Reader Craig sent us this link to a Sports Illustrated article from 1969, written after a disappointing Bills season and before the term “politically correct” came into play.
“As a Bills fan and someone who loves Buffalo,” Craig explains, “I found the whole article incredibly interesting. I hope you do as well and maybe can fit it into the site so others can read it.”
We will, with this warning: We have never seen anything quite this derogatory written about Buffalo. Many of the issues the article lambastes are things we’ve either since lost (our steel industry) or gained (The Sabres), and then there are other things we’ve made marginal progress in. The things we love most now – you won’t find them here.
Craig said, “I consider myself a rabid Bills fan, who has read everything I could get my hands on about them since I was about 6 years old. This article put an angle on a number of topics I had never heard of.”
He adds, “I think this article is an extremely interesting piece for the end of another dissapointing Bills season. The article is an actual Sports Illustrated article from January 20, 1969, and it details the plight and discouragement that Buffalo had in trying to get and retain major sport franchises up until that point.”
Craig also said that aside from the sports aspect of the piece, he was interested in the attitudes about Buffalo. “But honestly…wow, I cannot imagine a national publication such as Sports Illustrated talking about Buffalo like this and not coming under the gun for it.” Craig says that while the article definitely has “some of that ‘the more things change the more they stay the same’ feel to it,” he believes it exposes bright spots in the present “and makes it seem like we have overcome a lot.”
For us, reading this article it is like comparing two pictures, where you’re supposed to spot the differences. There are so many, we’re not even sure we could list them all; we definitely have a different view of Buffalo. And dig the O.J. references.
Top image: Coffee mug with original L.L. Berger’s tag at Harold’s Curiosity Shoppe, 85 Allen Street.