Inside The Bills

Uniform superstitions

Posted by Chris Brown on June 16, 2011 – 8:16 am

Some players are more superstitious than others, whether it’s listening to the same music, putting their uniform on in a specific order on game day. There’s a wide range. Here are a couple of the lesser known uniform superstitions on the part of one specific Bills player and one Hall of Fame Bills coach courtesy of long time equipment manager Dave Hojnowski.

When it came to the most superstitious guy with respect to his uniform and equipment it was former OL Joe Devlin.

“Joe was the most superstitious guy as far as that goes,” said Hojnowski. “First and foremost he wouldn’t want his facemask altered. After a while his facemask would get flattened out from all the collisions, and when it flattens out it actually makes your helmet wider. So he would complain something awful if we did anything to it.

“Sometimes though we’d have to do it. So we’d have to show him what a facemask would normally look like and then show him what his looked like after all the collisions. At least at that point he would look at it and say okay and let us change it or whatever.

“He never wanted decals replaced. He wanted all the battle scars left on his helmet to show. He was probably be one of the guys that never wanted anything changed. He may have had his jersey sewn and repaired 25 times, but he never wanted it switched.”

As for superstitious coaches, Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy had his share and most were tied to the team’s uniform.

“I got that (uniform superstitions) from the coaches more than anything else,” said Hojnowski. “Coach Levy especially. If we won in a certain attire we were wearing that attire until we lost. Then it was okay for me to change it. Then I could change it to whatever.”  

In 1988 the Bills began the season 4-0 en route to 12-4, but had a road game at New England in Week 3 where they’d normally be required to wear white. Hojnowski isn’t certain, but is pretty convinced they wore their blue at the old Foxboro stadium that day.

“I’m sure we wore pretty much the same stuff when we started out that year 4-0 or whatever it was home or away,” he said.

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