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Trip down memory lane ... The Rockpile ca. 1963


Merle
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Someone from my old high school (Clarence Central) posted this aerial view on FaceBook of War Memorial Stadium circa 1963.

 

I recall our high school marching band doing several halftime shows there while I was in school.   We always seemed to get one of the games late in December.   The Bills were never in contention by then, and it was always freezing cold.   I remember one game in particular,  I think in December 1970, against the Baltimore Colts.   Freezing temperatures, and by halftime, the field was pretty much a mud pit, making it difficult to walk, let alone march!   Putting your mouth on a brass instrument mouthpiece, such as the sousaphone I used to play, was akin to putting your tongue on a frozen pump handle - you might not be able to pry it off later!   Also, the stands along the sidelines were so close to the field that fans were able to pelt us with any number of "foreign objects" - cans, bottles, half-eaten hot dogs .... In the winter months, it of course was mostly snowballs.   The open bell of my sousaphone was an all-too-inviting target ... I remember dumping about a gallon of water out of it after that halftime show that year from melted snowballs.   The only "upside" was that we were able to get a bunch of the players to sign our programs for us while they were waiting to go back out on the field after halftime.   I still have a copy of mine with names like Marlin Briscoe, Butch Byrd, Edgar Chandler, and Dennis Shaw, among others. OJ and Al Cowlings were both on the team that year, but neither of them signed ....  😉 

WarMemorialStadium-1970-reduced.jpg

Edited by Merle
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49 minutes ago, RiotAct said:

my dad often tells me that extra points were the most exciting part of the game, for those sitting behind the goalposts (this being before the days of netting)

 

17 minutes ago, RunJoshRun said:

I used to take a bus with friends from Main Street in Amherst to those '63 night games.  Very safe back then at the stadium.  Maybe I saw your group play at half-time.  No - I didn't throw anything but I remember the "beer" game with bottles/cans all over the field!

 

EXCEPT behind the goalposts! I remember my dad wanting a friend with end zone seats to sit with him, so they swapped seats and I sat in the end zone with a buddy at a Chiefs game on a rainy day. First, they allowed umbrellas back then, so it was hard for anyone to see anything. On FG’s and extra points, NOBODY was safe! It was insane! But then, we probably didn’t wear seatbelts on the way to the game, so…..different times! 

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yep the tradition of tossing things at the field - as a kid of 9 years old, I remember a glass beer bottle thrown by a guy in the row in front of me at a cop down on the field, just missed him thankfully...

 

and the no nets on extra points had fans fighting for the balls, including one brother who caught it and ran onto the sideline with it and ran away from security for a good half-lap before he ran into the security goons on the other side of the field who tackled him...of course the Bills went 1-13 that year so any entertainment was appreciated...

 

aah yes my first Bills game and first home game at the Rockpile, opener, Sept 1971 - Cowboys no less, and was able to attend the very last game, the 21-21 tie against the Lions.

 

the photo above makes the place look like an emesis basin of sorts...

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8 hours ago, First Round Bust said:

yep the tradition of tossing things at the field - as a kid of 9 years old, I remember a glass beer bottle thrown by a guy in the row in front of me at a cop down on the field, just missed him thankfully...

 

and the no nets on extra points had fans fighting for the balls, including one brother who caught it and ran onto the sideline with it and ran away from security for a good half-lap before he ran into the security goons on the other side of the field who tackled him...of course the Bills went 1-13 that year so any entertainment was appreciated...

 

aah yes my first Bills game and first home game at the Rockpile, opener, Sept 1971 - Cowboys no less, and was able to attend the very last game, the 21-21 tie against the Lions.

 

the photo above makes the place look like an emesis basin of sorts...

Welcome to Buffalo, OJ.  Betcha didn't see anything like THIS is SoCal.

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11 hours ago, Augie said:

 

 

EXCEPT behind the goalposts! I remember my dad wanting a friend with end zone seats to sit with him, so they swapped seats and I sat in the end zone with a buddy at a Chiefs game on a rainy day. First, they allowed umbrellas back then, so it was hard for anyone to see anything. On FG’s and extra points, NOBODY was safe! It was insane! But then, we probably didn’t wear seatbelts on the way to the game, so…..different times! 

Not sure it was this game, but my Uncle caught a Jan Stenerud PAT and gave ‘the Duke’ to me! Played with that football till all the pigskin wore off and the bladder exposed through the lacing!

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12/28/63.  Bills hosted Pats in a Playoff.  I was 14 yrs old. My "big" Christmas present was tickets.  We had Buffalo level snow in the week leading up to the game.  Our bleacher seats were formed by pressing a garbage can into the snow.  Bills for some reason weren't feeling it that day.  Kemp got subbed out for Lamonica, who was equally as bad save a 93 yard TD to "Golden Wheels".  Bills had 6 turnovers [4 int's 2 fumbles]. Game was played in 21 degree weather with a wind chill of 9 degrees.  Both teams were 7-6-1 and in a playoff to meet the mighty Chargers, who were the class of the league.

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15 hours ago, Augie said:

 

EXCEPT behind the goalposts! I remember my dad wanting a friend with end zone seats to sit with him, so they swapped seats and I sat in the end zone with a buddy at a Chiefs game on a rainy day. First, they allowed umbrellas back then, so it was hard for anyone to see anything. On FG’s and extra points, NOBODY was safe! It was insane! But then, we probably didn’t wear seatbelts on the way to the game, so…..different times! 

 

My friend John caught an extra point.  That football was the pride of the neighborhood playing football at Dingens Park.

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15 hours ago, Augie said:

 

 

EXCEPT behind the goalposts! I remember my dad wanting a friend with end zone seats to sit with him, so they swapped seats and I sat in the end zone with a buddy at a Chiefs game on a rainy day. First, they allowed umbrellas back then, so it was hard for anyone to see anything. On FG’s and extra points, NOBODY was safe! It was insane! But then, we probably didn’t wear seatbelts on the way to the game, so…..different times! 

The $6 tickets were nice too!

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