Saints & Bills History and Trivia (1 Viewer)

Cuozzo67

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Here's a look back at some Bills and Saints history and trivia. Hope you enjoy:

New Orleans and Buffalo first played each other in the opening game of the 1971 preseason at Buffalo's War Memorial Stadium. This was Archie Manning's first game ever as a Saint. He saw action late in the game. The starter was Ed Hargett. The Bills won 14-10. Their QBs were Dennis Shaw and James Harris (from Grambling). Kicker Tom Dempsey, the Saints hero from 1970, made 1 field goal, but missed several others. By the end of the preseason, he was off the squad. Like I've mentioned before, Dempsey was featured on the cover of the 1971 Saints Media Guide (photo of his 63-yard kick against the Lions), but he never played a regular season game for the Saints after 1970. Some PR move, right?

Buffalo's War Memorial Stadium was generally considered one of the worst stadiums in the old AFL. The Bills actually played there through 1972. Lost Treasures of NFL Films did an episode on the old AFL and featured stories about the old stadium. Any film buffs on Saints Report? Well, the baseball scenes for the movie, "The Natural" (1983, Redford) were filmed at War Memorial Stadium. In addition to housing the Bills, it had been a minor league baseball stadium. The stadium was torn down nearly 20 years ago. The Bills moved into their new stadium at Orchard Park in 1973.

The Saints and Bills first played against each other in a regular season game in 1973. The Saints gained their first-ever shutout, defeating O.J. Simpson and the Bills, 13-0. Simpson was held to 79 yards rushing, his second-lowest game total of the season. He went on to rush for over 2,000 yards in 1973. The Bills QB that day was Louisiana native Joe Ferguson. In back-to-back weeks, the '73 Saints beat Washington and Buffalo. This was the same team that lost it's first 2 games of the season, 62-7 and 40-3, and had lost 40-0 to the 49'ers just 2 weeks before.

Simpson's USC teammate, Al Cowlings, was the Bills first-round draft pick in 1970 (remember the driver of the white Bronco?). Simpson had been the Bills first-round pick (and the first pick of the draft) in 1969. Unlike Simpson, Cowlings never played up to his potential in the NFL and was a journeyman DL and LB for several teams.

Lou Saban coached the Bills during 2 separate tenures. He coached Buffalo to AFL championships in 1964 and 1965. He then left to coach at the University of Maryland, and then the Denver Broncos. He returned as HC of the Bills in 1972 and stayed through early 1976. He's the coach who was credited with turning O.J. Simpson's pro career around after a disappointing start. If you've ever watched any of the old NFL Films where the coaches are wired, you probably know about Saban ("they're killing me, Whitey ... there're killing me!) No, he's not related to Nick ... Lou Saban passed away less than a year ago.

Marv Levy is best remembered as coaching the Bills to 4 straight Super Bowl appearances and 4 straight losses. Levy started coaching in the NFL as a special teams coach, mainly under George Allen. Levy coached 2 championship teams in the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes (1974 and 1977). He won the Grey Cup twice, but couldn't get the Bills to win a Super Bowl. He and Bud Grant share the distinction of being both NFL and CFL Hall of Fame coaches. Unfortunately, each of them lost 4 Super Bowls.

Remember John Fourcade's first start as a Saints QB (not counting the replacement games)? It was in snowy Buffalo in 1989. Fourcade led the Saints to a win over the playoff bound Bills. In fact, Fourcade led the Saints to 3 straight victories at the end of the 1989 season. You would think that would be good. However, in retrospect, it triggered the Bobby Hebert holdout and the disastrous Steve Walsh trade in 1990.

Former Saints coach Jim Haslett was a 2nd round draft choice of Buffalo back in 1979. He played several seasons as a starting linebacker, mainly under HCs Chuck Knox and Kay Stephenson.

One of the Saints most disappointing losses during the Bum Phillips era came in 1983 at Buffalo. Joe Ferguson, the regular Bills QB was injured, so the Bills went with untested QB Matt Kofler, from San Diego State. Kofler led the Bills to a victory ... probably his first and last as an NFL quarterback. The Saints finished the season 1 game short of a winning record and the playoffs.

