Pro football historian Jeffrey Miller has called Adolph "Swede" Youngstrom Buffalo's first football superstar. Let's find out why.
Youngstrom grew up in Waltham, Mass., and wasn't permitted by his family to play high school football until his senior year. He turned out to be pretty good, and went on to enroll at Dartmouth College starting in 1914. In his senior year in 1919, he blocked nine punts, including three in one game against Colgate. That made him a Walter Camp All-American.
Youngstrom opened up a candy store in Hanover, N.H., when representatives of a pro football team from Buffalo dropped by with a sweet offer to play for the 1920 season. Youngstrom, a 6-foot-1, 187-pound player, signed the deal.
He helped Buffalo win plenty of games during the next several years. He blocked nine more punts in 1920 alone. The All-Americans, as the team was called, came close to a title but couldn't claim it.
Youngstrom moved on in 1925, and played a couple of more years elsewhere. He's one of the greatest guards of that era in NFL history. The lack of a championship ring in Buffalo might be what kept him out of the Hall of Fame in Canton.
-- Budd Bailey