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Personal Jim Kelly stories


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#1 Chandler#81

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 04:57 PM

Yes, we have another thread running about the serious medical condition he is battling and the corresponding well-wishes of Bills Nation. It's from that thread that anyone popping into the site, gets a feeling of what Jims' play on the field and his accrued love of the team and community means to us all. That his situation is so dire, all posts are centered around prayers, concerns and best wishes for another recovery.

In a different direction, this thread is about personal interactions we've had with or about Jim through the years.

Jim had a knee scoped after the '95 season. It was also the Silver Anniversary of the Sabres and I comped 2 tickets for a game vs Florida in the Aud. 3rd row on the goal line the Sabres defended in the 1st & 3rd Periods. Best seats I ever had for a hockey game. I took my son, who was 14 at the time. As the game began and everyone was settled in their seats, we noticed 2 empty seats right in front of us, in the 2nd row. During a time out, I looked over at the stairwell coming down to rink level and there was Jim & Jill carefully descending. I nudged my son and motioned that way. It was exciting to see a star at an unexpected event and we said 'Cool!' It quickly dawned on me there are ONLY 2 open seats anywhere in the area and sure enough, they were coming to sit right in front of us! I was thrilled, my son was speechless! Ha! He greeted everyone sitting in the area and sat down. A little while later I asked him if he'd sign my sons' program -a 25th Anni special edition, which he easily did. Wonderfully, throughout the game we made small chit chat about attending sporting events with our children -Jill was expecting their 1st and about the Bills. He complained about 'no speed' at WR -Billy Brooks had replaced Lofton.
The Sabres won going away and they left mid-3rd period, shaking our hands upon departing.

That program is glass encased and hanging on my rec room wall today.

Your story?

#2 Madbillsfan

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 05:27 PM

I saw him signing autographs at JC Penney's in the mall in the late 90's.

Maybe Kaufmans.

#3 Thunderstealer

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 05:37 PM

Jim autographed a card for me one year in Fredonia.  In his rookie year,  he and many Bills visited the Canadian Ballet.  Jim was a young athlete then, holding court, acting tough, not far removed from the "U" i guess. We locals enjoyed the nice surprise of Smerlas, Kelly and group showing up and making the place their own for an hour or two.

Edited by Thunderstealer, 23 March 2014 - 05:58 PM.


#4 PearlHowardman

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 05:49 PM

Picture of Jim Kelly and his daughter watching the SU Orange basketball team play Dayton yesterday in Buffalo:

http://www.gamedayr....e-photo-101903/

GO SU Orange!

GO Buffalo Bills!

GO Jim Kelly!

#5 Formerly Joe F

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 05:54 PM

I worked for the Houston Gamblers as an intern during the 1985 season.  It was to finish my master's degree in Sports Administration.  Got to know Jim and the Kelly family during that time.  Its hard for me to think about Jim having this horrible disease.  Never met anyone with a will and fervor to win like Jim's.   He will always be bullet proof in my eyes.  An amazing man with a great mom and dad and a loyal group of brothers.

One story.  During the 85 season the Bills sent Greg Bell down to recruit Jim to Buffalo.  Jim was dead set against going to the Bills.  He knew I was from Buffalo and a rabid Bills fan from the occaisonal Bills gear I would wear.  One day near the end of the season he asks me what I think about him going to the Bills.  I said -- you could hold out for a trade, you could leverage to get where you want to play (Oilers, Dolphins, Steelers were high on the list), but know that Buffalo is similar to where you grew up-- the hunting, fishing, etc is awesome, the media is less demanding and its a great place to live.  You will be an idol from day one.  He laughed and said he didn't think we could ever win.  I said if they have you-- I know the Bills could win.

That was it...never talked to him about it again.

Never really stayed in contact with him-- talked to Danny a few times over the years -- but every ounce of me is praying for him to beat this.

#6 sodbuster

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 06:06 PM

View PostJoeF, on 23 March 2014 - 05:54 PM, said:

I worked for the Houston Gamblers as an intern during the 1985 season.  It was to finish my master's degree in Sports Administration.  Got to know Jim and the Kelly family during that time.  Its hard for me to think about Jim having this horrible disease.  Never met anyone with a will and fervor to win like Jim's.   He will always be bullet proof in my eyes.  An amazing man with a great mom and dad and a loyal group of brothers.

One story.  During the 85 season the Bills sent Greg Bell down to recruit Jim to Buffalo.  Jim was dead set against going to the Bills.  He knew I was from Buffalo and a rabid Bills fan from the occaisonal Bills gear I would wear.  One day near the end of the season he asks me what I think about him going to the Bills.  I said -- you could hold out for a trade, you could leverage to get where you want to play (Oilers, Dolphins, Steelers were high on the list), but know that Buffalo is similar to where you grew up-- the hunting, fishing, etc is awesome, the media is less demanding and its a great place to live.  You will be an idol from day one.  He laughed and said he didn't think we could ever win.  I said if they have you-- I know the Bills could win.

