Buffalo has had relatively few native sons become National Football League players over the years. Therefore, we should celebrate the ones we've had.
Vaughn Parker is such a player. He was born in Buffalo and went to high school at St. Joe's, where he was an All-Western New York selection.
When it was time to go to college, Parker picked a school almost 3,000 miles away. He was all-conference for three straight years at UCLA, so you'd have to say it worked out well. Parker was a second-round draft choice of the San Diego Chargers in 1994.
The offensive lineman got a taste of the good life right away. His team made it to the Super Bowl. Parker spent 10 seasons as a Charger, but suffered a knee injury in his final year. He moved on to play one game with the Redskins in 2004.
Linemen don't have many statistics, but here's a good one: Parker played in 122 NFL games, and started in 107 of them.
-- Budd Bailey
Sports Ink blog at buffalonews.com/blogs