The Saints opened the 2001 NFL regular season at Buffalo. The Bills' new coach was Gregg Williams ... yes, the same Gregg Williams. The Saints won the game, and one of the heroes was, hold your noses if you like, WR Albert Connell. He caught a long touchdown pass to put the game away for NO. Williams lasted 3 seasons as HC in Buffalo. Ironically, he succeeded former Saints DC and Bum's son, Wade Phillips, as HC in Buffalo.

That's all for this week. Go, Saints, Go.
 

benjoefoe

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for those who may have not seen this pic

3130249883_33c6290acf_o.jpg
 
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Cuozzo67

Cuozzo67

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Where do you get this wonderful information?

Just a long-time Saints and NFL fan from the late 1960's. I'll try to include a little write-up for each upcoming opponent ... so next week, some Joe "White Shoes" Namath info. and more on the Jets.
 

HoustonSaint68

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This was the same team that lost it's first 2 games of the season, 62-7 and 40-3, and had lost 40-0 to the 49'ers just 2 weeks before.


Oh, man, I remember that Atlanta opener. Blazing sun and my dad would never leave until the clock read 0:00. Of course, that is why we also saw Dempsey's kick (away from us into the other end zone) -- we NEVER left early.

Cuozzo67 -- I also remember a loss to the 49ers at Tulane Stadium in a heavy rain -- yet another game my dad would not leave early regardless of weather. But, I don't recall the beating being that bad. Do you remember if that 40-0 loss to the 49ers was in the rain at Tulane?

Also, one of my favorite memories was pulling off a 20-17 (?) upset over the Vikings under a darkened, cloudy sky -- any particular memories of that game?
 
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Cuozzo67

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Oh, man, I remember that Atlanta opener. Blazing sun and my dad would never leave until the clock read 0:00. Of course, that is why we also saw Dempsey's kick (away from us into the other end zone) -- we NEVER left early.

Cuozzo67 -- I also remember a loss to the 49ers at Tulane Stadium in a heavy rain -- yet another game my dad would not leave early regardless of weather. But, I don't recall the beating being that bad. Do you remember if that 40-0 loss to the 49ers was in the rain at Tulane?

Also, one of my favorite memories was pulling off a 20-17 (?) upset over the Vikings under a darkened, cloudy sky -- any particular memories of that game?


Dear HoustonSaint68:

The 40-0 loss against the 49'ers was at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. What made the loss even tougher to take was that Danny Abramowicz had just been traded from the Saints to the 49'ers. He scored at least 1 (maybe 2) touchdowns in the game. That 1973 Saints team started the season like it would be the worst in pro football history. They lost at home 62-7 (you remember it well, it was blazing hot that day!) to Atlanta and then went to Dallas on Monday night and lost 40-3. Then later in the year, they beat Billy Kilmer and the Redskins 19-3 and then shutout the Juice and Buffalo, 13-0. They won 5 of 7 at home, and lost every road game that year. Unless you were at a game in person, you never saw them win a road game for like 18 straight games covering 2 or 3 seasons.

I think the Minnesota game you're talking about was played in 1968 at Tulane Stadium. It was a rainy, humid day and a muddy field. This would have been before the stadium had artificial turf. The QB for the Vikings was Joe Kapp. Kilmer was the Saints QB. There was a long interception return by Bo Burris that actually won the game. He didn't have many good games ... that might have been one of his few in a Saints uniform.

Coming off the win against Philly, I should have remembered that 20-minute boo in Tulane Stadium in 1974 ... the crowd was so loud that Roman Gabriel couldn't call signals. The Saints won the game with the help of the crowd ... can still remember that sound of feet pounding the steel.
 

RockyMtnSaint

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The Saints and Bills first played against each other in a regular season game in 1973. The Saints gained their first-ever shutout, defeating O.J. Simpson and the Bills, 13-0. Simpson was held to 79 yards rushing, his second-lowest game total of the season. He went on to rush for over 2,000 yards in 1973. The Bills QB that day was Louisiana native Joe Ferguson. In back-to-back weeks, the '73 Saints beat Washington and Buffalo. This was the same team that lost it's first 2 games of the season, 62-7 and 40-3, and had lost 40-0 to the 49'ers just 2 weeks before.
I was at that game and it's still one of my favorite Saints games ever. :9:
 

AARPSaint

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I remember the 2001 game well. I was sitting up so high I couldn't see Connell's catch. The Saints played terrible football in the first half until that point, and it's amazing they won that game. Two days after that was 9/11.
 

