Where The Buffalo Bills Actually Got Their Name From
Now that we have a couple of preseason games under our belt so far this year, it's clear that football season is here and members of the Bills Mafia are in full form getting ready for another year of Buffalo Bills football.
Housing parties and tailgating are back in full effect and we're all ready for the hometown team to start working towards the ultimate goal of winning Super Bowl LVIII in Nevada next year.
The Buffalo Bills Have A Rich History
One of the things about being a Bills fan means that you have a healthy appreciation of the storied history of the Buffalo Bills while looking towards the future.
We know that history all too well:
- Founded 63 years ago on October 28, 1959, by Ralph Wilson, Jr.
- Back-to-back AFL Champion (1964 and 1965)
- Joe Ferguson, OJ Simpson, and the Electric Company
- Only NFL team to appear in 4 consecutive Super Bowls (1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993)
These are just a few highlights from the last 6 decades. During the time, the Bills have appeared in the playoffs in 22 of those years, earning 13 division titles, and have 12 members of the organization in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Bills History Goes On Much Longer Than You May Know
While we all know about the team that was built by Ralph Wilson, did you know this team was not the first Bills team to represent Buffalo?
Professional football has been happening in the City of Buffalo since 1920 with the Buffalo All-Americans, who were part of the American Professional Football Association (APFA), a precursor of the NFL. The All-Americans folded in 1929.
Then came the Buffalo Indians in 1940, who were eventually renamed the Buffalo Tigers. That team went out of business in 1941 due to the large number of men who had to go to World War II.
1946 brought us the All-America Football Conference and the newest Buffalo football team, the Buffalo Bisons. The owner of the team at that time, James Breuil, held a contest to select a new name for the football team. Bisons had been a long-time name for the Buffalo Baseball team and Breuil wanted something different.
Mr. James F. Dyson wrote an essay that ultimately proved to be the winning entry for the contest, in that essay, he compared the team to a band of Buffalo Bills. Breuil, who was the owner of the Frontier Oil Company and a huge fan of American frontier history, took it as an opportunity to name the team after the famous Civil War Scout, Medal of Honor winner, and Pony Express rider Col. William F. Cody; however, he may be better known by his nickname: Buffalo Bill.
While the AAFC went out of business in 1949, the name stuck in Buffalo, and when the door opened for Ralph Wilson to build a new Buffalo football team, he kept the name in honor of William F. Cody and Buffalo's football past.