Inside The Bills

Brown member of GBSHOF class

Posted by Chris Brown on June 15, 2011 – 11:49 am

Bills nine-time Pro Bowl guard Ruben Brown has been named a member of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame class of 2011.

Brown will be joined by fellow NFL alum and Orchard Park native Jim Burt, a two-time Super Bowl champ with the Giants. We’ll have more on this story later this afternoon on the home page of Buffalobills.com.

Joining Brown and Burt in this year’s induction class are
Curtis Aiken, basketball (Bennett HS, Pitt)
Don Colpoys, baseball player, coach and administrator
Jim Lorentz,hockey (Sabres player and broadcaster)
Phil Mankowski, major league baseball player
Steve Mesler, bobsled gold medalist at the 2010 Olympics
Cindy Miller, golf professional and teacher.

Bills FB Cookie Gilchrist is among four others honorees that will join the Pride of Western New York wing of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, which honors deceased athletes. Joining him in that group are: 
Lewis “Deerfoot” Bennett, a long-distance runner from the 19th century
Michael Broderick, a founder of the West Side Rowing Club
William Morgan, credited with inventing volleyball

 


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Gilchrist memorial Saturday

Posted by Chris Brown on April 14, 2011 – 10:05 am

The life of one of the greatest and most colorful players in Buffalo Bills history, Carlton Chester “Cookie” Gilchrist will be celebrated this Sat., April 16, 2011 at 11AM at St. John Baptist Church, 184 Goodell Street in Buffalo, NY. Gilchrist will be remembered by family, friends and former teammates at a special Memorial Celebration that is open to the public at the church.

Cookie Gilchrist, the Buffalo Bills’ hard-charging fullback who became one of the early stars of the American Football League, died of cancer at an assisted living center on January 10, 2011 in Pittsburgh. He was 75.

At 6 feet 3 inches and 250 pounds, Gilchrist was an uncommonly awesome running back for his era, and he was an outspoken figure off the field. He was often involved in contract disputes with management, and he helped lead a boycott threat by black players over discriminatory treatment in New Orleans when they arrived there for the AFL All-Star Game after the 1964 season, forcing the league to transfer the game to Houston.

Joining the Bills in 1962, the AFL’s third season, Gilchrist ran for 1,096 yards in 14 games and was named the league’s player of the year. He set a professional football single-game rushing record, since broken, when he ran for 243 yards and 5 touchdowns against the Jets in December 1963. Gilchrist led the AFL in rushing again in 1964, his final season with the Bills, when he helped take them to the league championship. He was named All-Pro every season from 1962 to 1965.

“Whoever would run up, he’d run at him and then run over him,” said former Bills teammate and Bills Alumni President Booker Edgerson. “Cookie was the Jim Brown of the American Football League; he was the icon of the league,” Edgerson said.


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Cookie memories

Posted by Chris Brown on January 10, 2011 – 4:06 pm

Bills former WR/HB/DB Ed Rutkowski was Cookie Gilchrist’s teammate for all three seasons that he was with the Bills and recalled some humorous anecdotes from Gilchrist’s time with the club on this the day of his passing at age 75.

Everyone knows about Gilchrist’s desire to make a fortune selling Christmas trees outside the stadium that he had brought down with him from Canada, which failed because Buffalo had a warm spell with temps in the 50’s, but there was another business-minded idea Cookie had. 

“He was as Jack Kemp used to call him a true entrepreneur,” Rutkowski told Buffalobills.com. “Cookie wanted three contracts. He wanted a contract to play offense, a contract to play defense and a contract to play special teams. He wanted to play middle linebacker in addition to running back and kicking when he was here, and maybe Ralph (Wilson) should’ve done that because he was a tremendously gifted ball player.”

Rutkowski also laughs when he recalls a particular West coast trip. Back in the AFL days the Bills would play Denver, Oakland and San Diego in consecutive weeks and would stay on the West coast to save money.

“After practices while we were out there we would go to the hotel,” said Rutkowksi. “There was a swimming pool at the hotel, so we would get back from practice and change into our swim trunks. So we were out basking in the sun one day and we all see Cookie climbing the ladder of the high diving board. We’re all sitting on the pool deck watching him and he shouts down, ‘Hey guys watch this.’

“We thought he was going to do a swan dive or a jack knife and he jumped off the side of the board to the right and he almost hit the side of the pool because he landed just two feet from the wall. And after he surfaced we could see him thrashing and thrashing around and Booker (Edgerson) was sitting next to us and he said, ‘Guys the man can’t swim.’ So we had to run over and drag him out of the pool. It was incredible.”


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