Talking Proud: Rediscovering the Magical Season of the 1980 Buffalo Bills (Paperback)
As the 1970s came to an end, Buffalo Bills fans had little to cheer about. While O.J. Simpson proved a national treasure, the Bills remained the laughingstock of the league. Meanwhile, the city itself was reeling from the disastrous Blizzard of '77, steel and auto plant shutdowns, generally high unemployment, a decaying downtown and relentless razzing by Johnny Carson. But in the fall of 1980, the Bills, led by hardnosed coach Chuck Knox and gutsy quarterback Joe Ferguson, embarked on a stunning turnaround that began with a win at Rich Stadium over the hated Miami Dolphins - ending an unprecedented losing streak that spanned 20 games. What followed was one of the most memorable seasons on record including the first ever AFC East Championship. By coincidence the Buffalo Area Chamber of Commerce that fall had unveiled a widespread public relations effort to celebrate the region, including television and radio commercials featuring a snappy song, "Buffalo's got a spirit, talking proud talking proud..."- This is the story of that magical Bills season, the spirited campaign and how the two became memorably intertwined. Unfairly discarded among the storied AFL teams of the mid-1960s and the great Super Bowl teams of the early 1990s, the Bills of 1980 didn't even win their playoff game, a heartbreaking loss in San Diego in which Ferguson nearly pulled out a victory playing on a broken ankle. But these Bills provided Buffalo with a reason to feel good just when the city needed it most. Using personal memories of growing up in South Buffalo in the shadow of Rich Stadium and extensive interviews, journalist Rich Blake brings this forgotten season to life with a sense of humor and poignancy that will have fans of all eras cherishing the '80 Bills, and once again talking proud. For anyone who ever wondered why Bills fans love their team so much this book makes it clear.