. Fletcher is still a fixture in the Redskins lineup.

--- Budd Bailey

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