That was it...never talked to him about it again.

Never really stayed in contact with him-- talked to Danny a few times over the years -- but every ounce of me is praying for him to beat this.
If this story is true (and I have no reason to believe otherwise) you might be entitled to drink for free in every bar in the world that supports the Bills.

#7 kr632

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 06:38 PM

Every year at his camp he would give my uncle, brother and I a ride around in his golf cart to all the various areas. My uncle is friends with him. He is even in his book armed and dangerous.  

My family had breakfast with him at the Sheraton (millennium hotel now near galleria mall)hotel where the team stayed before the games. It was before the bills played the detroit lions. I was maybe 5. I walked up to his seat and tugged on his shirt and asked him how he threw so good. He laughed and said practice and hard work now go eat so you can get big and strong.  During pregame warm ups he walked over to us and gave my uncle a ball and signed it. Sadly the bills lost to the lions.

I never understood how lucky we were to be around the team then. I was a great time. His camp always fell on my birthday so he would get all the players to sign my shirt. Andre reed brought me over to warren moon and played pickle in the middle withe for a while until howard ballard came and scared the crap outta me

Edited by kr632, 23 March 2014 - 06:42 PM.


#8 jboyst62

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 06:44 PM

A friend of my mothers is an author and publisher in WNY.  She does a lot of freelance work for PR firms, etc.  She wrote Jim's speech when he was introduced to Buffalo.  She has the original copy he read framed with his signature and thank you message.

#9 Formerly Joe F

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 06:46 PM

View Postsodbuster, on 23 March 2014 - 06:06 PM, said:

If this story is true (and I have no reason to believe otherwise) you might be entitled to drink for free in every bar in the world that supports the Bills.

I had nothing to do with his eventual decision sodbuster--I can assure you of that.  The Bills and Mr. Wilson's checkbook had more to do with that.

http://www.houston-g....com/id215.html

I was the promotions intern.....

Edited by JoeF, 23 March 2014 - 06:46 PM.


#10 stony

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 06:47 PM

View PostJoeF, on 23 March 2014 - 05:54 PM, said:

I worked for the Houston Gamblers as an intern during the 1985 season.  It was to finish my master's degree in Sports Administration.  Got to know Jim and the Kelly family during that time.  Its hard for me to think about Jim having this horrible disease.  Never met anyone with a will and fervor to win like Jim's.   He will always be bullet proof in my eyes.  An amazing man with a great mom and dad and a loyal group of brothers.

One story.  During the 85 season the Bills sent Greg Bell down to recruit Jim to Buffalo.  Jim was dead set against going to the Bills.  He knew I was from Buffalo and a rabid Bills fan from the occaisonal Bills gear I would wear.  One day near the end of the season he asks me what I think about him going to the Bills.  I said -- you could hold out for a trade, you could leverage to get where you want to play (Oilers, Dolphins, Steelers were high on the list), but know that Buffalo is similar to where you grew up-- the hunting, fishing, etc is awesome, the media is less demanding and its a great place to live.  You will be an idol from day one.  He laughed and said he didn't think we could ever win.  I said if they have you-- I know the Bills could win.

That was it...never talked to him about it again.

Never really stayed in contact with him-- talked to Danny a few times over the years -- but every ounce of me is praying for him to beat this.

Pretty neat you were a Bills fan and doing an internship in Houston while Jimbo was there.

I always loved those photos of Jim rocking some pretty hideous hats and Ray Bans during these times.

#11 Formerly Joe F

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 06:59 PM

View Poststony, on 23 March 2014 - 06:47 PM, said:

Pretty neat you were a Bills fan and doing an internship in Houston while Jimbo was there.

I always loved those photos of Jim rocking some pretty hideous hats and Ray Bans during these times.

He took every advantage of being young, well paid and a pro athlete.  There was always a humility about him -- and his mom and dad were aces.  He had a strong family--I know that is helping him right now.

Okay I don't want to turn this into a LAMP.  All I can say is I worked with him some 30 years ago and not very closely -- but interacted some.  In total -- considering the good and bad, he was and is a wholly decent human being who has had his share of tragedy.  I found him very worthy of prayers and hope during this difficult time.  I hope and pray he lives to see our first super bowl win...

#12 SmokinES3

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:18 PM

View PostJoeF, on 23 March 2014 - 06:46 PM, said:



I had nothing to do with his eventual decision sodbuster--I can assure you of that.  The Bills and Mr. Wilson's checkbook had more to do with that.

http://www.houston-g....com/id215.html

I was the promotions intern.....
You never know... How many people from Buffalo could he have talked to without any financial interest in him coming to WNY? Maybe a few, but you certainly didn't hurt. Awesome story btw.

