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RIP Ernie Warlick July 21, 1932 - Nov. 24, 2012


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#1 Jim Gehman

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:57 PM

Dial *84 for Warlick

During the foundation-building days of the American Football League, the eight teams recruited players by scouting games and practices, watching game films or, in the case of tight end Ernie Warlick, over the telephone.

"I received a call from a guy just out of the blue asking me how I was doing and did I ever plan to move to the AFL or NFL, come back to the states? I said, ‘I don’t know, maybe in the future.’ I had no idea who this guy was. But as it turned out, apparently he was somebody that knew [recently-hired Bills head coach Lou] Saban," said the three-time Canadian Football League All-Star.

Buffalo was not the only team in the league that was aware of Warlick. He was also contacted by the Boston Patriots and New York Titans. "Well, the Titans, I went there and I just didn’t like what I saw. Harry Wismer was the owner at the time, and when he found out I was going to talk to another AFL team, he was going to sue," laughed Warlick. "I just didn’t like the whole operation there. I was living in Washington, D.C., at the time, and Saban called me up and came to see me. He wanted to talk to me because he was coming to Buffalo and he’d like for me to come with him. So we went out to dinner and I signed up that night to come to Buffalo."

During the 1962 campaign, Buffalo’s leading quarterback Warren Rabb completed 67 passes. Warlick had 35 catches. The following season, Warlick was still a target with 24 receptions. They, however, came from a new quarterback, but someone he was still familiar with, Jack Kemp.

"Kemp and I were both in the Canadian League. We both went to training camp, I think, in ‘57 or ‘58. He and Tom Flores [who would be with the Bills from 1967 to 1969] were released from up there, and I stayed. That type of offense up there requires a quarterback that could run the ball and neither one of these guys were great runners. So this was my second time running into Kemp. I knew a little bit about how he could throw a ball. I thought that [claiming him off waivers from San Diego] was an excellent move."


#2 Helpmenow

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:02 PM

Bills first real good tight end.

#3 San Jose Bills Fan

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:06 PM

RIP Ernie.

A true Buffalo Bill and a true Buffalonian through and through.

#4 jr1

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:10 PM

RIP #84

#5 Golden Wheels

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:11 PM

Godspeed Big Hoss.

http://www.buffalobi...07-c8c96e737663

Edited by Golden Wheels, 24 November 2012 - 09:12 PM.


#6 pkwwjd

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:12 PM

A man I could call a friend, but hadn't seen in years ... When he would shake your hand at church, we always said he was shaking your elbow. He was a true gentle giant and a great man!

#7 metzelaars_lives

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:15 PM

Met him and his wife at the airport a few years ago on a layover to Buffalo. I told my Dad and he was jealous that I got to meet him. What a nice guy. Appeared to be in great health. Biggest I hands I ever seen. Before my time, but I respect it. RIP.

#8 notwoz

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:46 PM

Great player. Great guy. RIP, Ernie.

#9 Formerly Allan in MD

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:16 PM

Warlick was one of the first tight ends with real size who was not only a good blocker but a fine receiver.  He was one of the better players on the early Bills teams and will be fondly remembered.

#10 jboyst62

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:36 PM

I have his autograph from before a Bills game years back.  Really nice fella!

#11 Shoto

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:56 PM

He was a regular at training camp.  I consider myself privileged to talk fotball with him.  A true gentleman with huge hands, he will be missed.



#12 dhg

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:59 PM

RIP, Ernie.

#13 jboyst62

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:03 AM

View PostShoto, on 24 November 2012 - 11:56 PM, said:

He was a regular at training camp.  I consider myself privileged to talk fotball with him.  A true gentleman with huge hands, he will be missed.

I had nearly forgot this.  I was in maybe 4th grade and had my face and hair painted by the cheerleaders.  He grabbed my head and rubbed it laughing.  His hand could have crushed my head like a tomato to a regular man...and I have always had a big hard head

#14 Ennjay

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:06 AM

I remember him from Channel 2 Sports and his Henry's Hamburgers franchise too.  He wasn't natural on TV but I heard him speak once in person and he was tremendous.  RIP Ernie.

#15 bowery4

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 01:06 AM

Sad news RIP Ernie.

#16 Section 237

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:10 AM

One of my first sport heroes. Sad for the loss and for his family. I hope they can appreciate those of USO that felt this way.

#17 dave mcbride

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 06:47 AM

I grew up five houses away from Ernie W and my mom was good  friends with his wife, Louise. RIP. Sad news. Incidentally, his son Chris was extremely smart and later became a medical prof at Wash U.

#18 I_want_2_BILL_Lieve

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:44 AM

View PostEnnjay, on 25 November 2012 - 12:06 AM, said:

I remember him from Channel 2 Sports and his Henry's Hamburgers franchise too.  He wasn't natural on TV but I heard him speak once in person and he was tremendous.  RIP Ernie.

I remember Henry's Hamburgers!! As a young kid my dad took me to HH as a reward for a good report card. My dad, a long time Bills fan, recognized Ernie and introduced me to him. When I explained that I was there because of my report card, that gentle giant of a man reached across the counter and shook my hand. It was like shaking hands with a guy wearing a baseball mitt. I still remember staring at those huge hands, as he shook mine.

That 'event' probably never registered as a anything special to Ernie, but all these years later, it is still a big deal to me. And if I had to say, it's why in those formative years I became a Bills fan.

#19 KRC

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:44 AM

He was the first Bills player I met. A true class act. He will be missed.

#20 Bob in STL

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:34 AM

I saw him play on the Bills AFL Championship teams of the mid-60's.  He could block, catch, and run.   One of many excellent black football players in the CFL that were given a chance by the creation of the AFL.

Also met him at once Henry's Hamburgers.  I was just a kid then but I could sense his friendly and engaging personality.

Four time AFL All Star while playing with the Bills.  He and Pete Metzelars are the best TE's ever to play for the Bills.

RIP Ernie.

Edited by Bob in STL, 25 November 2012 - 09:35 AM.