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This may be remembered as the last time that Buffalo ever hosted the NHL All-Star Game. For sure it was the first. It was a very good game, too, as these things go. The Wales Conference beat the Campbell Conference, 3-2, in overtime. Back in those days, All-Star games actually featured some defense, hitting and checking. Buffalo's representatives in the game, Gil Per…

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Will we ever see their likes again? The Buffalo Bills already had played in three straight Super Bowls. It would be difficult to imagine any team making it four in a row. The Bills, though, weren't just any team in that era. They finished off an accomplishment that may never be duplicated, beating the Chiefs, 30-13, in the AFC Championship to qualify for another Supe…

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The Buffalo Sabres hit bottom on this date at least financially. They declared bankruptcy under the weight of a large financial burden, caused by the collapse of the Rigas family's cable television empire. The Sabres, who owed Adelphia Communications $130 million, formally filed protection. It had $67.6 million in assets and $238 million in debts. "Without further…

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It was a surprise then, and it is still a surprise today. Ralph Wilson reached out and hired a big-name coach on this day. Chuck Knox had won five straight NFC West titles as coach of the Los Angeles Rams, but he hadn't gotten the team to a Super Bowl. That record wasn't good for owner Carroll Rosenbloom. So Knox jumped before he was fired, signing a $1.2 million, si…

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When Marv Levy retired as coach of the Buffalo Bills, there wasn't a great deal of debate about his successor. Wade Phillips was considered the obvious choice at the time. Phillips was the team's defensive coordinator under Levy, and he had previous head coaching experience. The announcement, then, didn't cause a great deal of conversation. It was interesting, however, …

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Let's start the New Year by going back to 2008. The NHL's Winter Classic was held in Ralph Wilson Stadium, and it turned out to be a memorable event for all concerned. The Sabres played the Pittsburgh Penguins before a sellout crowd of 71,127. The ending turned out to be memorable -- and had a touch of foreshadowing to boot. The game came down to a shootout. Sidney C…

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The Buffalo Bills had been wandering in the wilderness for a few years when owner Ralph Wilson took decisive action. He replaced General Manager Terry Bledsoe with Bill Polian. At the time, the Bills were coming off consecutive 2-14 seasons. Polian had been serving as the team's director of pro personnel, after spending time in the United States Football League and the …

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It was a day when Bruce Smith added another page to a resume that eventually put him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year. The announcement came only a day after the Bills had lost to the Jaguars in a wild-card game, so it cheered his spirits up a bit. "It means a great deal, it's fun," Smith told The News' Vic Carucci…

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Call it The Last Roundup. The Bills lost a home playoff game to Jacksonville, 30-27. It turned out that it was the last time that Jim Kelly and Kent Hull would ever suit up in a Buffalo uniform, and the last time Thurman Thomas had a 1,000-yard season. The fans at Rich Stadium could have guessed that times were changing. Kelly left the field feeling groggy, not certain …

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The most valuable player award in the National Football League doesn't quite hold the weight of the same award in major league baseball, but that doesn't mean it isn't coveted. On this date, O.J. Simpson joined the list of winners. Simpson was honored for his performance during a truly memorable season. You probably know he rushed for 2,003 yards in only 14 games. The n…

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O.J. Simpson played in exactly one playoff game in his NFL career. He picked the wrong team to do it against. Simpson and the Bills faced the Pittsburgh Steelers -- in the midst of their "Steel Curtain" era -- on this date. Buffalo actually led, 7-3, after a quarter. Then the Steelers outscored the Bills, 26-0, in the second quarter, and that was that. Simpson did sc…

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The Buffalo Bills played the New York Jets in windy, cold Shea Stadium on this date. The game is one of the most memorable in Bills' history, even though the outcome is generally forgotten. The contest is best remembered for the performance of O.J. Simpson. Not only did he go past Jim Brown's NFL single-season yardage record (1,863 yards), but he became the first player…

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It's the most historic day in Buffalo Sabres' history, leaving us the problem of which history-making event to choose for this space this year. Was it the day Scotty Bowman was fired as general manager and coach? How about the shocking trade that sent Jim Schoenfeld, Danny Gare, Derek Smith and Bob Sauve to Detroit? You guessed it -- they all came on Dec. 2. But none of…

The fans of Buffalo came from near and far to go to War Memorial Stadium for a baseball game. When the turnstiles stopped spinning, the count came to 26,523 – the largest crowd in Buffalo's long baseball history to that point. The catch is that the Bisons weren't involved. The contest was an exhibition game between the International League All-Stars and the New York Yan…

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The feeling around Western New York on this day wasn't quite like it was at the end of World War II, but football fans were mighty, mighty happy. Jim Kelly was finally a member of the Buffalo Bills. Kelly turned down the Bills' contract offer in 1983 after he was drafted out of Miami (Fla.) When the United States Football League collapsed in 1985, Kelly finally arrived.…