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If you were an AFL Bills fan, you knew The Mad Bomber before he became it


Chandler#81
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Daryle Lamonica was our little secret. Spelling Kemp often and offering more accuracy. 4 playoff years in a row with him on the roster, we wouldn’t return for 8 years afterward.  Al Davis hoodwinked Ralph in trade for QB Tom Flores and WR Art Powell. He would go in to win MVP twice, lead the Raiders to a Super Bowl, MURDER the Bills nearly every time he played against us and ended his career with the 2nd most credited wins.

He died earlier this year at 80 years old. 
R.I.P. #12/#3

 

 

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Oh I remember Lamonica, especially after Kemp retired and we had no one to take his place.

Great example of how a low completion percentage doesn't mean that mush if the percentage is low because the QB throws deep more often than not. 

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One of the worst Bills trades of all time. I remember him destroying us whenever we played them.

 

Especially the 48-6 thrashing in 1968 (I remember listening to the game while in chestnut ridge park). We fired the coach after the game

 

Later in the year, we should have beaten the raiders on Thanksgiving day, but the refs blew a call on a crucial Ed Rutkowski play late in the game

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Sure Lamonica threw a lot of super long TDs, but if we never traded him, we would have never played Kay Stevenson at QB and then hired him as our coach. And he was the coach when we drafted Kelly. And if Kelly hadn’t signed in the USFL, Kay Stevenson would still be our coach and Hank Bullough our D coordinator.
 

So, it’s a damn good thing we traded Lamonica. 

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In my misguided youth, Daryle Lamonica was my favorite player and the Raiders my favorite team.  They always seemed to be on TV and their games with the rival Chiefs were always special.  The Mad Bomber moniker only added to the legend.  The Oakland offense, with Fred Biletnikoff, Warren Wells and others was so fun to watch.  Hindsight is always 20/20 and this trade was no exception...Lamonica belongs in the Hall of Fame.

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4 hours ago, Chandler#81 said:

Daryle Lamonica was our little secret. Spelling Kemp often and offering more accuracy. 4 playoff years in a row with him on the roster, we wouldn’t return for 8 years afterward.  Al Davis hoodwinked Ralph in trade for QB Tom Flores and WR Art Powell. He would go in to win MVP twice, lead the Raiders to a Super Bowl, MURDER the Bills nearly every time he played against us and ended his career with the 2nd most credited wins.

He died earlier this year at 80 years old. 
R.I.P. #12/#3

 

 

Sure do remember  him, those years well.. "we want Lamonica:" when Kemp would be off his game a bit.. It was tough as a Bills fan  to watch him have such success as the Bills floundered .. but as a staunch AFL guy (kid back then) great to see his legacy  live on.. 

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5 hours ago, Chandler#81 said:

Daryle Lamonica was our little secret. Spelling Kemp often and offering more accuracy. 4 playoff years in a row with him on the roster, we wouldn’t return for 8 years afterward.  Al Davis hoodwinked Ralph in trade for QB Tom Flores and WR Art Powell. He would go in to win MVP twice, lead the Raiders to a Super Bowl, MURDER the Bills nearly every time he played against us and ended his career with the 2nd most credited wins.

He died earlier this year at 80 years old. 
R.I.P. #12/#3

 

 

 

Crazy part is his statistics were atrocious...under a 50% completion rate for his career.

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6 hours ago, Greg S said:

Before my time. My earliest days as a Bills fan were the OJ years. Back then it worked out for the Bills as well. Kemp led them to B2B AFL championships.

 

I was juuust on the cusp of all that. I used to walk home from 3rd grade to a friends house, Jack Kemp’s son. We had season tix and I knew what a big deal he was, but anything beyond seeing his trophy case full of balls and my first ever color TV was lost on me then. I had no idea about people’s reputations, relationships or behinds the scenes stuff. 

1 hour ago, Big Turk said:

 

Crazy part is his statistics were atrocious...under a 50% completion rate for his career.

What a different world it was!  ALL the numbers were down, and they loved the elusive long ball, as I recall

 

 

.

Edited by Augie
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7 hours ago, WotAGuy said:

Sure Lamonica threw a lot of super long TDs, but if we never traded him, we would have never played Kay Stevenson at QB and then hired him as our coach. And he was the coach when we drafted Kelly. And if Kelly hadn’t signed in the USFL, Kay Stevenson would still be our coach and Hank Bullough our D coordinator.
 

So, it’s a damn good thing we traded Lamonica. 

lol, this reminded me of that “How the Buffalo Bills are responsible for the ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ series” meme that I see on facebook sometimes

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7 hours ago, dwight in philly said:

Sure do remember  him, those years well.. "we want Lamonica:" when Kemp would be off his game a bit.. It was tough as a Bills fan  to watch him have such success as the Bills floundered .. but as a staunch AFL guy (kid back then) great to see his legacy  live on.. 

Great post. The Kemp/Lamonica debate ruled sports conversations then while the team played in 3 straight Title games.

 

btw, I lived in Limerick back in ‘83, building Limerick 2 nuke plant.  What a sports year to be there! Phillies, 76ers & USFL Stars all we’re Champions that year! Only the Eagles sucked. 😉

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14 hours ago, ticketssince61 said:

One of the worst Bills trades of all time. I remember him destroying us whenever we played them.

 

Especially the 48-6 thrashing in 1968 (I remember listening to the game while in chestnut ridge park). We fired the coach after the game

 

Later in the year, we should have beaten the raiders on Thanksgiving day, but the refs blew a call on a crucial Ed Rutkowski play late in the game

I was at that game in 1968.  My most vivid memories are when the crowd sang "goodbye Collier, goodbye Joe, goodbye Collier, we're glad to see  you go". 

I guess that song was a  known 'thing' back then before 'Na na na na hey hey goodbye' replaced it as the good riddance fan chant.

 

The fans got their wish. Collier was fired immediately after.

 

Our seats were 4 rows from the field, just behind the visitors bench at War Memorial.

The other memory from day is exiting, and walking on the track alongside the wooden snow fence that separated the bleachers from the playing field. On the other side of the fence next to me, walking the same direction, was Ben Davidson, the handlebar-mustached defensive end for the Raiders who stood 6 ft 8 inches.  As I was just a kid, seeing a human that size up close was mind boggling.

 

One of the assistant coach's wives had ridden with us to the stadium. I've wondered if going with us, rather than driving herself had anything to do with a suspicion that the dismissal was imminent.

 

Those were dark days.  A common theme is Bills' playoff lore is the 17 season drought. Well, that era was hardly any better, with only a single appearance (loss in 1974) from 1967 to 1980.  Every time the team was on the brink of being a contender, Ralph tightened the purse strings and jettisoned (or pissed off) good talent.

 

Thank goodness we have the Pegulas, Beane and the rest - people who care more about winning than the bottom line.

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3 hours ago, Chandler#81 said:

Great post. The Kemp/Lamonica debate ruled sports conversations then while the team played in 3 straight Title games.

 

btw, I lived in Limerick back in ‘83, building Limerick 2 nuke plant.  What a sports year to be there! Phillies, 76ers & USFL Stars all we’re Champions that year! Only the Eagles sucked. 😉

Wow.. i moved here in 2008, and can see the nuke plant pretty much from where i live .. and if you would have told me back in the 70'sthat i would move to Philly after all the hate i had for the Flyers back in those days.

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