HoustonSaint68

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Dear HoustonSaint68:

The 40-0 loss against the 49'ers was at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. What made the loss even tougher to take was that Danny Abramowicz had just been traded from the Saints to the 49'ers. He scored at least 1 (maybe 2) touchdowns in the game. That 1973 Saints team started the season like it would be the worst in pro football history. They lost at home 62-7 (you remember it well, it was blazing hot that day!) to Atlanta and then went to Dallas on Monday night and lost 40-3. Then later in the year, they beat Billy Kilmer and the Redskins 19-3 and then shutout the Juice and Buffalo, 13-0. They won 5 of 7 at home, and lost every road game that year. Unless you were at a game in person, you never saw them win a road game for like 18 straight games covering 2 or 3 seasons.

I think the Minnesota game you're talking about was played in 1968 at Tulane Stadium. It was a rainy, humid day and a muddy field. This would have been before the stadium had artificial turf. The QB for the Vikings was Joe Kapp. Kilmer was the Saints QB. There was a long interception return by Bo Burris that actually won the game. He didn't have many good games ... that might have been one of his few in a Saints uniform.

Coming off the win against Philly, I should have remembered that 20-minute boo in Tulane Stadium in 1974 ... the crowd was so loud that Roman Gabriel couldn't call signals. The Saints won the game with the help of the crowd ... can still remember that sound of feet pounding the steel.


Thanks for the great reply....memory lane. But, I was pretty young then so I tend to remember snippets only. For instance, I remember the 49ers game a little now because I remember watching the game in my grandmother's room and lamenting seeing Danny in a 49ers uniform.

For whatever reason, we missed the Eagles "boo" game because we had season tickets in 74
but I remember listening to it on the radio. Didn't they start penalizing us as a result?
 
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Cuozzo67

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Gabriel still tells stories about playing in Tulane Stadium, especially that game when he was quarterbacking the Eagles. He tried for over 20 minutes to call a play, but his teammates couldn't hear the signals. The sound was deafening. The refs feared if they threw any more flags against the Saints, they'd never get out of the stadium alive. It really was a game where the fans directly affected the outcome. Instead of a TD, the Eagles eventually had to kick a field goal (by our pal Tom Dempsey), and the Saints eventually won, 14-10.

What's also interesting is what went on behind the scenes the week before that game ... there were rumors that Archie Manning was about to be traded to the 49'ers for a bundle of future draft picks. In fact, in Atlanta, the week before, Bobby Scott had started and the Saints actually won a road game, 13-3. However, Scott was injured late in that game. The team doctors didn't know how severe it was, and so the trade was nixed. The 49'ers ended up acquiring Norm Snead from the NYG. The NYG traded for Cowboys back-up QB Craig Morton, and the Saints kept Archie!
 

HoustonSaint68

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What's also interesting is what went on behind the scenes the week before that game ... there were rumors that Archie Manning was about to be traded to the 49'ers for a bundle of future draft picks. In fact, in Atlanta, the week before, Bobby Scott had started and the Saints actually won a road game, 13-3. However, Scott was injured late in that game. The team doctors didn't know how severe it was, and so the trade was nixed. The 49'ers ended up acquiring Norm Snead from the NYG. The NYG traded for Cowboys back-up QB Craig Morton, and the Saints kept Archie!

Never, ever heard that story. Hope we can look forward to you posting nuggets of info every week. Thnaks!
 

champ76

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Gabriel still tells stories about playing in Tulane Stadium, especially that game when he was quarterbacking the Eagles. He tried for over 20 minutes to call a play, but his teammates couldn't hear the signals. The sound was deafening. The refs feared if they threw any more flags against the Saints, they'd never get out of the stadium alive. It really was a game where the fans directly affected the outcome. Instead of a TD, the Eagles eventually had to kick a field goal (by our pal Tom Dempsey), and the Saints eventually won, 14-10.

I remember that game like it was yesterday. I even remember where I was sitting in the stadium. I was a student then and would buy a ticket outside the stadium for a few bucks just before kickoff. What a moment. That crowd was absolutely ****** off at the refs.
 

saintsfirst

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all this happened long before may time keep the memories coming :) I so enjoy reading about it and I bet others will as well
 

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