#13 jboyst62

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:38 PM

View PostJoeF, on 23 March 2014 - 06:46 PM, said:

I had nothing to do with his eventual decision sodbuster--I can assure you of that.  The Bills and Mr. Wilson's checkbook had more to do with that.

http://www.houston-g....com/id215.html

I was the promotions intern.....
Posted Image
:w00t:
That mustache, seriously.  Fabulous.

Edited by jboyst62, 23 March 2014 - 07:40 PM.


#14 Formerly Joe F

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:43 PM

View Postjboyst62, on 23 March 2014 - 07:38 PM, said:

Posted Image
:w00t:
That mustache, seriously.  Fabulous.

That is the definition of cheesy isn't it? Too funy :D :D  Overcompensating for going bald at 23...

Edited by JoeF, 23 March 2014 - 07:44 PM.


#15 Gugny

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:47 PM

I was on a conference call with Kelly the year after he retired.  He was a complete and total douchebag.  Arrogance like I've never witnessed.  I lost all respect for him that day.

He's done a lot of great things for people and I absolutely wish him a speedy recovery.  My interaction with him was less than stellar; but we all have our days.

#16 jboyst62

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:49 PM

View PostJoeF, on 23 March 2014 - 07:43 PM, said:

That is the definition of cheesy isn't it? Too funy :D :D  Overcompensating for going bald at 23...
You are 23 in that picture?  Please, do not take offense to this.

If you look at any picture from the 80's everyone looks 10-15 years older then what they normally are - pictures of the 70's, 15-25 years old.  If you look at pictures from way, way back, like the 60's and before - everyone looks much older then their age.  I've never understood how this was for you old folks.

Then again... looking at today and pictures taken, 30 year olds look like they're 21.  40 year old's look 30.  Yeah - I guess I am fine with that.

#17 Corp000085

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:52 PM

View PostJoeF, on 23 March 2014 - 07:43 PM, said:



That is the definition of cheesy isn't it? Too funy :D :D  Overcompensating for going bald at 23...

I bet nobody messed with the director of security.  Marvin looks baaaad.

#18 Formerly Joe F

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:56 PM

View Postjboyst62, on 23 March 2014 - 07:49 PM, said:

You are 23 in that picture?  Please, do not take offense to this.

If you look at any picture from the 80's everyone looks 10-15 years older then what they normally are - pictures of the 70's, 15-25 years old.  If you look at pictures from way, way back, like the 60's and before - everyone looks much older then their age.  I've never understood how this was for you old folks.

Then again... looking at today and pictures taken, 30 year olds look like they're 21.  40 year old's look 30.  Yeah - I guess I am fine with that.

No offense taken jboys...my wife looked at that picture and said I look younger at 53 than at 23...clean shaven, close to shaved head and in much better shape.  Okay back to Jimbo....God Bless him... #KellyStrong #PrayersforJK

View PostCorp000085, on 23 March 2014 - 07:52 PM, said:

I bet nobody messed with the director of security.  Marvin looks baaaad.

Former Houston beat cop.  About 6'5" and a solid 240...no way you !@#$ed with Marvin.  I asked him one day what happened to the guy who messed him up -- he just said it was three and none of them lived to tell about it.  Great man.

Jimbo loved Marvin and we had a Houston police officer attached to the team.  Just say -- they helped Jim a lot....

Last thing about the Gamblers.  Jack Pardee was the most honorable and one of if not the greatest human being I have had the chance to work with (God rest his soul).  The comeback game was a double edged sword for me because he was the opposing coach.  In fact -- the whole Oilers coaching staff was basically a redo from the Gamblers...

Edited by JoeF, 23 March 2014 - 08:00 PM.


#19 mrags

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 09:19 PM

I used to live less than a half mile from his brother. Used to deliver pizzas in the same area. One day I got a delivery to Jim's brothers house at 11-12 in the afternoon. Jim answers the door looking like a homeless man that finished 3 eight balls and a keg of beer the night before (which is probably what happened). Tipped me poorly and walked inside with his food.

Other than the usual meet and greet, and autograph signings, that's the only contact I've ever had with Jim.

#20 Chandler#81

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:01 AM

Good stuff! Thanks, JoeF. Some may call you a prophet. We  call you 'from Buffalo!'
'Nother Jim tale -from a friend in Chattanooga, TN. He told me he was dating this girl and it was a pretty serious relationship. Jimbo & Co. were in town for an event way back in the day and she tells him she and her friends are going to meet him. Doesn't return until the next day. My buddy said he took her to task immediately: 'Did you sleep with him?' Her reply: "It was JIM KELLY!!"