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Buffalo News commemorates 20th anniversary of The Comeback

Steve Christie gets mobbed after kicking the game-winning field goal in overtime to beat the Oilers in The Comeback. (Photo: James P. McCoy/Buffalo News)


By Tim Graham

Twenty years ago today, one of the most transcendent games in NFL history took place in Orchard Park.

The Buffalo Bills rallied from 32 points down in the third quarter to shock the Houston Oilers -- and the world -- in Rich Stadium.

Buffalo's unfathomable overtime playoff victory is known simply as The Comeback. That it happened without Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Cornelius Bennett was even more astounding.

The Buffalo News is commemorating the anniversary today with a collection of stories, columns, photographs and multimedia features.

I encourage you to pick up a copy of this morning's paper to see the production in its entirety and leaf through it by hand. For those who can't wait, here are the links:

• Senior columnist Jerry Sullivan has the centerpiece, a thorough review with 10 players, coaches and executives quoted.

• As he does for our Bills coverage now, Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan recaps The Comeback with his Quarterly Report.

• Sully also offers a riveting first-person recollection from the stands, where he watched The Comeback unfold.

• Buffalo News reporter Jay Skurski writes about the fan experience of the game, which didn't sell out and wasn't shown on local television.

• Readers submitted letters, sharing their memories from The Comeback.

• Oilers quarterback Warren Moon spoke to me about the game, saying "The thing that stands out most is that it won't go away."

• News media columnist Greg Connors interviews former Bills radio announcer Van Miller, who said "I've done a lot of stuff, but nothing compared to that game. You know, it changed the lives of a lot of people."

• We also share Larry Felser's column that ran in the paper the morning after the game.

• At the "Sully on Sports" blog, Sullivan has posted audio from some of his interviews. He also has outtakes from quarterback Frank Reich, receivers James Lofton and Andre Reed, special-teams ace Steve Tasker and executive Bill Polian.

• Be sure to check out James P. McCoy's photo gallery from The Comeback.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |