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Good Reads - Favorite Bills Books


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#1 WotAGuy

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 10:25 PM

Since there's no games to watch (other than DVDs of games from the 80s and 90s), I'm breaking out my Bills library.

Personal favorite: "OJ Education of a Rich Rookie". Behind the scenes look at the 1969 season that's pretty revealing and entertaining. Lots of stories about the last days of the 1960s Bills crew, including Maguire, Day, Kemp, Shaw and many more. Great photos and lots of game day details. Enjoyed this as a kid and it still holds up for me.

I have a dozen or so Bills books written by or about former players and coaches. Many good ones in there and some real stinkers.

Interested to hear about others' favorites.....

#2 Formerly Allan in MD

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 10:46 PM

Mine is fiction: "Bills Win the Super Bowl."



#3 Buftex

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 09:52 AM

Though I was never crazy about the man, as a player, Fred Smerlas was terrific.  He played on some of my all-time favorite Bills teams, from the early 80's.  I think his book "By a Nose" is pretty damn entertaining.  Probably the least milq-toast Bills book I have ever read. Lots of juicy stories, and gossip. If you were around for those Chuck Knox "Talking Proud" teams (and I'm pretty sure you were WotAGuy), this one is a great read.

 

I would also recommend Cookie Gilchrist's ghost-written auto-biography "The Cookie that Didn't Crumble".  I was born in 1965, and have been hearing about those Bills AFL Championship teams my whole life.  I am too young to have have seen them, or appreciate them.  This is, as far as I know, the only book written about the Bills (or a Bill) from that era that I know of.  I won't say it is very well written (from what I gather, it was essentially written, in Cookies voice, using taped interviews that were done with him, in his "golden years".  I always heard that "Cookie was as good as Jim Brown, better than OJ" from the old-timers, but everybody agreed that he was "mercurial".  One of the early, controversial African American athletes who was seen as a "me" guy, rather than a team player.  He does come off playing the victim card quite a bit during the book, but you will learn a ton about era that he played in, and some stories I never heard from the old-timers.  Like the time he was busted by BPD.  Also, his activities with civil rights clashing with his football career.  Also, some cool stuff about the CFL of the 50's.  This and the Smerlas book are, by far, my favorite Bills books ever.



#4 dwight in philly

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:06 AM

slightly off the topic, but larry felser's book about the history of the AFL is a great read.. 



#5 Buftex

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:13 AM

slightly off the topic, but larry felser's book about the history of the AFL is a great read.. 

Dwight, is that the "Birth of the the New NFL" that came out about 10 years or so, ago?  Or, is there another?



#6 dwight in philly

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:55 AM

Dwight, is that the "Birth of the the New NFL" that came out about 10 years or so, ago?  Or, is there another?

yea, thats it .. came out in 2008.. i wish there WAS  another.. there are 2-3 more AFL  history books around. however.



#7 Buftex

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:59 AM

Cool, I'll have to check that out.  I hate to say it, but I almost forgot about it.  Always meant to go back and read that one.



#8 dwight in philly

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 11:10 AM

Cool, I'll have to check that out.  I hate to say it, but I almost forgot about it.  Always meant to go back and read that one.

oh.. if you havent read it, you should .. really good.. and a recent one i recently read.(.Mavericks, money, and men : the AFL, Black players, and the evolution of modern football, Ross, Charles Kenyatta, ) isnt bad.. 


one more .  if you are into AFL history.. . When it was just a game : remembering the first Super Bowl



#9 WotAGuy

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 01:44 PM

Instant Replay by Jerry Kramer is an old classic but very good in showing how player size, training, game planning etc have all changed radically.

#10 I'm Spartacus

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 01:51 PM

Since there's no games to watch (other than DVDs of games from the 80s and 90s), I'm breaking out my Bills library.

Personal favorite: "OJ Education of a Rich Rookie". Behind the scenes look at the 1969 season that's pretty revealing and entertaining. Lots of stories about the last days of the 1960s Bills crew, including Maguire, Day, Kemp, Shaw and many more. Great photos and lots of game day details. Enjoyed this as a kid and it still holds up for me.

I have a dozen or so Bills books written by or about former players and coaches. Many good ones in there and some real stinkers.

Interested to hear about others' favorites.....

I too, am an old timer (was old enough to remember the 60's Bills on TV & radio). I have "OJ Education of a Rich Rookie" and a bunch of others.

I particularly like Marv Levy's book "Where Else Would You Rather Be?". It's a good read. Also have "By A Nose" and "Instant Replay". Might dust off the cobwebs and give them another read this winter!



#11 Tcali

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 02:02 PM

Though I was never crazy about the man, as a player, Fred Smerlas was terrific.  He played on some of my all-time favorite Bills teams, from the early 80's.  I think his book "By a Nose" is pretty damn entertaining.  Probably the least milq-toast Bills book I have ever read. Lots of juicy stories, and gossip. If you were around for those Chuck Knox "Talking Proud" teams (and I'm pretty sure you were WotAGuy), this one is a great read.

 

I would also recommend Cookie Gilchrist's ghost-written auto-biography "The Cookie that Didn't Crumble".  I was born in 1965, and have been hearing about those Bills AFL Championship teams my whole life.  I am too young to have have seen them, or appreciate them.  This is, as far as I know, the only book written about the Bills (or a Bill) from that era that I know of.  I won't say it is very well written (from what I gather, it was essentially written, in Cookies voice, using taped interviews that were done with him, in his "golden years".  I always heard that "Cookie was as good as Jim Brown, better than OJ" from the old-timers, but everybody agreed that he was "mercurial".  One of the early, controversial African American athletes who was seen as a "me" guy, rather than a team player.  He does come off playing the victim card quite a bit during the book, but you will learn a ton about era that he played in, and some stories I never heard from the old-timers.  Like the time he was busted by BPD.  Also, his activities with civil rights clashing with his football career.  Also, some cool stuff about the CFL of the 50's.  This and the Smerlas book are, by far, my favorite Bills books ever.

Its hard to judge Cookie just based on NFL(ok AFL--big leagues;).By the time he came into the league he was at his peak for a couple yrs then on the way downhill.Have to incl his CFL time.

I think he was as close to Jim Brown as they come.....-You cant really compare him to OJ as u say some old timers did.That would be like saying Tony Gonzalez is a better receiver than Jerry Rice.Apples and oranges.


Edited by Tcali, 17 February 2017 - 02:05 PM.


#12 Sandy McFiddish

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 02:50 PM

I have "Relentless The Hard Hitting History of Buffalo Bills Football"