Inside The Bills

Saimes hoped to show teammates HOF wing

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2013 – 7:24 am

Just prior to the passing of Bills Wall of Fame safety George Saimes, his former teammates had planned to visit him in his native Canton, Ohio since he had been battling leukemia. Saimes was also eager to show him the new Archive and Preservation wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame erected in Bills owner Ralph Wilson’s name.

Booker Edgerson along with former teammates Ed Rutkowski, Charley Ferguson and Al Bemiller were all planning to visit Saimes a few weeks ago in his native Canton, but Saimes had asked them to hold off. He was going to be getting his next schedule of treatments from his doctor. Once he had his schedule laid out he’d suggest a time that was best for the guys to come down.

“He said he’d love to take us to the Hall of Fame and show us the wing that Mr. Wilson put on the Hall of Fame with his $2.5 million donation,” Edgerson told Buffalobills.com. “He said, ‘Booker it’s really great. I can’t wait for you guys to get down here so I can show it to you.’ Unfortunately that did not happen.”

After Saimes funeral Wednesday many of his former teammates intend to follow through and visit the Preservation wing of the Hall of Fame at their former safety’s request.


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Bills alumni also career helpers

Posted by Chris Brown on July 4, 2011 – 9:08 am

In addition to helping wounded warriors resume their athletic pursuits with their charitable effots, the Bills alumni also have offered assistance to local wounded servicemen and servicewomen back from Iraq and Afghanistan by helping them network with businesses in Western New York.

“Our funds will not only support the athletic pursuits, but more generally some scholarships because there are guys that are coming back from the wars and they want to better themselves with a college education to get jobs in society,” said Alumni President Booker Edgerson.

“We’ve put them in touch with people around here,” said alumnus Ed Rutkowski. “Some of them need jobs and we as the Bills Alumni have been asked to help so we help them network with some business contacts that we have locally.”

 

 


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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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Rutkowski’s new car Saban story

Posted by Chris Brown on March 30, 2009 – 7:39 pm

In relaying some of his most enjoyable memories of Lou Saban, Bills former receiver and special teamer Ed Rutkowski recalled one particular Thanksgiving spent at Saban’s house that left Rutkowski a bit shaken.

Rutkowski and Booker Edgerson were invited over to their head coach’s house for Thanksgiving. Saban invited them knowing they were single with no family in town.

After dinner Saban took it upon himself to dispense some fatherly advice to the two young players.

“It’s kind of an interesting story because I had just purchased a brand new car,” said Rutkowski. “And after turkey dinner he sat down and started giving us some fatherly advice and after he finished with Booker he turned to me and said, ‘Now Ed I know you’re going to have a long career with the Buffalo Bills, but I know you’re a young player so I hope you don’t do something stupid like going out and buying a new car.’

“And I said, ‘Coach, I would never do anything like that.’ Of course I had parked the car out in front of his house. So when I walked out of his house and said good bye after dinner I walked in the opposite direction of the car and hid for about 15 minutes and walked around the entire block and then got in the car and drove away.”

Saban had to have seen Rutkowski pull up to the house in the new car before he came to the door and decided to bust chops a little with his “advice.”

 The coach must have been rolling on his living room floor laughing after he saw Rutkowski hide and then walk clear around his block before driving away. You can’t tell me Saban wasn’t watching from behind a curtain through his window. Classic stuff.


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