History of the Buffalo Bills Uniforms Part II

     Here at The Gridiron Uniform Database we are continuing our week-long look back at the uniforms of the Buffalo Bills, who will be unveiling their new uniforms this Friday Night.

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Jack Kemp led the Bills to
2 AFL titles in this uniform
     In 1962, the Bills adopted the red standing buffalo as their helmet logo.  The Bills wore this style, both with white and royal blue tops paired with white pants, through 1973.  In 1967, they also wore a darker blue during the preseason, and in the final year of this style, in '73, they added a little more red to the uniform (stripes and socks) and also added blue pants to go with the white jersey.

In the final game of the 1973 regular season the
Bills faced the Jets at Shea Stadium.
OJ Simpson entered the game with 1,803 yards
needing just 61 to break Jim Brown's
record.  Simpson gained the 61 yards early
in the game and finished the game with
192 yards compiling 2,003 for the season.
     Wearing this uniform the Bills won back-to-back AFL Championships in 1964 and 65, however the team fell on harder times after a few brief years, winning only one game in both 1968 and 1971.  After the NFL-AFL merger, the Bills never made the NFL playoffs with the red standing buffalo.  In their best season of this era, they went 9-5 and were only one game behind the AFC Wild Card Team, the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1973, their last with this helmet.  The seminal moment that people think of in this era, however, is not the 2 AFL titles, but the 2003 yards rushing by O.J. Simpson in 1973, a record set that was the football equivalent of the 61 homers of Roger Maris or the 100 points of Wilt Chamberlain.

     While in the last two decades the name O.J. Simpson conjures up images of a different sort, for two decades the name simply brought to mind one of the greatest running backs of his time, a man who's 1973 season put him in the company of Jim Brown, Gale Sayers and later Walter Payton, as the greatest rushers of all time.  Even with the off the field events that happened in 1994, Simpson's place in NFL history is still apparent:  When one sees the red standing buffalo of that era of Bills' football, one's first thoughts are of that first two-thousand yard rushing season.

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1968 Cincinnati Bengals
1968 Denver Broncos
     Today for a database change, we'd like to bring you the updated uniforms of the 1968 Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos. 1968 was the first year of play for the expansion Bengals, and in the preseason they faced the Broncos on August 10 in only their second game ever.  Based upon a newspaper article of that day submitted in the forums, we have made some adjustments to the uniforms of these two teams and added the preseason variations that we can confirm they wore in that game.

     If you look closely, you can see a difference in the Bengals' sleeve stripes from their regular season variation, there is a separation of white between the black and orange stripes.  The Broncos' variation is more apparent, they are paring their 1966 uniform with the 1968 helmet.

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     We'll be back tomorrow with the next era of Bills' uniforms and some more database updates, including changes involving the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, and even the New England Patriots.


  1. I'm glad you guys are making the preseason distinction. I've noticed that before ... 1980 or so, in the preseason you would see teams with part of last year's uni and part of this year's. To me, the preseason uni isn't the official uni for that year ... but it is fun to see a representation of what was wore in the preseason. And of course the historical record needs to make room for the Saints' black helmets.

    The Packers did a last year's/this year's in the 1959 preseason. I'll send along some photos.

  2. "what was worn in the preseason," of course. (I'm a professional editor; my own typos simply kill me.)

    Timmy, check your email.

  3. Great web site, it’s referenced on Jomo's SportsPicks Customizer Forum for guys who made custom McFarlane football figures.


    I do have one question on the Chargers shoulder bolt and direction of the bolt.
    Here is a picture from 1965 with the center of the bolt to the inside:


    Here are some pictures after 1968 with center of the bolt to the outside.


    Anyone tracking the differences? I have no idea when they changed.


  4. OJ Simpson rushed for 2003 yards in the 1973 season, not 2001. What makes it even more impressive is that he was ejected from one game in the opening minutes, so essentially he set this record in 13 rather than 14 games.

  5. Thanks anonymous -- of course I meant 2003.



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