The City of Buffalo has a long history with pro football with several different teams before the formation of the NFL, most notably the Niagras. The "Buffalo All-Americans" joined the NFL’s first season in 1920 and competed until 1923 when the team went through two other nickname changes.
In 1946, the city held a franchise in the newly formed AAFC. The team was called the "Bisons" in the first season but was changed to the "Bills" for the other three years. The club did very well on the field and was widely supported at the gate. When the AAFC merged into the NFL in 1950, three clubs were admitted. Buffalo, however, was not one of them.
The city was livid. Buffalo had an excellent following, better attendance and their team was far superior to the third team accepted—the Colts. Suddenly, their team was regulated to the junk pile which angered team followers. Bills’ fans petitioned the NFL for inclusion into the league, then generated over 15,000 season ticket pledges and raised $175,000. Later, it was divulged that the Colts had paid the NFL Redskins a $150,000 territorial fee, and that Bills’ owner Jim Breuil had accepted a one-fourth ownership package with the four-time AAFC Champion Browns.
But the success of the AAFC Bills would ultimately set the stage for the 1960 version.
Buffalo was one of the first franchises named in the AFL. Owner Ralph Wilson was quite wealthy and had attempted to purchase a NFL expansion team, but like all the rest was repeatedly turned down. Because of the success of the AAFC Bills, it was a natural fusion with the newer rendition. The nickname originally came from the fabled Wild West showman, William “Buffalo Bill” Cody.
Original Owner: Ralph Wilson
Original Colors: Royal blue, red & white
First Stadium: War Memorial Stadium, seating 46,500
Spruce up one of your favorite dinnertime side dishes with our recipe for Parmesan Potato Stacks. Thinly sliced potatoes are stacked high inside muffin tins before getting drenched in a seasoned cream sauce and topped with Parmesan cheese. After you've baked them and set them out on everyone's dinner plates, get ready to witness their eyes light up!
- 3 pounds (4 to 5) medium potatoes, sliced into 1/8-inch thick slices
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese