Jim Kelly was in a upbeat mood Monday morning at his 29th annual charity golf classic at Terry Hills in Batavia. Kelly was back after missing a year ago during his treatment for jaw cancer. On his way to an interview session, Kelly jumped into a group of current Bills at the football toss game. He grabbed the ball and threw it through the hole on his first try.
"One throw, score!" Kelly said as he turned to the crowd. "Hey, I do feel pretty good right now!"
"So you still got it, Jim?" a reporter said.
"I never lost it," Kelly replied said.
Here's a transcript of Kelly's nine-minute session with the media before the tourney's teeoff:
What it meant to see the current Bills team show up instead of holding a normal OTA:
"Amazing. When Rex told me that's what they wanted to do, I said 'Really?' This is part of their OTAs. You see guys throwing the ball, swinging and loosening up, they get a little walk in on the course, so it's all good."
What being here means after missing last year.
"It's awesome. I never miss it. But last year when I was in the hospital, how many people came to see me -- it humbled me so much. Being able to come back here and see how many people showed up, even last night's (Gala) event, it was so unbelievable. It was overwhelming for me.
"But that's Buffalo. I'm starting to get used to -- well, I'm already used to the way people are here. Their hearts are so huge. That's why I call Buffalo home, and that's why I'm spending the rest of my life here.'
You talked to last year's team about how important it is for a team to bond and to connect with the community. Is this a good sign of that
"I've already talked to some individuals. Last night, I talked with Matt Cassel and EJ. I told them they do make a difference. The key for all of us is to understand, 'Make a difference today.' I know the old cliche, 'Nobody knows what tomorrow holds'. But when you're sick and you surround yourself with good, positive people, what an impact that has on you.
"I tell you what, I would not have gotten through what I got through if not for the support, not only my family but all the people, the cards ... I've tried to read every single one. I pick certain people to write back and send pictures to.
"It makes me want to continue to fight. There are days I don't feel good, it's just the way it is. But I always know that an encouraging word I give to somebody can make their day better. Make a difference today for someone who's fighting for tomorrow.
"People who helped me to get through my fight make me want to continue that fight so I can inspire other people.
"Not one member of my family every walked into my hospital room with a frown. They walked in with a smile on their face every time. When you're sick and you have the support I had, God, it makes you want to live harder and push to make a difference."
This is 25 years since the first Super Bowl. You thought about it?
"To be honest, I didn't think one second about it. I just have so many things going on in my life now. We're going to celebrate after we hit it and have the four years in.
"Between now and then, we make a good run at getting back to the Super Bowl. I like what I see. I was at practice Friday. I've been in practices before where they go through the motions. But watching how smooth everything went and now enthusiastic everybody was. I haven't seen that. I felt, 'That's how it was when I was out there'.
"Thurman (Thomas) feels the same thing. When we look out there and are reminded of how we prepared, not only physically but mentally, that's what I love to see, and I hope they continue it."
Must be good to see Rex embracing the past, he even went to the Big Tree
"Rex gets it. You talk about a players' coach, he's as much a players' coach as you can get. He does a good job of talking, but this is one guy I know, as a former player, that he can back it up.
"I tell you what, they're pumped. If there's somebody in Buffalo who's not excited about this season, something's wrong. He's got guys ready. Once you hit the field, we've got the nucleus, we have the people it's going to take. The big question is quarterback. If one of those guys steps up and becomes the quarterback we need, look out everybody, especially the teams in the AFC East."
You probably don't let bad weather bother you these days.
"Hey, it's part of life. I remember when we used to have the motorcycle run for Hunter's Hope. We said, it's too much a question mark for weather. This, who cares? They're going to go out and have fun. We call this a serious Caddy Shack. We have bands, we have DJs, we have massage tables. We have everything. Food, a few beers, have some fun with your buds, why not?"
This is 29 years for this tournament, what it means
"It means a lot, because when I started, I thought if I could get 10, 15 or 20, that would be great. Now my goal is 50. Even though we haven't hit 30, I'm looking ahead. Why not? I can do that, because I don't know what tomorrow brings and I'm going to enjoy myself.
"Finding out how much the money means to some of these charities. When they get up and talk about it, it's wow factor. And I understand why I'm doing it. When you hear from their lips how it affects their life and their foundation, then it's all worth it."